Just after Brandon Marshall somehow hauled in that unbelievable 56 yard completion near the end of regulation, my dad turned to me and said "well, if Seattle misses the playoffs, this is the play we'll look back on." Of course, Seattle could look back at a lot of plays this season (I'll spare you the recap) and wonder. He was right though. As tough as the Stafford comeback was, as tough as the endings in Arizona and Miami were, what Chicago did in the final 20 seconds of regulation was essentially unprecedented. The NFL was stunned when Atlanta pulled a similar play to beat Carolina, but that drive began with 45 seconds on the clock. Chicago had just 20.
If I'm dissecting the game film and looking for concerns, Brandon Marshall's production yesterday would be right near the top of my list. Do you realize that Chicago's receiving corps as a whole had 17 catches ... and Marshall had 10 of those. Essentially, he WAS Chicago's passing offense (exactly as I had said in the Preview thread). To me, that is highly concerning and Jerry Brewer was right on the money to throw out the whole PED question today. I figured with Trufant's absence it would be addition by subtraction -- but that wasn't the case. Trufant according to Stats Inc had a burn rate of 72.4% -- the 2nd Worst starting 3rd CB in all the league. To me, I'm starting to think long and hard about the need to draft another nickel CB (especially given the impending suspensions).
And if Seattle had lost in overtime, that's all we'd be talking about. It was the perfect exclamation point on a growing theme in recent weeks: that Seattle's defense is more of a cause for concern than the offense is. Jay Cutler is one of the most sacked QBs in the NFL. He was not sacked today and was barely touched. The secondary again played too much zone defense and allowed Brandon Marshall to embarrass them on numerous occasions.
How the heck Cutler's jersey remained clean is absolutely beyond me. That was a very patchwork offensive line that came in to yesterday's contest having given up 35 Sacks (3rd Worst in the NFL) ... and 67 hits on the QB (5th worst). YET, Seattle's defense couldn't touch him for the most part. With Red Bryant's plantar fasciitis and the D Line's performance yesterday, I'm thinking Defensive Line is increasingly becoming a top priority moving in to this year's NFL Draft.
But even saying that, if Seattle had lost- I would have pulled the "officiating sucked" card. Some people wouldn't want to hear it- after all Seattle's defense did almost everything they could to lose this game. I don't like blaming the officials, in fact I go out of my way to point them out when they have a solid outing. But today was just awful. Not just awful, but one sided, with all the terrible calls going against Seattle and often at critical times.
Hard to disagree with any of the bad calls that you mentioned. They were unbelievably bad IMO. I know refs are supposed to be neutral, but most of those really smacked of homer calls to me.
Today Seattle faced a great defense with a good QB and a great WR. They faced a team with an 8-3 record that is in contention for a bye. This game was on the road at 10am. And during this game the defense played poorly and the NFL went to WWE referees. Yet despite all those things, Seattle still somehow won the game, for one reason and one reason only.
I've made no bones about it -- he willed them to a victory yesterday. It's like he was saying, "We are NOT going down today!" And he took responsibility to win that game completely on his shoulders. He has come of age. If I could pick Colbert's Alpha Dog of the Week, it would be Wilson -- 2 game winning games against what was arguably the NFL's best defense IN CHICAGO -- are you kidding me?!? Future Super Bowl winning QB -- absolutely I got that feeling -- felt like I was watching a future HOF'er.
Doug Baldwin had a nice game. I sure hope he's okay.
Doug Baldwin (to me) was one of the unsung heroes of the game. He was absolutely CLUTCH yesterday and a HUGE reason that the Seahawks won yesterday. People are going to focus on Rice and Tate -- and rightfully so. But, this team doesn't win without:
A key 3rd Down catch for 20 yards right before Halftime (lead to a FG)
2 clutch 3rd Down catches on that 4th Quarter drive that lead to Tate's TD.
Another clutch 3rd down catch in OT on 3rd down and 10. His catch came right before Rice's game winner ... but it doesn't happen without Baldwin's catch.
That was the Doug Baldwin we saw all last year ... and it was very good to have that Baldwin back yesterday.