Seahawks Dig Deep In Belief, Fend Off Vikings, 27-26, And Make History

Don’t stop believing.

Here is a medical fact that I have always found very interesting. Statistically speaking, people of faith stand a better chance fighting through major illness, surgery, and recovery than people who are not believers. This is why surgeons will often ask a patient, or a patient’s family if they are a person of faith.

I know this from a personal perspective because two decades ago, my father, a man who was in his mid seventies at the time, had to have open heart surgery to repair three arteries. He was a big lad, and so barrel chested that x-rays had not detected two other arteries that needed repair. What this means is that once the surgeon got in there, the medical team suddenly had to take emergency measures to repair these additional arteries that they had not anticipated, and what was thought to be a fairly routine procedure quickly became a harrowing one.

I will never forget seeing the blank expression of this surgeon as he met us in the waiting room afterwards. We had a feeling something was up because the event went much longer than what was estimated.

He looked at us, and he said that he had good news and bad. He told us what had happened and he explained to us that the next 48 hours would be critical in his recovery and it could go one way or the other. He then asked my mother if our dad was a man of faith. When she answered yes, I witnessed an expression of some relief on this man of science’s face. He simply said “good” and then referenced the medical stat of those who believe over those who don’t.

My father survived this surgery, and it provided him a few more years to be with his family. We were fortunate. All of this brings me to the Seattle Seahawks, and this game against the Minnesota Vikings.

No team in professional sports wins the power of belief game better than the Seattle Seahawks do. Read that sentence again, if you need to do that. Take has much time as you need to process it.

There is no team in professional sports that wins by the power of believing more than the Seattle Seahawks. Not the New England Patriots, not the Golden State Warriors, and God bless them for just winning their fourth title, but probably not even the Seattle Storm.

The decade long success of the Seattle Seahawks is built on this culture. It’s a culture built with the foundation of positivity. The architect of this culture is head coach Pete Carroll, and his superintendent is quarterback Russell Wilson. If you are still skeptical about this foundation, if you still doubt its sustainability, you are just simply living in denial now. They have way too much history on their side.

This is the fundamental, undeniable formula for their success. It is led by two men who refuse to believe that they will not pull out a victory at the end of tightly contested matches, no matter how improbable the feat might actually be, and it’s an infectious belief that spreads through the sidelines onto the field. When the going gets tough, they lock in, and they believe, and they win these sort of nail biters more times than not.

It’s magic. The Seattle Seahawks win countless nail biting games with this magic, and this game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football was no different than many, many others.

By most metrics, the Minnesota Vikings should have walked out of Century Link Field with a win. In fact, had they settled for a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down during the final minutes of the game, that field goal would have given them an eight point lead ,and it would have forced Seattle to not only have to score a touchdown, but to also go for a two point conversion just to get this game into overtime, and hopefully win the coin toss because their defense was pretty much gassed completely. Had Minnesota kicked the field goal, their win probability would have been nearly a hundred percent. Instead they went for it, and somehow, magically, Seattle’s struggling run defense stuffed it out, and gave Russell Wilson a chance to score.

No team wins the power of belief game better than the Seattle Seahawks do. They did it again in this game, and they made history by going 5-0 for the first time even in it’s franchise history.

Here are my thoughts.

The Good

Russell Wilson wasn’t his sharpest. I was worried that this offense was going to lean into him too much in this one. I sniffed that trap. Wet weather hasn’t been his best friend over the years at Century Link, and seeing how statistically poor the Viking defense had been against the run this year, I thought this would be a game Seattle should lean into Chris Carson more. When Russell started chasing deep balls against two of the best safeties in the league, I was prepared to have to write about a Seattle loss where Russ cooked up a grilled poop sandwich. Instead, Seattle made decent enough second half adjustments, Russ took more of what the defense was giving him, and he ended up having yet another great MVP level sort of second, capped by a dramatic fourth down game winning touchdown pass. Bravo, Chef Russ.

DK Metcalf is my player of the game. He was clutch as a receiver can be in the second half, hauling in big chunk plays and two touchdown grabs, including the game winner. I have said this before, but I will say it again; DK Metcalf is a superstar in the making. The ceiling of his potential in this league is off the charts high. He is just still scratching the surface of that potential. Soak in that for a bit.

Seattle got a great game from defensive tackle Jarran Reed. He might have been the best player on the defense on Sunday Night, and that is taking nothing away from KJ Wright, and Bobby Wagner, and a few others. Reed was disruptive against the run and pass. He didn’t get any sacks, but he created opportunity for others, and made plays on his own. I’m going to be excited to watch how having Damon Snacks Harrison lining up next to him will look like after the bye week. Snacks should make Reed better. A lot better.

Benson Mayowa also had another good game rushing the passer, getting that critical fourth down stop, and also the game clinching strip sack in the final seconds. Some fans have been down on the Mayowa signing, but I have been pleased with it. While he’s not a game wrecker, he looks like a Seattle rush end. I think he’s going to get better as the season wears on.

KJ Wright had another terrific game, Bobby Wagner was active, and Cody Barton probably had his best game as a professional linebacker. While he’s not an intimidating tackler like the other two, Barton plays coverage well, and he played the run much better in this match. The team probably wants to get rookie linebacker Jordyn Brooks back into the lineup as soon as they can, but this was a much better outing for Barton.

Ryan Neil had another nice game filling in at safety. It will be interesting to see how the team uses him once Jamal Adams gets back. Neil has shown a consistent knack to be around the ball. His play tends to stand out on the screen, maybe even more than others in the backfield.

Chris Carson had a great game running and catching. I will say this now; I think Seattle should strongly consider extending his contract. I know that in the modern NFL you’re not supposed to drop big cheddar on running backs, but this guy is special, and I think he just fits what Carroll wants out of a back too well to see him walk at the end of season. Just my view.

The 49ers got their butts whooped by the Dolphins. Go Fins.

The Bad

Seattle had an opportunity to lean in to Carson and the run game more and they squandered it away far too often by chasing big pass plays against a defense that isn’t good at stopping the run, but has great safety play to take away the deep pass. Had Seattle lost this match, I would spent a lot of time griping about that in this piece. However, Seattle managed to find enough ways to magically win, so I won’t, but I still will.. just a little.

Seattle could have ran more against this Minnesota defense, and they probably could have ran with ease. This would have chewed more clock, kept their defense fresher, and made third downs more manageable for Russell Wilson. I feel like they got swept up too much in the Let Russ Cook thingy, and it nearly bit them in the ass. If they aren’t careful, it could do it in a game later in the season when much more is at stake. I hope that they go into the bye week thinking about that.

I’m all for letting Russ cook, but not for the sake of it. I’m about this team winning significantly more. Simply, I think that they would have likely won this game more handily had they just stayed more balanced with the run. This is the one big bad thing that I took away from this game.

The Ugly

The offensive line had a rougher game pass blocking. It’s one thing to have a rough outing against Dallas that has Aldon Smith and Everson Griffen, and Demarcus Lawrence, but it’s another thing to give up four sacks against a Minnesota defensive line that has Yannick Ngakoue and a bag of roasted almonds. Seeing roasted almonds sacking Russell Wilson was not fun, but Russ hanging onto the ball long enough so that roasted almonds could sack him also wasn’t fun. I will let you decide who should be blamed more. It just sucks knowing the roasted almonds can sack your star quarterback on any given Sunday.

Moving Forward

The Seattle Seahawks head into their bye week going 5-0 for the first time in their franchise history. Say what you want about the state of their defense, lack of consistent pass rush, at times leaky coverage, etc. Complain all you need to about how they are not blowing out other teams. 5-0 is an impressive accomplishment.

The bye week comes at an ideal time. Players who have fought hard can rest, and players that this team badly needs to get back onto the field can get healthy enough to play. Having Jamal Adams on the field is going to help this defense immensely. Having Snacks Harrison in the middle of the defensive line with Jarran Reed is going to be huge in a NFC West division where all their rivals love to run the ball. Having Jordyn Brooks on the field will help against the run, as well.

Having this bye week also provides an opportunity for Pete Carroll and the organization to self scout and adjust, and just possibly bring in a new face or two from the outside to help. Atlanta just fired Dan Quinn, and it’s a logical thought that Carroll might try to coax Quinn to come back on board to help his defense, even if it is just a consultant gig for the rest of the year. Quinn might love the opportunity to reset in the PNW with the club that he won a Super Bowl title with as a coordinator. This is something to monitor over the next few days.

Also, I think there still is a fairly decent chance that they could pull off a trade for a player on another club who is seeing their season now officially going down the drain. Maybe Seattle convinces Washington to now deal pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan? I could see a move like this potentially happening within the next week. This would be the ideal time for general manager John Schneider to act. We shall see.

But for now, believe in these Seattle Seahawks, or don’t believe in them. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the foundation of belief that they continue to thrive with, and where it might take them.

I gotta feeling about this club. It’s a special one, and it’s one that I haven’t felt this strongly about since 2013. So, there we have it.

Go Hawks.


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