The Seahawks beat the Rams 27-23 in a gnarly nail biter yesterday at So-Fi Stadium. While I was relieved for the win, I was also a little disgruntled. The Rams came into yesterday’s game at 3-8, playing with a backup quarterback and missing several of the super stars who were key to the Super Bowl victory last February. My shortsighted brain thought the Hawks would have an easier time of it. But despite the disadvantages going in, the Rams were as formidable as ever. Further, the Hawks continued to struggle in critical areas. The defense couldn’t stop the run against a bad rushing team, at least not in the early part of the game. And aside from a 30-yard blast from K9 early on, the offense couldn’t get a run game going. Backfield depleting injuries made the situation all the worse. The Seahawks did indeed get the win, but it felt like they were hanging on for dear life the whole game.
That’s how I felt yesterday anyway.
After watching some post-game interviews with the players, listening to recaps, reading several analyses and a good night’s sleep, I woke up with a more balanced and decidedly more positive perspective. To start, one of the bullets on my wish list for this game came true: Geno Smith balled out. Presented with the challenges of a weakened run game and spotty pass protection from his o-line, Geno met the moment and then some. He utilized his best weapons in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and successfully took the game to the air. He threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns. Even better, in the final two-something minutes of the game, he crafted a beautiful 75-yard drive, resulting in the touchdown that would seal the win. With this drive, he also finally crossed what some viewed as the final threshold to legitimacy- a come from behind win in the last minutes of a game.
Metcalf had 8 catches for 127 yards. Lockett had 9 for 128. The ongoing drama between Metcalf and Rams corner Jalen Ramsey made the afternoon all the more entertaining. When Metcalf, with Ramsey hanging on his back like a cheap stole, caught the pass for the game-winning touchdown, it was nothing short of poetry. Speaking of corners, Tariq Woolen, Seahawks wonder rookie, caught his sixth interception of the season. And in one particularly notable moment of athletic artistry, he reached from behind a receiver to slap down a pass on the Rams final drive of the game.
On a side note, it was bittersweet to see Bobby Wagner again, playing is heart out but in the opposing team’s uniform. He was an absolute beast throughout and gave his former teammates plenty of grief.
On any given Sunday, a blazing hot team can go cold. Also on any given Sunday, a struggling team can dominate. Such is the nature of the NFL. There are no absolutes. Given this, any win is significant, regardless of how imperfect or messy it is. Ultimately, fans have a choice between a half-empty or half-full perspective. Focus on the challenges and the ugly spots, and the glass if half-empty. Look for the positives and spot the strengths, win or lose, the glass is half-full.
And a quick word about identity. Many fans, including me, have fixated on figuring out which version of this Seahawks team is the “real” one. Are they a mediocre team with an anemic defense? Are they a steadily growing unit whose full potential has yet to be realized? As I reflect on these questions, I’ve come to believe that identity is not always something that is firmly set and neatly buttoned up. Its more fluid than that, and more interesting. This is especially true for a young team like the Seahawks. And so, my plan for now is to observe with curiosity and enjoy with a sense of wonder. More will be revealed. But I do know this much; the Seahawks beat the Rams, 27-24. Any win is a full glass.