Saturday, October 31, 2015

Closing out October

Yikes! October is almost gone. We have some catching up to do.
Coleman's first NFL touchdown on Monday Night Football

Happy Belated Birthday to Derrick Coleman (born 10/18/90), Seattle's starting fullback since 2013, and the first deaf player in NFL history.

An undrafted free agent out of UCLA, he is a capable blocker and receiver who also contributes on special teams.

The day after his birthday, Seattle lifted a suspension for his involvement in a vehicular hit-and-run earlier this month. Further discipline is possible depending on the outcome of the official investigation. Seahawks Diehard wishes the victim a swift and complete recovery, and cautiously extends the benefit of the doubt to Coleman until the authorities resolve the matter.

Hunter making a tackle as a rookie in 1986
Happy Belated Birthday also to my man Patrick Hunter (born 10/24/64), a Seahawks defensive back from 1986-1994.

A third-rounder from Nevada, he started at right corner from 1989-93. Hunter was a serviceable starter: a sure tackler, but not a shutdown corner or a turnover generator. On Sunday Night Football in October 1991, he intercepted Jay Schroeder of the Raiders and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown to give Seattle a 17-0 lead. (Unfortunately, Jeff Kemp's terrible quarterbacking that day blew the lead and the Seahawks lost in overtime.)

Hunter finished his career as a teammate of Dave Krieg in Arizona during the Cardinals' ill-fated 1995 campaign.

Daniels making Raiders reserves look silly in preseason
HBB to my man Seattle Slash--BJ Daniels (born 10/24/89)--a backup quarterback/wideout/kick returner/kick coverage man for Seattle since 2013.

San Francisco spent a 7th-round pick on this intriguing prospect from South Florida that year, but the Seahawks soon snatched him from their practice squad.

Ever since, Daniels has bounced back and forth between our active roster and our practice squad. Having cleared waivers again last week, he is currently on the practice squad. Last offseason, Daniels added wide receiver and special teams duties to his portfolio, but he still looked great running the offense in the last preseason game, despite not having had any reps under center for months. Let's not squander his athletic potential the way we failed to capitalize on Seneca Wallace's.

John Williams scores as a Panther in 1984
HBB to my man John Williams (born 10/26/60).

No, not the movie music composer.

Not the versatile 21st-century CFL running back, either.

And not John L. Williams, the longtime Seahawk and Pro Bowl fullback.

No, I mean John A. Williams, a Seattle running back from 1985-86. A Wisconsin product, he played as a reserve in the USFL from 1983-84 for the Michigan Panthers and in spring 1985 for the Oakland Invaders. When the USFL folded, Williams caught on in the NFL as a backup running back and kickoff returner for the Cowboys.

Seattle somehow acquired him that November. On December 1, 1985, he carried the ball once for two yards, his modest contribution to a 24-6 obliteration of the Chiefs in the Kingdome. It was also the only touch of his short career in Seattle. He returned for training camp in 1986. That preseason, Seattle fans struggled initially to distinguish between running back John A. Williams and rookie fullback John L. Williams, but the cutting of the former and the astonishing badassitude of the latter soon definitively clarified matters.

The Saints promptly picked up John Alan Williams, but he played little and 1986 was his last season in the league.
Kasay kicking with his customary accuracy in 1991

HBB to my man John Kasay (born 10/27/69), Seattle's placekicker from 1991-94. 

Most Seahawks fans scratched their heads when the team spent a fourth-round pick on Kasay when we already had a beloved Pro Bowl kicker in Norm Johnson, AKA Mr. Automatic. In retrospect, it is clear that this was part of new owner Ken Behring's calculated dismantling of the team (also jettisoned: Dave Krieg & Chuck Knox), but the franchise called it competition and, despite a great training camp by the incumbent, declared the equally impressive newcomer as the winner. 

Although Seattle fans were sorry to see Mr. Automatic go, we could not complain about Kasay's performance. He never made the Pro Bowl as a Seahawks, but he proved statistically superior as Seattle's kicker, and had a particular knack for long-shot 50+ yard field goals. However, the team's overall performance in those years was pretty poor, so he never won hearts the way Johnson had. 

In 1995, Kasay became a charter member of the expansion Carolina Panthers and remained with the team through 2010. He interrupted his retirement to help the Saints through 2011.  

Richard Sherman & Earl Thomas III appreciating Coach Kris Richard during Super Bowl XLIX 
HBB to my man Kris Richard (born 10/29/79), a reserve cornerback from 2002-04 and a defensive coach since 2012.

After playing for Pete Carroll at USC, Richard was a third-round bust--one of many underwhelming picks that helped Mike Holmgren lose the GM gig. Richard barely played as a rookie, aside from returning a few punts. In 2003, his sole career start came in Cincinnati, a narrow loss in which our secondary surrendered two touchdowns to Jon Kitna. Later that season, Richard recorded his sole career highlight, a corner blitz to sack Kelly Holcomb in a rousing home blowout of the Browns. Richard played even less in San Francisco from 2005-06 and failed to make the cut with Oakland in 2007. However, in 2008, he found his real calling as an assistant to Pete Carroll at USC. From 2012-14, he joined Carroll in Seattle, where Richard helped build the Legion of Boom and win two conference championships and one Super Bowl. This year, he has had a tougher time as defensive coordinator, with the Seahawks falling to 2-4 by blowing several fourth-quarter leads, but his unit's impressive performance in Santa Clara offers some hope that the Legion of Boom might have found their sea legs now.

Moffitt as a rookie blocking for Beast Mode
HBB to John Moffitt (born 10/29/86), an offensive guard for Seattle from 2011-12.

A third-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2011, Moffitt started nine games as a rookie until a knee injury sidelined him. While hurt, he lost four game checks for using performance-enhancing drugs. 

He began 2012 on the bench, but Seattle went 7-1 in the six regular season and two playoff games he started.

Moffitt blocks well on the run, but is suspect in pass protection. That is to say, he would fit right in on Seattle's current O-Line. 

Photo credit: Chicago Police Department
But the Seahawks traded Moffitt to Denver in 2013, both because he failed to distinguish himself on the field and because getting drunk, urinating on other people's cars and getting banned from East Side malls reflected poorly on the organization.

He played in only two games for Denver before quitting in mid-season, claiming that he no longer wished to sacrifice his health for football and saying he did not care that he had blown a chance to play in a Super Bowl. His articulate critique of football as a cynical blood sport attracted national media attention from NPR and ESPN

However, in March of 2014, Moffitt hit rock bottom, getting arrested for punching a guy who confronted him for dealing weed, coke and Ecstacy at a Chicago nightclub. In rehab, he rediscovered his love for football and mounted a comeback in Philadelphia, but he failed to make the final cut. The Diehard wishes Moffitt the best.

Clemons sacked Rogers again & again & again & again
HBB to my man Chris Clemons (born 10/30/81), a Seahawks defensive end from 2010-13. This undrafted and unheralded journeyman had bounced around the NFL and logged only three starts from 2003-09, but Pete Carroll and John Schneider saw something in him. They took him from Philadelphia's bench and made him a starter in Seattle. The speed pass rusher responded by racking up 54 sacks in four seasons and contributing to the team's victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. His finest moment? In 2012, Clemons won NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for sacking Aaron Rodgers four times in the second quarter of the glorious so-called Fail Mary game on Monday Night Football. He followed Gus Bradley to Jacksonville and continues to start for the Jaguars.

Obomanu doing some special teams dirty work
Last, but not least, HBB to my man Ben Obomanu (b. 10/30/83), a Seahawk stalwart from 2006-12. GM Tim Ruskell took a flyer on the Auburn Tiger in the 7th round in 2006. Relegated to the practice squad as a rookie, he joined the active roster in 2007 and began contributing as a backup wideout, special teams cover man and occasional kick returner in 2007 and 2009. He missed the entire 2008 season after breaking his collarbone in preseason. 

In November of 2010, Obomanu broke into the starting lineup opposite Mike Williams, not because he was that good, but because our receiving corps was that bad, and because his tenacity blocking outside and down the field endeared him to Pete Carroll.

Still, Obomanu had his moments. In a loss to the Chiefs, Matt Hasselbeck completed five passes to him for 169 yards, including a memorable 72-yard scoring bomb.

Clipboard Jesus threw 4 to Obomanu for 107 yards in 2011
The receiver played a key role in Seattle's improbable 2010 division title and Wild Card win over the defending champion Saints. On the Beast Quake, Obomanu went in motion and stuck his block on Pro Bowl strong safety Roman Harper, helping to create the hole through which Marshawn Lynch ran.

He continued to start sporadically during the dismal 2011 season. That year, Charlie Whitehurst helped him log the second and final 100-yard receiving day of his career in a loss to Cincinnati.

He concluded his career as a reserve for the New York Jets in 2012-13. Early in the 2013 campaign, he tempted fate by becoming the first player to don #15 after Tim Tebow; Obomanu got cut shortly thereafter. He recently enrolled in law school at the University of Alabama.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Guest post by King Mortstar

Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby introduce the first guest blogger in Seahawks Diehard history, my man Chris Mortenson, AKA King Mortstar, my brother, lifelong friend and mentor who provided my earliest education in the sport of football and the mysteries of the NFL. Witness his concise wisdom:

Chris Mortenson
King Mortstar
The Seahawks have their work cut out for them going on the road to the Jerry Dome this Sunday. After salvaging what remains of their blemished stumble out of the gate (due largely to blown 4th quarter leads), Seattle has the gift of this blessed opportunity to take care of business against a homo-less (ex-squeeze me "Romo-less") Dallas squad minus their good luck charm...GO HAWKS !!!  Mortstar sez SEATTLE 23, DALLAS 13...WARNING: this game is indoors, so AVOID the O/U this could be a shootout !!!

Smugly heterosexual

Ouch. King, we don't normally crack homophobic jokes in this joint. We like to keep Seahawks Diehard as enlightened as the Emerald City itself. Romo's sexual preference doesn't matter, but for the record, the dude dated Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood and is now married, so I'm pretty sure he's straight.

When it comes to Romo as an athlete, I actually have some sympathy for the guy. He's a good quarterback who's won a lot of games, but his past propensity to choke in big games had made him widely loathed by the Cowboys fan base. At a conference in Texas a couple years back, I polled a room full of 60-80 Dallas fans, and not a single one of them had a kind word to say for Romo. Their consensus was that the quarterback has only one fan: Jerry Jones, but that's the only support he needs, because that's the man who signs the checks.
Fond memory
It reminded me a little bit of how unfair Seahawks fans treated Dave Krieg back in the '80s. Except that Mudbone never got paid like Romo, unfortunately.

I suspect the Cowboys fans are reconsidering and missing Romo & Dez Bryant by now. Dallas had a credible Super Bowl shot back in August, but those injuries have helped land the Cowboys in the NFC East cellar, making playoff contention look like a distant and doubtful prospect.

Later in the week I'll post my own preview of the Cowboys contest, focusing on the athletes who will take the field.

Go, Hawks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Niners buried alive, left for dead

Elation: Last Thursday's beatdown of Santa Clara was thoroughly satisfying.

Bifurcation: Although both teams came in with the same record, Seattle pretty comprehensively showed how vast a gulf of talent and will can gape between two teams with the same winning percentage.

Restoration: The Legion of Boom roared back with a vengeance. 

Elimination: Richard Sherman returned to All-Pro shutdown corner form, completely erasing Torrey Smith, Santa Clara's #1 receiver. Sherman held Smith to zero catches on one target.

Redemption: Cary Williams, typically the weekly weakly victim of our secondary, stepped up and held future Hall of Famer Anquan Boldin to just one catch, despite several targets. (The wideout caught two more balls while covered by other Seahawk defenders.)

Decapitation: Strong safety Kam Chancellor intimidated, as usual.

Predation: In the open field, free safety Earl Thomas III and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner streaked like lasers to level opposing ball carriers.
After one of these sacks, Bennett kissed his biceps a la Kaepernick
Domination: Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril dominated the line of scrimmage, combining for five sacks on one of the league's most mobile quarterbacks, plus four tackles for loss against Santa Clara runners.

Frustration: Seattle held the 49ers to a mere 61 yards rushing. Santa Clara punter Bradley Pinion saw more action than James Bond, as his team kicked the ball away more times (10) than they made first downs (8). (By the way, "Pinion" is the best surname ever for a player at that position.)

Suffocation: There were no interceptions because the dominant defensive display completely cowed Colin Kaepernick, who did not dare attempt a bold pass at any point. Nor did he ever try to run with the ball. In the face of a fierce Seattle defense, his paralyzing fear of failure completely precluded the possibility of success for the 49er offense.

Expropriation: Seattle completely bogarted time of possession to the tune of 38:05 to Santa Clara's 21:55.
Resistance is futile
Devastation: The O-Line put together another solid night of run blocking, and Beast Mode made an unmistakable statement by grinding out 122 hard-earned yards--nearly half of them coming after contact--plus a touchdown. 

Incineration: Quarterback Russell Wilson torched Santa Clara twice, with a 36-yarder to Jermaine Kearse, plus the 43-yard touchdown bomb to Tyler Lockett.

Contemplation: If quarterback Russell Wilson and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell had made better decisions, 

Seattle would have hung a fortyburger on Santa Clara. This matters not because running up the score is intrinsically good, but because our offense needs the reps to best better defenses going forward. Scoring 17 points in the first half is good; scoring only a field goal in the second half is simply unacceptable.

DangeRuss played well overall, but he still takes more sacks than he should. Pass protection remains poor, but Bevell continues to fail to install schemes to help Wilson escape our eternally collapsing pocket.

Recriminations: Neither of Wilson's interceptions were necessary. Both stemmed from greed, hubris and poor judgement. 

Baldwin was triple-covered, but Tramaine Brock was wide open
The first pick came with Seattle leading 17-0 on 2nd and 10 on the Santa Clara 20 with less than a minute remaining in the first half. The 49ers were playing zone. DangeRuss rolled right to escape the pressure and had plenty of time to scan the field. He saw Doug Baldwin come open briefly, with three defenders quickly converging on him in the right corner of the end zone. That's where Wilson forced the ball.

If he had glanced to a little to the left, the quarterback would have seen Jermaine Kearse wide open in the middle of the end zone, which is why the Husky alumnus was in such good position to tackle cornerback Tramaine Brock after interception for the touchback. 

DangeRuss might not have seen Kearse, but he must have seen Chris Matthews hanging near the right sideline at the 10-yard line, as alone as Coleridge's ancient mariner, with not a single defender within twelve yards of him, his thirst for the end zone unslaked, his black hands ready to take the ball and bake the 49ers. There are few safer throws in football. If Wilson had gone that way, then Hardball would have either scored or gotten tackled out of bounds to stop the clock: First and goal for Seattle inside the 5-yard-line with 0:45 and one timeout remaining. 

Why force the ball to a triple-covered receiver when you have two wide open options and you're ahead 17-0? C'mon, Man!

Bad throw by DangeRuss, but nice catch by Santa Clara corner Kenneth Acker

We still led 17-0 when Wilson threw the second pick in the third quarter. On 2nd down with 6 yards to go on the Seattle 35, DangeRuss had to slide left to avoid the pass rush. He forced the ball to a double-covered Jermaine Kearse when he could have thrown the ball away or tossed it to Marshawn Lynch, who was open in the right flat.

Refutation: Let's dissect Wilson's take on that second interception:

"We had a deep play. Jermaine and I kind of got confused a little bit." We were all confused, Russ. You threw at a double-covered receiver.

"I think he thought I was scrambling..." You were scrambling. Kearse should have broken off his route and come back to you, because both defensive backs were in front of him and he had no chance of overtaking them.

" I was trying to get him a shot..." He was double-covered.  The way you threw it, he had no shot at the ball. Just toss it away and try your luck on third down. Or dump it to Beast Mode for a big gain.

"...and we were off on the timing of the original play, I felt like." This was not an issue of timing. Receivers don't get much more covered than Kearse was
Not his finest moment
"I put it up in the air, and it's OK." It was a bad throw. Turnovers are never OK.

"It's one of those things, a long punt I guess." Thanks, but we've got Jon Ryan for that.

"The cool thing is giving those guys a chance." The 49ers?  

"I put it a little too far." Finally, some candor. But being off target would not have mattered if you had made the right mental decision.

"We've got to be in attack mode, and I'm not going to shy away from that." I dig me some attack mode, but throwing into double coverage is not attack mode. It's self-injurious behavior. We were lucky it didn't hurt us this time.

I have long argued that the best aspect of Wilson's game is his beautiful mind, and continue to believe that, last week's aberrations notwithstanding. DangeRuss will revert to his customary excellent judgement and avoid repeating those mistakes.
Action Jackson & Beast Mode back in their Buffalo days
Running Back Blues... and Reds
While Beast Mode appears fully recovered, the rest of backfield is in some disarray, with fullback Derrick Coleman suspended for a hit-and-run, backup tailback Thomas Rawls ailing from a calf injury and the hulking Will Tukuafu still splitting time between backup fullback and reserve defensive lineman. 
It appeared that Fred Jackson might face some discipline for crashing his Corvette into a stop sign--the journalistic giants at TMZ claimed he had been racing Marshawn Lynch at the time--but Renton police debunked that notion and concluded their investigation of the incident.
As insurance against the injury to Rawls, Seattle signed Bryce Brown, a Buffalo castoff who joins fellow former Bills alumni Beast Mode and Action Jackson in the Seahawks backfield.
BJ Daniels, a once and once again but not anymore Seahawk
Whither Art Thou, BJ?
I wish the Seahawks would stop waiving BJ Daniels every time they need to free up a roster spot. If Wilson were ever to get injured--a distinct possibility considering the pounding he's taking this year--we shall surely need him. 

Daniels and Tarvaris Jackson each saw only limited action at QB during the preseason. Because of T-Jack's high ankle sprain, BJ played quarterback without preparation after having practiced the entire offseason as a wideout and kick returner. In that small sample, Daniels looked a lot better running the offense than Jackson did.

In the meantime, BJ contributes on special teams and as a receiver. I regard him as more valuable than Ricardo Lockette or Chris Matthews, and I really like those two guys.

I fear that some other team might pick up Daniels, for his versatility, for inside intelligence on Seattle's schemes, and because a lot of teams--like BJ's original team, the 49ers--desperately need better options under center.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tailfeathers against the wall

The Seahawks seem to be improving every game, but we're still not winning.

Last Sunday featured a few major offensive breakthroughs. For the first time, we saw tight end Jimmy Graham dominate as a receiver in a Seattle uniform, catching eight of the twelve passes thrown his way for 140 yards. The Ginger Giant even stretched the field with a spectacular 45-yard reception. He and Russell Wilson still need to work on increasing the ratio of catches to targets, but the Carolina game represented a very good start.

In the third quarter, Ricardo Lockette made an incredibly clutch catch, leaping high while reaching low to snatch a touchdown from the jaws of a probable pick; the Rocket robbed a Panthers defender who had been ideally positioned to intercept the slightly underthrown ball.

However, the rest of the receiving corps pretty much failed to show up. Baldwin caught three balls on four targets for just 23 receiving yards. Wilson threw at Jermaine Kearse thrice and Tyler Lockett twice, but neither caught a single ball. When your top three wideouts combine to catch 33% of their targets for 23 yards, your offense is in serious trouble. Twenty-three receiving yards would be poor production for just one quarter of football; over the course of an entire game, it's downright pathetic.

Shoddy pass protection remains a huge part of the problem. Our quarterback's nickname--DangeRuss--best describes the perilous state of the pocket. Wilson threw and ran well, but he still needs better blocking and some planned rollouts and screen passes to punish opponents who blitz too much (i.e., every defense we play until we make them pay for it).

Marshawn Lynch ran tough and busted into the end zone once, but I rued Coach Carroll's failure to feed Baby Beast Mode. Before the game, he had suggested that he would get Thomas Rawls about ten carries in relief of Lynch. In the end, the rookie had only one carry that counted. (A Russel Okung holding penalty nullified one impressive Rawls run.) I'm glad that Lynch wanted to stay in the game and carry the ball--true competitors resist substitution--but his hamstring clearly wasn't 100%, and I'm a big fan of fresh legs. At this point, Baby Beast Mode has a bigger burst of speed than his mentor. If I were running the offense, I would hammer opposing defenses by relentlessly rotating Lynch and Rawls.

Seattle's defense made a number of impressive plays. We held off Carolina for most of the game. The Seahawks forced five punts. and two Panthers drives ended in interceptions--one by Kam Chancellor, the other by Earl Thomas III. Bruce Irvin resumed his role as Cam Newton's nemesis, sacking him twice and playing decent pass defense, too.

But it wasn't enough. Seattle gave up too many points. Miscommunication between defensive coordinator Kris Richard and the Legion of Boom caused the blown coverage that allowed Newton to throw the touchdown that sealed the game.

Within the hour, we face the 49ers. San Francisco has been awful this year (they're 2-4, just like us), but their fans have been swaggering around the Bay Area the last few days, talking smack and predicting victory tonight. The Seahawks need to make them pay for their hubris.

Go, Hawks!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

All Hail the Mighty Mudbone

Happy Birthday to my main man Dave Krieg (b. 1958), perhaps the most undersung quarterback in NFL history, and still my favorite Seahawk ever.

During his tenure, neither the fans nor the team appreciated the grit, heart and athleticism that Mudbone brought to the field. When he ran on the field during pregame introductions at the Kingdome, the 12th Man booed lustily. Ground Chuck's autobiography Hard Knox--published in 1988, when Krieg was still the starting quarterback--mentions Mudbone only twice, in both cases to cite interceptions he threw that doomed Seattle in the playoffs. Knox benched him a few times, and the front office kept trying to upgrade the position through trades and the draft, but Krieg kept battling back and winning the starting job by winning games.

3 Pro Bowls, 3 playoff berths, Ring of Honor, division title,,,
Of course, in retrospect, Krieg's performance helped produce the only real success the franchise ever experienced until Coach Holmgren came to town. When Seattle cut him loose, other teams were happy to snap him up and exploit his skills.

Krieg was a phenomenal athlete. In the late '80s, the Seahawks came to my school--Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way--to play a charity basketball game. No one expected it, but the best athlete on the court was not anyone tall or fast. It was Mudbone, playing point guard like a half-pint Steve Nash in short shorts, nailing shots like a cold-blooded assassin.

I wrote most of the Wikipedia article on Krieg, which pretty comprehensively recounts other cool stuff about Mudbone.
Add caption

Happy Birthday also to my man Gregg Johnson--born the very same day in 1958--a reserve cornerback for Seattle from 1981-83 and again in 1986. He played for the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in between, and ended his career with the Cardinals in 1987, their last season in St. Louis.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Debacle in the Queen City

Hello It’s Me.

It is I, actually, is What I Meant to Say, but when I find my grammatical exactitude Getting Out of Hand, I try to make like Elsa and Let It Go.

It's good to Be With You again. I've been Waiting For You.

So, I've posted about Everything this week except last Sunday Morning's loss to the Bengals.

Never fear, faithful reader: I'm All About You. I'm Here Right Now. You can Call On MeI Will Take Care of You. All I've Got to Do is give you Some Truth and then I'll Set You Free.

Don't get me wrong. I live in the Real World. It's Not Like You spent the week Lost at Sea or Under a CloudWatching the Sky, Walking Down Your StreetStanding in the Hallway, Sitting Still or Restless In Your Room, raging about the Silent Treatment you were getting from Seahawks Diehard on the Cincy game, thinking It's Lonely Out Here and wondering Where Were You When I Needed You?

I am Grateful that you are Following this blog. I realize that no one expects to find anything but Second Hand News about the Seahawks here.

Before we get into the meat of the game, Tell Me, have you ever noticed that some NFL talking heads can't pronounce the name of the Cincinnati mascot? Troy Aikman, for example--who provided color commentary during last week's broadcast--always says "Bangles," which makes me laugh every time, because it conjures up a host of incongruous associations.

I suppose I should explain the tardiness of this Post. Despite the holiday, it was a Manic Monday for me--I'd just returned from a Grand Adventure on the east coast and it proved impossible to fit in Everything I Wanted: I had to catch up at work, update this blog and my new history blog, spend time with the Ball N Chain and my Darling One, and make sure my Good Son made it to ukulele practice. I already had a clear idea of what I wanted to write about the Bengals game, but I had to Save It For Later. What a Life.

Six days after the fact, it's hard to think of Something New to write, but perhaps I can help you see the loss In a Different Light. There was certainly More Than Meets the Eye there.

The main lesson I drew from the contest was that We BelongThe Kids Are Alright. Seattle is Falling, but we're not Free Fallin'.

I have Unconditional Love for the Seahawks, but I fully expected them to Crash and Burn in Cincinnati. Having barely handled Detroit at home, I didn't think we stood a chance against the undefeated Bengals This Time in an east coast game with a 10:00 AM kickoff, especially with Beast Mode on the bench.

The Hero Takes a Fall every time we visit the "Queen City." We only play the Bengals once every four years, and Lynch almost never misses games, but the Kid sat out in Cincy four years ago, too. Maybe He’s Got a Secret crush on Marvin Lewis, or a Sweet and Tender Romance with the Sweetheart of the Sun Andy Dalton. Perhaps he can't decipher the Mixed Messages and choose Between the Two. On the other hand, Beast Mode marches to the beat of a Different Drum; he is a Complicated Girl--not like those September Gurls--and If She Knew What She Wants, she'd realize that Angels Don’t Fall in Love. Just remember, Marshawn, I'm in Line. Couldn’t I Just Tell You? I'm Weak with Love. Stuck in the Middle with You. You're So Vain; you know I can't resist your Big Brown EyesGirls Talk, but They Don't Know about us, yet, and we should keep it that way. Our Lips Are SealedAll I Need is for you to Picture Me on your arm One Day. That's OK--I know I'm not much to look at. On second thought, You Can Close Your Eyes. Anyway, if you just say the word, I can be Single By ChoiceI’ll Never Be Through with You. Are you Made of Stone?

So Much for Love.

I honestly did not expect Seattle to show up as well as we did. When Cincinnati's first drive bifurcated our defense like a hot knife through butter, I thought we were finished. But Coach Carroll and Kris Richard adapted--most notably by letting Richard Sherman cover A.J. Green every play--and Seattle defenders made me Open My Eyes and gave us Something to Believe In

After that initial drive, the Legion of Boom Mesmerized, reminding us that Some Dreams Come True. Seattle defenders effectively contained the Bengals until the fourth quarter, forcing several punts, two clutch turnovers and four sacks of the Red Rocket. Earl Thomas III ended Seattle's interception drought; it was a shame that his electric pick return got erased by Michael Bennett brutalization of Dalton. (The only part I didn't like was that Bennett started with a block in the back. Everything else was legit. It's No Kind of Love, but when a quarterback throws a pick he becomes just another defender, and you can block him.) Big Michael redeemed himself later with a forced fumble to set up Bobby Wagner to Go All the Way with a scoop and score.

At first, it looked like the Seattle offense might hold up their end of the bargain. At the outset of the game, I thought I must be Dreaming, because we were moving the ball. In the first half. We haven't done that all year. The O-Line came to life, providing solid run blocking Baby Beast Mode Thomas Rawls. It was the first time all year I didn't find myself missing James Carpenter.

Alas, neither unit resembled an Eternal Flame; the offense stalled after the first half, and the defense faded in the fourth quarter and failed in overtime. 

Was it painful? Indubitably. That's Why Girls Cry, and boys, too, if they're Seahawks fans. Even six days later, I Wanna Be Sedated. Blowing a 17-point lead makes you want to Tear Off Your Own HeadLay Yourself Down for a depressed nap, or go all Bell Jar and stick your head in the oven.

But it's not so bad that I Need a Disguise as a Seahawks fan.

It is becoming increasingly hard to believe that This Will Be Our Year. Maybe Those Days Are Over. Perhaps the Glitter Years are behind us.

I am convinced, however, that we can be More Than This.

I look at winning teams--especially the undefeated ones, and wonder, How Is the Air Up There? It is crowded at the top of the NFC, with two undefeated teams and two one-loss teams likely to lock up three of the four divisions and One of Two wild card spots. A lot can change between now and the end of the season, but Seattle needs to start winning now if we hope to have a shot at the second wild card slot or--if Arizona stumbles--the division crown.

How Soon Is Now? Tomorrow. In our house. This Is the PlaceI’ve Seen All Good People/Your Move, 12th Man. I See the Rain in my mind's eye, Raining, drenching Carolina's hopes. I would bet Everything I Own on us winning tomorrow, but I won't.

When the November Sun shines on this team, will we still be in contention? What about when The Warmth of the Sun fades and a Hazy Shade of Winter descends on the hemisphere?

Our offense is so two-dimensional, I almost expect to see our players Walk Like an Egyptian with hieroglyphic word bubbles floating overhead, telegraphing offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's vanilla calls to our opponents.

Unless Bevell aspires to be the King of Tragedy, he needs to make a change. I've been preaching it here for months: get DangeRuss out of the pocket on some designed runs and rollouts. 

Even the Eyes of a Baby could see that asking Jimmy Graham to block is pointless. Catching passes is his Happy Place and his Only Love.

I'm not Holding My Breath, but winning is Always Enough.

All the Young Dudes need to be Willin’ to pull it together. Sometimes I wish the Seahawks would think about their mothers at critical junctures during games and psych themselves up to Make a Play For Her Now. The Seahawks need to spread their Enormous Wings and take flight. All I Want is that the Boys Keep Swinging for the fences.

By the way, I would love to see more dialog on this blog. I'm not the kind of writer who says, Ask Me No Questions. Your comments are always welcome. Just take the time to respond or share Something That You Said.