Cream rises, eh?
Fortunately for the Seahawks, in the NFC West, it doesn’t have to rise very far.
Sunday at a rainy and raucous Qwest Field, the Seahawks improved to 4-2 and took the lead in the division with a 22-10 win over Arizona. It might better capture the nature of the game to say that the Seahawks were the team that least deserved to lose.
If early division dominance ends up taking them into the postseason, the end will no doubt beautify the means. But in the process, this looked like one of those contests to decide who has the most homely dog.
The Hawks were flagged for 10 penalties for 95 yards, and although they forced five Arizona turnovers, four of those led to Hawk possessions in which they accumulated a grand total of negative-23 yards.
But every other division team lost, leaving Seattle in control of a division in which few would have expected them to contend when the season started.
So, this was flawed but functional. Crude but effective.
“It just lets you know that we answer to adversity,” running back Marshawn Lynch said. “Everything is not going to be sweet; everything is not going to be the perfect way, but you have to find a way and we did that. We came out and ground (away at it) and we came away with the win.”
Good point. The Seattle defense responded to the chronic offensive ineffectiveness by hustling back out onto the field and putting together a solid day’s work.
“Sure, you’ve got to fight against adversity,” said defensive tackle Colin Cole, who considered this a win over a “quality opponent.” Beyond that, he said, the win validated last week’s road upset of the Chicago Bears.
“We needed that (two wins in a row),” he said. “It’s a confidence builder for us as a team; it’s an awesome feeling to know you have that ability. Now we sit on top of the division and we’re all excited, but we know we have to keep it up. It’s one game and it’s still October, and we have a lot more of the season to go.”
It’s so early, in fact, that coach Pete Carroll said he did not address the division implications during the team’s preparations last week.
“I didn’t talk about it after the game, either,” Carroll said. “I love being in first place, but it doesn’t mean anything right now. To me, it’s like the BCS (college rankings); it’s how you finish. It’s nice, but I never even mentioned it.”
Carroll called it “an interesting game.” That may be a euphemism for: Can you believe we won this thing with all the things we did wrong?
He was particularly displeased with some of the holding penalties that were unnecessary, and a couple flags for misbehavior.
Particularly absurd was a taunting penalty late in the game against defensive end Raheem Brock. It came after an incomplete pass on third down, and gave the Cardinals a first down and another chance to narrow the gap. Arizona didn’t capitalize, but it could have turned into a costly breach of discipline.
Besides, when your team plays the way the Seahawks played, there’s not much room for taunting. He was penalized 15 yards, but it should have been like speeding in a construction zone, where the fines are doubled.
As is Carroll’s way, he stressed that all the problems he saw on the field on Sunday mean there’s so much room for improvement, and that makes it “really exciting.”
Really, given the context, his outlook is not unwarranted. There are no ugly wins in the NFL. Right now, no team in the NFC has fewer losses.
Maybe Carroll doesn’t want to talk about the division standings, but you know it’s going through his mind.
Because if they can play like this and still win, he can only imagine how they’ll do if they can get the problems ironed out.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org