After some thought (and some wine), some quality family time and a few post game shows, I am hereby ready to purge my weekly UFR (Upon Further Review) on to this digital canvas for your perusal.
I would like to start with something I think was a critical error in the outcome of this game. First off, I will be the FIRST one to say that Josh Brown SHOULD HAVE made the game-winning field goal kick. Nobody knows this better than Josh Brown. However...
A true student of the game will have noticed that Mike Holmgren made a critical mistake when he chose not to run a play in the middle of the field OR even the right side at the end of the fourth quarter. Had he been paying attention when we all needed him to pay attention the MOST...He would have realized that Josh Brown was shanking his field goal attempts to the left ALL GAME LONG.
It was this lack of attention to detail which I think ultimately cost us this game. Not that the defense and other factors didn't play their roles because we all know they did, but this is a prime example where I think the game has passed Holmgren by.
Forget that he didn't even bother to go for the throat and even attempt to win the game by scoring a TD or at least securing better field position by running a slant or some relatively low risk pass play. Forget his 3rd and 11 call a few minutes earlier where he chose to run SA up the middle for what can only be described as a SURE PUNT PLAY (it gained 2 yards...PUNT!)...
It's this one detail at the end of the game that haunts me the most and makes me realize more than anything else that Mike Holmgren's time as the Head Coach for the Seattle Seahawks is coming to an end. A smart and cerebral and creative coach is aware of our kicker's tendency when the game is on the line with 1 second left. Therefore, it's not a stretch to be thinking of said tendency at least the play before the attempt.
Mike, WTF where you thinking running a play to the LEFT when you KNEW that would put Josh's field goal attempt at the LEFT HASH MARK were he was ALREADY PROVING TO SHANK WIDE LEFT!?!?!?!?!?
Truth be told in all her glory, it's easy to blame this loss on Holmgren. Or Josh Brown. Or the defense. Fact is, they ALL deserve equal blame. You all know how much I preach the word of "It". How this team lacks having "It". Well, this game was a PRIME example of what I am trying to say. SURE we have talent. SURE we are probably the best Seahawks team to take the field since the mid 1980's.
But what does it all mean if we can't beat teams on the road?
In 2003, it was a BLAST to go 8-0 at home. Yet for every home victory, we were slapped in the face with a disapointing road loss. So far in 2005, we are looking at the same pattern. 2-0 at home. 0-2 on the road. COME ON!!
"It" eludes us still.
My wife said something tonight which made me laugh in that weird kind of way. You know the kind..."Honey, I think you might be the funniest man I've ever known if you just weren't just so damn stoooPID!"
Okay, that wasn't what made me laugh (this time), but what did was when she made the comment that she would rather the Seahawks get their ass kicked and lose instead of be so close and end up losing because THEY blew it all on their own.
So we're 2-2. Boy are we Seahawks diehards used to THAT kind of record. The good news is that we actually ARE a better team than I have seen in years. Yes our defense let us down in this one but that's not a sign of regression, that is a sign of growing pains. Nobody is more aware of their shortcommings than the 11 guys on our defensive squad. This actually bodes very well for us facing our arch enemy the Rams this Sunday.
One thing that MUST be talked about is that our Seahawks have absolutely turned the dropped passes thing as something in the past. Our receivers are not only catching the ball but they are catching the tough balls and HOLDING ON. Let's not let a tough loss blur the fact that we are kicking butt in an area that was such a weakness of recent seasons that it was known and joked about on a national level.
Earlier today, when I posted while I was still emotional from the loss, I said look out for another 8-8, 9-7 season. Well, giving it some thought (and without the emotions talking) I don't think that needs to be the story for 2005. I think this team can still finish 11-5 or 12-4 even. And that's in direct relation to this new group of players that doesn't buy into the Seahawks seasons of old. These are players who are still playing as a team, win or loss.
Thanks to our new president Tim Ruskell, his vision manifests in a post game interview...Kelly Herndon was interviewed by New York Vinnie in a local post game show after the game. Vinnie asked Herndon if Brown's field goal miss really bummed the team out.
Herndon's reply (in paraphrase)...
"You know what, we all came up to Josh, put our arms around him and told him it was okay. We win as a team, we lose as a team. We all had a hand in this loss."
And that, my good friends, is why I think this 2005 season could still end up with a very, very happy ending.
Todd Breda is the Owner and Creative Director of Seahawks.Net. If you would like to e-mail Todd, send any and all love letters, hate mail, whimsical musings or your personal dealings with little green men to: email@example.com.
Upon Further Review...
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