Week 1: No Gimme Games for These 'Hawks

Published on September 11, 2009 by     Seahawk Fanatic

lofa-tatupuMy beloved Seattle Seahawks launch their 2009 campaign Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, and like some honest Seattle fans, I find it difficult not to dismiss the game as a foregone conclusion. Both teams may be rebuilding, and both may be undergoing core changes and riddled with injuries and question marks, but at a glance, the ‘Hawks do appear to be on the deeper edge of the pool.

But a closer look at the recent history between these two teams denies me that armchair luxury, and forces me to keep in mind a certain proverb: When it comes to division rivals, throw everything out, because it’s any given Sunday again.

It was the Rams that served as the springboard to Seattle’s record 11-game winning streak just four years ago. Many point to that game as the moment that the Seahawks finally overcame their pesky reputation as choke artists and found the “mental edge”, as Torry Holt so eloquently put it, that catapulted them to the Super Bowl.

But that game was a shootout right down to the final drive, and it was a turnover by the Rams’ special teams that finally handed Seattle the victory.

It was the Rams that served as Seattle’s rebound in early 2006 after Shaun Alexander’s injury led to a worrisome 37-6 blowout loss to the Bears. It was also Deion Branch’s big debut as a Seahawks receiving threat, a 6-catch, 2-TD performance.

But everyone remembers Torry Holt’s impossible fourth-quarter catch-and-run that kept the Rams in the game. We also remember the last-minute Seahawk penalty, which just happened to belong to a class of penalty that didn’t mandate a game-killing 10 seconds off the clock.

2007’s episodes against the Rams helped solidify Seattle’s reputation for pass rush, as Patrick Kerney and Darryl Tapp chewed up the Rams’ injury-depleted offensive line without remorse. But the Rams’ defense was not amused, suffocating the ‘Hawks in St. Louis to where Gus Frerotte was almost able to pull out a game-winning drive in the final two minutes – before fumbling the win away on fourth down.

And in 2008, it was a timely pair of blown coverages on St. Louis’s part that paved the way for the third of Seattle’s four victories. After a nightmare season of injuries, almost-wins, blowouts by the NFC East, and a Pittsburgh/Arizona Super Bowl, we Seattle fans took our small comfort where we could: at least we stayed on top of the Rams.

Perhaps it’s natural, then, that we no longer regard the Rams with anywhere near the concern that we did in 2005.

The Seahawks themselves are probably thinking differently. This is a fresh team, humbled by 2008, re-made in new head coach Jim Mora’s image and transfused with new talent. Our rookies are promising but still just potential, and our veterans remain unproven in Seahawk blue. New coaching and new game philosophies have arrived. The injury list is already filling up. Question marks abound.

Many of those question marks could echo for the entire season.

Can Sean Locklear handle the brutal job of left tackle? He struggled against Denver in the preseason before seeming to warm to the task, but his opponent this week, DE Jake Long, was not a first-round pick for no reason. Add Long’s pressure to that of DE Leonard Little against RT Ray Willis, and Sunday is as good a test as any for Seattle’s new Walter Jones-less offense.

Is our defensive line up to the task? Newly signed Colin Cole has an underachieving reputation to beat from his Packer days, and Corey Redding is this year’s Kerney – an aging pass rusher fresh from the surgeon’s table. Behind them at DE are Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson, who must start putting quarterbacks on the ground if a repeat of 2008 is to be avoided. Much has been made of preseason wunderkind DE Nick Reed, and of the new blitzing schemes that Mora guarded to the point of omitting them from the preseason playbook entirely, but the preseason told us little about the talent of our starters on the D-line. Sunday may be far more revealing.

Should we be as worried about our secondary as the preseason prompted us to be? Marcus Trufant’s absence is painful. Like Locklear, Kelly Jennings managed to keep himself out of the fans’ doghouse towards the preseason’s end, but he still has much to prove. Has Jordan Babineaux finally improved to the point of being solid between his trademark Big Plays? More importantly, will he be used properly to aid our cornerbacks against bigger, stronger wideouts? If we cannot limit the Rams’ badly depleted receiver corps this Sunday, we should indeed be worried.

And of course, as any wise team should ask itself each year – what should be done about Steven Jackson? Losing each of his five games against Seattle hasn’t stopped him from averaging 118 all-purpose yards and a touchdown in each.

Perhaps your outlook for Sunday depends on how you view football. If you’re looking at the Rams, you might be seeing a vulnerable team just ready to lift a division rival to a strong start. If you’re looking at 2008, you might be seeing a slipped disc waiting to happen.

Or you might be like me, regarding our eight-game winning streak against the Rams as a series of last-minute breaks and lucky bounces. Which means the Seahawks had better be looking to create their own bounces, taking nothing for granted.

So what is my prediction for Sunday’s game?

Why, 31-20 Seahawks, of course.

I am still a ‘Hawks fan, after all.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

505963447TW00040_Seattle_Se

Percy Harvin gave Golden Tate black eye before Super Bowl

The Seahawks stunned the NFL world on Friday night by trading Percy Harvin to the Jets, less than ...
o-MARSHAWN-LYNCH-facebook

Darrell Bevell: I must get Marshawn Lynch the ball

Darrell Bevell has heard you, Seattle Seahawks fans. The offensive coordinator heard the rampant consternation and deep-throated queries wondering ...
goywh.AuSt.5

Seahawks trade WR Percy Harvin to Jets for draft choice

Well, that’s the end of that problem of getting Percy Harvin the ball down field more, or too ...
131230bennett6vgdfgdgdfg60

Less dancing, more tackling from Seahawks, please

As the Dallas Cowboys were giving them a beating last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks defense provided a CenturyLink ...
17YsDE.AuSt.5

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: “Whenever we’re running the ball, we’re fine”

Marshawn Lynch sprinted down the right sideline untouched, into and out of the end zone. But he wasn’t carrying ...
Seahawks Broncos Football

Hawks waive DB Steven Terrell, bring back DE Greg Scruggs

The Seahawks today essentially reversed the move they made on Saturday, waiving defensive back Steven Terrell and bringing ...
141013hawkville660

Marshawn Lynch’s limited carries glaring in Seahawks’ two losses

Marshawn Lynch was limited to 10 carries in Sunday’s loss to Cowboys at CenturyLink Field, prompting coach Pete ...
141013injuries660

Seahawks’ depth being tested by rash of injuries

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner left Sunday’s game, but returned. Cornerback Byron Maxwell did not. And their status for ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com
 

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz