Strange that a team that has had as much success as the Seahawks sometimes needs to be reminded how it wins games.
The Seahawks who pulled out a clunky 12-10 victory over Miami in the season opener at CenturyLink Field on Sunday looked familiar.
For most of the game, they far more closely resembled the Seattle team that got off to the frustratingly slow start in 2015 than the dreadnought that rolled over opponents in the second half of last season.
But when they fell behind 10-6 with around 4 minutes to go, the memories kicked in.
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By reassuming their identity, the Seahawks dug deeper, and showed who they are and what they’ve so often been about.
“Ultimately, the competitor in us came out,” said quarterback Russell Wilson about the fourth-quarter, 75-yard scoring drive that gave the Seahawks their only touchdown.
The rally, Wilson expanded, was spurred by the Seahawks’ “addiction to win.”
Wilson clearly seems hooked on it.
He has proven himself in the clutch many times before. But he hasn’t always had opportunities to reveal so much of his inner steel along the way.
For four seasons, Wilson has seemed bionic, impervious to big hits and the physical carnage that so often raged around him.
He’d never missed a play or a practice, and never been mentioned on an injury report.
But in the third quarter Sunday, Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh stepped on Wilson’s ankle during a sack.
It might make you skittish, but try to imagine the feeling of the 305-pound Suh slamming a cleated shoe onto your ankle.
For the first time in 75 regular and postseason games, Wilson looked as if he might miss time on the field.
Hobbling off to the sidelines, he got his ankle rewrapped — or at least had his bionics rewired — and was ready to come back out for the next offensive series.
Later, Miami defensive end Mario Williams almost sacked Wilson with the body of Seahawks guard Mark Glowinski.
It meant another 300-pound man slamming onto Wilson’s ankle. It sent Wilson flying, and he ended up fumbling.
But still walking.
The Seahawks defense had been good, but a little lucky during blown coverage when a sure-touchdown deep ball ended up getting dropped by Miami receiver Kenny Stills.
But with 7 minutes remaining and time for the renowned Seahawks defense to shut the door, the Dolphins went 86 yards on seven plays to take the lead.
Somehow, though, Wilson had enough left in his ankle to complete six of nine passes on the game-winning drive, and he renewed the magical connection with receiver Doug Baldwin for the touchdown with 31 seconds remaining.
On that drive, the Seahawks got back to running the ball, with Christine Michael picking up 16 yards on three carries in the first set of downs.
That, too, is who they are.
Wilson had passed 26 times in the first half. That’s not the Seahawks style.
It’s the first game of the season for Seattle, and trying to assimilate a new offensive line will take time.
It’s fair to acknowledge the quality of Miami’s defensive front.
But the offense was going nowhere for most of the game.
“Offensively, we just never got going, we need to run the football better,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
The Hawks were 10 1/2-point favorites, but had to finally stop hitting the snooze button to pull out a narrow win.
They’re not quibbling.
“These things are hard to win,” said defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin. “We’ve got some things to fix, but we’re really together right now and I’m excited where we’re at.”
Wilson cited the team’s poise and toughness.
“We’re 1-0 right now. Nothing else really matters besides preparing for the next moment,” he said.
From the day he got here, Wilson always has had the requisite poise. Sunday’s fourth quarter proved how much toughness he has, too.
Wilson and the Seahawks finally got their “fix” of winning on Sunday by remembering who they are and what they have to do to feed their addiction.