A Spectacular Loss

The best legends we have are a blessing and a curse, for as much as they teach us to revere our heroes, so do they ignore the dreaded thereafter, when those heroes transform back into regular men and women, capable of acts of idiocy, disappointing all of our notions of greatness; a bitter instruction that twilight darkens all things. Some of them, Achillean, rush head-long to their own destruction, preferring a timely end to an unending and gradual descent into failure.

Most, though, do not, and this is why it benefits us all not to have heroes. Including footballers.

The Seahawks lost yesterday, and their loss was spectacular; a multi-dimensional failure that originated in coaching, execution, officiating, even climate. It was a loss so total that, if losing earned one glory, the Seahawks would be as gods; a loss so complete that it is easier to catalogue the failures than successes.

To begin with, I’m increasingly convinced that this offense needs an extra successful run game and explosive plays to consistently score enough points on offense to cover for a defense that is average at best. And last night, the blocking just wasn’t there. Too many opening rushes were stuffed at the line of scrimmage, and too many dropbacks were pressured. A combination of pass rush, coverage, and weather ensured that Russell Wilson was unable to hit on deep passes, and too many holding penalties brought back too many plays. And even when it seemed like the Seahawks were able to execute, the playcalling was so conservative that it seemed designed more to limit failures than to actually win.

And on the other side, they were just outplayed; broken coverages and holes were exploited, not for maximum effect, but for sufficient effect.

Finally, you can’t talk about the loss without mentioning the instances where the refs, and even the field itself, conspired to hold them back.

And yet, revisionist history is the most pointless of them all, an idle wondering that is often so much more narrow-minded than it could be. If I’m going to indulge in what-if-ism, I’ll imagine a 7-foot tall Russell Wilson with an umbrella affixed to his head, in possession of a robot brain to match his robot smile, who makes reads and calculates risks at the speed of an offsides Jarran Reed (pour one out for Mike Bennett). No, there’s no need for revisionism, here — tear the mask off of tonight’s villian, and you’ll just see the Seahawks’ faces staring back at themselves, amazed: “we did this to ourselves all along.”

This one was awful, but just as painfully, inevitable. Few teams play perfectly every week, and sometimes those mistakes commingle behind the clouds, taking on the wrathful shape of a storm, an induction to staying inside, forgetting reverence until next week.

Speaking of which, I’m sure next week will be …

… Um, nevermind.

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