Editor, White Cover Magazine
*This was originally published by Black Press and the Peace Arch News…
Somehow, it’s still hard to grasp just how dominant the Seattle Seahawks are – or, at worst, how dominant they’re capable of being. Last night was somehow still surprising, even after they trounced the Denver Broncos 43-8 in last year’s Super Bowl and, essentially, blew up everything folks in the United States hold dear… like Peyton Manning, for example.
But the Green Bay Packers aren’t virgins here. They didn’t walk blind into Seattle, like Denver walked blind into the Seahawks. In the Super Bowl, Russell Wilson and his defence got the jump on Manning and his traffic cones because the Broncos somehow ignored what everyone in America was telling them to expect – defence, defence, DEFENCE. (Oh, and Percy Harvin, too.)
But Rodgers and the Pack play in the NFC. They’ve gone up against the same foes the Hawks have swatted down, teams like Arizona and San Francisco – two clubs of three in the world that managed to beat Seattle in 2013, the Cardinals being the only team since 2012 that beat the Hawks at home. Seattle shouldn’t be shocking anyone anymore, and they shouldn’t be able to slumber through the first quarter and still win by 20 points, which they did last night.
Seattle also allowed Aaron Rodgers to have a rather efficient game, which is shocking when you see the final score. The 2011 NFL MVP actually completed 23 of his 33 attempted passes, and had only thrown five incompletions until late in the game when Green Bay needed to press. But it was what Rodgers and his offence didn’t do that swallowed them whole on Thursday night – or Sunday night,according to NBC. The pivot only threw for one touchdown, and it came in the third quarter, narrowing the score to 13 – that’s a massive hole against the Seahawks at home, a gulf not even BP could cover.
John Kuhn ran for a score in the first to give Green Bay an early 7-3 lead, but other than that Mason Crosby’s 23-yard field goal was all Wisconsin had to say.
The Packers couldn’t blame last night on a botched game-ending call. They’ve already played that card. You can’t feel sympathetic for Rodgers and Co. anymore, not for that. All you can do is all they could do last night – just watch and enjoy and realize, this Seahawks team is as good as a defending champion could hope to be.
There’s no hangover, no stale stench.
Russell Wilson followed up one of the greatest preseasons you’ll ever see, albeit in limited appearances – six touchdowns on 13 drives, with a completion rate topping 78 per cent – with 191 yards and a QBR of 110.9, and Marshawn Lynch ran out of a contract dispute to 110 yards and two touchdowns, with an average 5.5 yards per carry. Harvin didn’t just catch seven balls for 54 yards, he ran it four times for 41 yards, too. And two victims of Seattle’s depth chart – Ricardo Lockette and Derrick Coleman – added scores of their own, both off tosses from the incredible improvisor that Wilson is and continues to become.
The Seahawks are a fantasy hair-puller-outer, like the Saints have been since 2008. You know Drew Brees will move the ball around, and you know the offence will show up every Sunday. But you also never know who’s going to be the beneficiary, and Seattle has that same problem – which isn’t a problem at all, not for the real-life Seahawks. Some weeks the headliners will be the usual suspects, Harvin and Lynch, and other weeks it will be some four-headed beast of Doug Baldwin, Zach Miller, Jermaine Kearse, and maybe even Robert Turbin.
With all that depth, the Seahawks should be a shoo-in for a Super Bowl repeat, at least going by the odds. But they’re not – the Broncos are getting Vegas’s early-season love instead. And that’s why last night still stunned, even though it so didn’t.