The Perfect Storm Part II

In a game where it was hard to believe what you were seeing, .NET's Mark Olsen wonders if the Seahawks' heartbreaking loss the Rams leaves him with a little less to believe.

I’m not sure who did it, or how it was done, but last Sunday during the Seahawks vs. Rams game at Qwest field, with just over 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, somebody used a time machine to replace the 2004 Seahawks with the 2003 Seahawks. You see, the 2004 Seahawks would never have let this happen, but the 2003 Seahawks seemed to have it happen all the time. Somehow, for what seemed like an eternity, the “old” Seahawks and all of their problems, replaced my invincible 2004 squad, and made me start to question my own beliefs in this team.

The 2003 Seahawks defense seemed to always find ways of letting the lesser teams back into the game late in the 4th quarter. The defensive line of last year’s squad had a hard time putting pressure on the opposing quarterback, giving him time to plant, find a receiver, and throw him the ball. The defensive backs of last year had a hard time covering the long ball, giving up big play after big play to provide the opposing team with momentum at key times in the ballgame. Last year’s offense and coaching staff would go into a conservative mode that would try not to make mistakes, but that would prevent the team from making plays as well. Why did they show up again yesterday?

But guess what - this isn’t last year’s squad. This isn’t the 2003 Hawks that did all of those things. This is the 2004 Seahawks, and these problems were supposed to be fixed. This is the team that was supposed to be different. Like editor Doug said in a post about Ray’s defense, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

People will be pointing at last year’s game against the Ravens, saying that this was the same type of feeling and aftermath. I disagree, this is much worse. The loss to the Ravens in 2003 was on the road, and it came down to a bunch of errors in play by the Seahawks players, and some very stupid play calling by the Seahawks coaches. But unlike this game, we at least had a scapegoat in the referees that we could point to and say that they cost us that game. There aren’t any external reasons for this loss, only questions.

Questions like, why does our coaching staff continue to think that they need to play conservative with a big lead? Our offense was working like a well-oiled machine in the first half, and our defense was controlling the game. I will never claim to know even a fraction about coaching that Holmgren and company have in their little fingers, but I can tell the difference between a team that keeps the pressure on, and a team that sits back on its big lead and tries not to make any mistakes.

Why can’t Koren get over his mental drops, and is it time to move on and stop thinking that he will? Why is it that when any other team sends 1 or 2 blitzers at our offensive line, our right side seems to let at least one guy come through unblocked (i.e. Leonard Little on our key 3rd down play in the 4th quarter) but yet when we send a blitz, it’s completely picked up by the opposing team, leaving open receivers downfield and a quarterback in the pocket with enough time to find them. I’m struggling to remember more than 1 time during the last 4 games that a Seahawk blitzer got through untouched to the opposing QB.

How could an offensive line that has dominated the entire game suddenly forget how to run block in every fourth quarter? I watch the Baltimore vs. Washington game last night on Sunday night football, and I see the Ravens’ offensive line completely dominate the line of scrimmage to run down the clock and protect the one touchdown lead that would ultimately decide the game. I thought that our line was supposed to be special, but we can’t even pick up one first down when the game is on the line?

I’m tired of this team making me physically ill. I’m tired of lying in bed tossing and turning and trying to get to sleep, but not being able to because I’m replaying every mistake in my head. I’m tired of letting a game dictate the type of mood I’m in. I’m tired dealing with the people at work on Monday that get a kick out of putting in a jab or a snide remark on Monday morning because they know how big of a fan that I am. I took my best friend to the game before he moves to Las Vegas to take a job, and I felt bad about my team looking so pathetic, as if it were somehow my fault because maybe I didn’t cheer loud enough or buy enough concessions. Thank God for my baby girl who could care less about a football game. Wrestling and laughing with her last night was the best therapy I could ever have.

So now we come to the crossroads. Our team is going up against the best team in football, and possibly one of the best teams in NFL history. Shaun Alexander spoke for all of us yesterday when he said that we will see just what type of team that we really are after this week:

"What happened today doesn't affect next week at all," Alexander stated. "If it does, then you'll know what kind of team we are.”

I just hope you come out on top, Seahawks. I can’t commit myself to you much longer. There are more important things in life, and I’m begging to understand that.

Mark Olsen writes frequently for Seahawks.NET. Feel free to send him feedback at Top Stories