If you’re looking for some complex reasoning for why the Seattle Seahawks beat the defending Super Bowl champions this afternoon at Qwest Field, don’t bother. For head coach Pete Carroll it’s simple – they believed.
“This was a day to remember,” Carroll first said as he addressed reporters after the game.
“Our players played together today in a way that gave us a chance to beat a championship club,” he went on. “And even though the score wasn’t where we would like it, it was great football game. And it was a game that was highlighted by guys believing.
“It was 10-0, and that’s a tough crew over there. And then it was 17-7, and there were so many chance to say, “Oh, okay not today, we’re lucky to be here,’ and all that kind of stuff.
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“For whatever reason, our football team since two weeks ago has believed we were going to win the game that we’re headed into, and they believed we were going to win today.”
Seahawks safety Lawyer Milloy said there was no panic on the sidelines when Seattle got down early in the game.
“This is what we expect,” Lawyer Milloy said. “That’s the thing that has been different over the last, couple weeks. And I don’t know what happened. We just know that we’re not done. So it just felt normal.”
Count quarterback Matt Hasselbeck as the lead dog in believe movement. Dogged most of the season for poor play, the 35-year-old veteran was at his best today.
It didn’t look so early, after threw an interception to New Orleans quarterback Jabari Greer on 3rd and 1 from Seattle’s 46-yard line that led to a 1-yard touchdown by Heath Evans and a 10-0 lead for New Orleans.
From there, Hasselbeck played flawlessly, finishing 22 of 35 for 272 yards and four touchdowns. Hasselbeck had a 113 passer rating on the day.
“Matt Hasselbeck was ridiculously good today,” Carroll said. “I’m so proud of him coming back like that and playing just incredible football.”
And you could tell that the confidence that Hasselbeck played with permeated through the rest of the team. The defense felt that they did not have to win the game by themselves because Seattle’s offense was putting point on the board.
The 36 points was the most Seattle scored all season.
But the play everyone will be talking about for the rest of this season and beyond Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard to put the game away. Lynch broke seven tackles on the day, including just shucking away New Orleans cornerback Tracy Porter as he picked up a posse of Seattle players and meander his way down the sideline, cutting back once and falling into the end zone.
I’ve only seen runs like that on highlight reels by guys like Earl Campbell and Jim Brown, so it was impressive to see a run like that in person.
That ironic part about that run is the Seahawk ran 17 power, not a outside zone run like they have been all season. So it was just man-on-man blocking, with every guy blocking up their guy and Lynch leading the way, giving Seattle a 41-30 lead with 3:22 left in the game.
Lynch finished with 131 yards on 19 carries for a healthy 6.9 yards per carry average. Lynch also became the first Seahawk to rush for over 100 yards this year.
“The offensive line did a great job of getting me to the secondary and I think instincts just took over from there,” he said.
“He’s the kind of back that just refuses to go down,” Carlson said. “That’s just his mentality. The offensive line did a nice job of creating a hole, creating a seam for him, and they really led him into the end zone.”
Check it out here.
The Seahawks will travel to Chicago to play the Bears a second straight time if Green Bay wins at Philadelphia on Sunday. If the Eagles win, Seattle’s faces Atlanta a second time.
I talked to a couple players about who they want to play, and to man the answer was the same – we don’t care as long as we’re playing next week.
“It doesn’t matter,” said veteran receiver Brandon Stokley. “We’re still playing, that’s all that matters right now. I know we’re going to play a really good team, and we’re going to have to play better than we did last week.”
For New Orleans, running back Julius Jones was dinged up after a head-on collision with Lofa Tatupu, which also left the Seattle linebacker with another concussion.
Reggie Bush left in the third quarter with an injury to his left leg, the same leg that kept him out for a significant portion of the season earlier this year.
Ben Obomanu suffered a dislocated shoulder but toughed it out and got back on the field, so I think we can forgive him for the drop the cost Seattle a third down in the second half.