OK, you’ve had a week to heal, but moving on is hard, given the baffling circumstances.
You’ve gone through the stages: Disbelief, despair, anger. You’ve apportioned blame, and targeted your favorite suspect.
You’ve seen the replay a thousand times. It never changes; the Patriots still beat the Seahawks.
And you’re haunted by being a yard short of another world championship.
(And you know full well the football field is 100 yards long because Russell Wilson tells you that every interview).
Because it was so abrupt, and so unexpected, this dismay will be even more stubborn than the tenacious contempt you bore for the officials in Super Bowl XL, the ones you’re convinced stole the game from you and gave it to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dr. Dave is going to help you out. Maybe I’ve been in too many Pete Carroll press conferences, but the best way to get over this is to look forward.
Every oddsmaker I can find online has installed the Seahawks as the favorite for Super Bowl 50. Not to just get there, but to win it. The odds of 5-to-1 or 6-to-1 seem extremely high 51 weeks ahead of the game.
As difficult as it is for Super Bowl winners to repeat, it’s even rarer to have a team appear in three in a row, as the Hawks look to be the first to accomplish that since before free agency and the salary cap made such a streak seem impossible.
Here’s how they do it.They must be fast healers:
But don’t forget the key guys who earlier went on injured-reserve: Zach Miller (ankle), Brandon Mebane (hamstring), Jordan Hill (knee), Cassius Marsh (foot), Paul Richardson (knee) and Derrick Coleman (foot).
Send them to Mayo, send them to Switzerland, send them to Lourdes, whatever, but get them fixed and do it promptly.Pay the studs:
Byron Maxwell and a few others might end up Golden Tate-ing, finding their value on the market above what the Hawks can spend.Stop the brain drain:
The contributions of those guys were surprisingly significant, but the quality of the rotations among several units was nonetheless diminished.Draft and free agency:
Wide receiver could use an infusion, too. They don’t pass much, but they could benefit from a better variety of threats. The play of Matthews, a rangier receiver, in the Super Bowl was an example of how a tall target could help.Refine the schemes:
Even though the goal-line sequence in the Super Bowl ended in disaster, the Hawks finished ninth in the NFL in total offense, their highest rank since 2007.
But time management and red-zone offense (20th in TDs in league, 51.5 percent) could all stand to be reassessed.Get everybody back onboard:
The players have a couple reasons to buy back in. It’s obvious the core talent is there to stay competitive at the highest levels for a while.
And those who might be disinclined or skeptical, two words should convincing them: Percy Harvin.
If you’re not with the program, or not fully invested, they’re perfectly willing to trade you to the Jets.