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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Seahawks win ugly, but they win

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Is one win, one ugly, come-from-behind win against a struggling team, enough to get you off the ledge? Read on.

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• Why the heck not? In the NFL, a win is a win, ugly or beautiful. They all count the same. And the Hawks needed one. A 4-3 record has, historically, been a better springboard to the playoffs than a 3-4 mark. A lot better. So yesterday's 13-9 victory at Carolina meant a lot to the Hawks. And to Russell Wilson. The quarterback was the eye of the storm this week, the Seahawks' face in all the discussion nationally of Percy Harvin's departure and the supposed rift in the locker room. Did Wilson let it bother him? It certainly seemed so for much of the game. But when it came time to decide the outcome, no, he did not. The Hawks, down 9-6, were 80 yards from the end zone. Only 4-minutes, 37-seconds remained. A field goal would force overtime but a touchdown would not only pretty much secure a win, it would secure a sense of relief. So Wilson engineered a masterpiece. Was he perfect, even on his 12th game-winning drive of his career? No. He rarely is. He's too short, he's too quick to leave the pocket, he's just too imperfect to be an NFL quarterback. Remember those criticisms, the one's that came long before the latest one, that's he's not "black" enough? Well, whatever he isn't pales in comparison to what he is: A winner. On the field and off. He seems to try to live his life what he considers the right way and, though others may disagree, he stays true to himself. And he tries to play the game with only one thought in mind, to help his team come out on top. Need him to run for a first down? He'll do that. Need him to just hand off to Marshawn Lynch than carry out the fake? Ya, that's no problem. Need him to toss a bullet into Luke Willson's hands early enough so that Willson can prepare himself for the inevitable big hit to come? Wilson did just that on the final play of the drive, connecting with his tight end from 23 yards out for the win. Russell Wilson may not fit the golden boy quarterback mold but he fits in with this team. And, as the Hawks put the Harvin chatter further and further behind them, expect the narrative to return to where it should have been all along. Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and is getting better. And he is everything the Hawks need him to be.

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• WSU: It's been a while since the Cougars have won a game. It shows. And it showed Saturday. That's what Mike Leach thinks and that's the thrust of Jacob Thorpe's follow-up story in today's S-R. ... Jacob also has a morning post with links from around the Pac-12. ... Speaking of the Pac-12, we can pass along a power ranking.

• EWU: The Eagles made the trip home yesterday dealing with just their second loss of the season. It was a loss that occurred in as demoralizing a way as possible, with a last-second touchdown drive. Jim Allen has a follow story on the defeat at Northern Arizona. ... The Eagles soccer team has reached the Big Sky postseason tournament for the first time in a while.

• Seahawks: The best piece coming out of North Carolina yesterday was written by the Times' Jerry Brewer, who examined Wilson's day and his place in the Hawks' world. ... No matter how they won, the Seahawks won. And that's what mattered. ... The 13-9 victory was sealed with a pass rush that looked like last year's pass rush. The defense, despite even more injuries, showed flashes of last year's dominance. And the offense looked like next year's version, what with all the young players who made contributions. ... Steven Hauschka tied a Seattle record with a 58-yard field goal. ... When the game was over, Pete Carroll and Wilson met with the media and answered questions. And others did as well.

• Mariners: The Giants are one win away from another world title. But they won't have the home-field advantage in the final two games. And they won't have Madison Bumgarner to throw another shutout.

• Sounders: The MLS playoff schedule is set. The Sounders, who won the Supporters' Shield on Saturday, will try to win their third trophy of the season starting Nov. 2 on the road.

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• It's time to pay the piper for all my bad habits. Yes, I have a dental appointment this morning. Teeth cleaning, poking around the gums, you know the drill. Pray for me. The worst part of it is, my best friends in the world these days are all dentists. Character flaw? Smart choice? You decide. Until later ... 



Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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