SEATTLE – Perhaps it’s time for the Seattle Seahawks to ditch the beloved Haida eagle logo for something more befitting the 2019 season, like the tai chi symbol.
You know. Yin and yang.
The shady and sunny sides of the Seahawks were never more pronounced than on Sunday afternoon, when 69,948 whipsawed loyalists at CenturyLink Field reveled in Jacob Hollister’s walk-off touchdown beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40-34 in overtime – and then, as soon as they crossed the exit portals, set their jaws for impending doom.
Except the brothers Y are supposed to be complementary, interconnected, even interdependent.
The Seahawks’ dualism, however, seems merely to serve as a peculiar torture.
You want yang? The Seahawks are 7-2, which means if the NFL playoffs started today … well, they’d be eternally grateful.
Because yin: This gaudy record has been achieved against a Murmurers Row that includes four teams that are 2-6 or worse. The remaining schedule is the toughest in the NFL, featuring opponents that are winning at a 69 percent clip. That includes two dates with currently unbeaten San Francisco, starting on the road next Monday. The Niners are crushing people; the Seahawks are playing Escape Room with the Bucs and Falcons and Bengals.
More yang: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is churning out some serious MVP vibe – five touchdowns passes on Sunday, giving him 22 on the season with just a single interception, a statistic as unlikely as Fernando Rodney pitching a 1-2-3 inning. “I had one of the Bucs DBs (Sean Murphy-Bunting) tell me that I’m lucky I have a guy like Russ running the show,” said rookie receiver DK Metcalf.
And the yin: Kicker Jason Myers doinked a PAT off an upright and missed two field goals, including the shoulda-been game-winner at the end of regulation from just 40 yards. “He’s our kicker,” insisted coach Pete Carroll, which he made sound like an endorsement and not just the hard-to-swallow reality that Myers is still guaranteed $5.5 million.
Yang: The splendid overtime drive, which included Wilson completions to five different receivers and DK Metcalf’s remarkable third-down catch to put Seattle in the red zone. “With Russell back there, it don’t matter,” Carroll said. “You have a chance.”
Yin: The Seahawks win because the Bucs called tails and the coin came up heads. Period. Thanks, NFL rulesmakers!
Yang: Mychal Kendricks knocks a blocker into Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to cause a fumble, and Rasheem Green scoops it up and nearly scores. The Seahawks have to settle for a field goal, but it gives them the lead.
Yin: The same defense surrenders the lead in five plays.
Yang: The kick coverage team is still nails at leveling Blitz the mascot down past the south end zone.
Yin: “Guys catch the ball and then get another 15 yards,” complained safety Bradley McDougald. “It’s already an explosive pass and then you give them explosive yards after the catch. Most importantly, when you have a team against the wall and you’re in a position to take the life out of them or end the game, you have to do it.”
Yang: Seattle allowed Tampa to convert five of its first six third downs – but only one of eight thereafter.
Yin: They’ve made Matt Schaub and Winston look like Pro Bowlers.
Yang: It took a career-high 13 catches and two touchdowns for Tyler Lockett to nudge Metcalf – who had 123 yards on just six catches – out of the spotlight. “He plays like he’s 6-foot-4, 6-3,” said Metcalf. “He tried to truck somebody during the game earlier. I’m just happy that I have a mentor like him.”
Yin: Tampa Bay had no fewer than six rookies in the linebacker and secondary rotation, and generally three in the secondary after Carlton Davis III went out with a hip injury. One of the reasons there’s only one pass defense that’s poorer in the NFL.
Yang: Josh Gordon, one-time All-Pro receiver claimed on waivers from the Patriots, joins the active roster next game.
Yin: Josh Gordon, suspended for parts or all of the previous six NFL seasons for various violations of drug regulations and team rules, joins the active roster next game. Oh, and the Seahawks had also been doing their “due diligence” on Antonio Brown as part of their mission to become Boys Town Northwest.
Yang: Chris Carson – the first running back to top 100 yards against the Bucs.
Yin: Chris Carson – two more fumbles.
And to change it up:
Yin: Pete Carroll, with yet another Quixotic – or is that idiotic? – challenge of a pass interference call, or no call, that cost the Seahawks a timeout. Coupled with a timeout to sub in defenders with 1:08 left – Tampa’s Mike Evans still went uncovered on pass to the Seattle 1-yard line – the Seahawks had just one left for the final drive.
Yang: “We didn’t need it,” Carroll shrugged. Also, he still has all his timeouts for the 49ers game. But they’re burning a hole in his pocket.