The Seahawks' latest collapse might wind up defining Mike Holmgren's increasingly star-crossed run as head coach in Seattle. The team's performance featured a fast start and dashed hopes, much like Holmgren's five-plus seasons at the helm.
"We do some very good things, and then we do some things that demonstrate a lack of maturity, I guess you could say, and it cost us this season, dearly," Holmgren said following the 43-39 loss to Dallas on Monday night.
Seattle is 6-6 this season and 47-45 since Holmgren arrived in January 1999. The Seahawks are 0-1 this season against teams with winning records. That makes them 5-6 against non-winning teams, a stinging reality for a team with high expectations.
The Seahawks opened this season with a 3-0 mark. But things began to turn for the worse when Seattle blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead in losing to the Rams back in October. That defeat began a slide to 3-3.
Seattle managed to fight its way back to 6-4 on the strength of victories over some of the NFL's least successful teams, but the last two weeks have exposed the Seahawks as fraudulent contenders. First there was a 38-9 home loss to Buffalo, followed Monday night by one of the team's most excruciating defeats in memory. Seattle jumped out to a 14-3 lead on the Cowboys, fell behind 29-14, reclaimed the lead at 39-29 and then blew the lead in the final two minutes.
"I felt pretty good when we were up by 10 with a couple of minutes left in the game," Holmgren said. "You should win those. We have lost two of them this year, and it might prevent us from getting into the playoffs, who knows?
"Our season isn't over, I told you that, but those are two games that you had a chance to win, and we couldn't close the door, and it might end up hurting us in the end."
SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS
The excruciating nature of Monday night's loss left RB Shaun Alexander searching for answers immediately following the game. In fact, Alexander said he wasn't even sure what coach Mike Holmgren said to the team in his post-game speech.
"To be honest, I am so numb right now that I didn't hear a word, but I know that he coached his butt off and we played as hard as we could, and we just lost a very close game," Alexander managed.
Seattle led 14-13, trailed 29-14, led 39-29 and lost 43-39.
"It was just one of those things where you felt like we had weathered the storm," Alexander said. "We had got hot, and went through some storms, and then came back out of it. For us to end like that, it's a tough break."
FACING THE MASTER
WR Jerry Rice is making people forget about suspended WR Koren Robinson. Rice caught eight passes for 145 yards and a TD on Monday night, numbers Robinson reached only once this season. Rice is becoming more comfortable in the offense with each passing week. His biggest challenge is avoiding injuries. He took some shots against the Cowboys on Monday night, and the short week could test his 42-year-old body.
Seattle Sounds A Theme Familiar To Vikings
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