Game day. At last. Seven months after having my heart ripped out.
I've been waiting for this day for seven long months. And while this game is meaningless in the standings, it means a lot to all of us 12s who have invested so much time, energy and emotion into this team, and to a lot of players who are competing for a spot on this team.
Knowing where the team was just two short years ago at this point and where they are now, it boggles the mind. Two years ago, we were heading into the season with an extremely young defense, a signed-at-the-last-minute free agent QB, and a team without any identified leaders.
Two years later the Seahawks stand on the precipice of greatness. The young defense has gelled into arguably the best defense in the league. Leaders on both sides of the ball have stepped forward and taken charge. And a 2012 third-round draft pick at QB has taken the town by storm.
To their credit, the 2011 Seahawks fought hard all year, and ended up winning seven games, after the young defense began to realize its potential. This happened about the same time that cornerback
Two years later, the offense gets it, and is executing it very well with the direction from that 2012 third-round draft choice,
The Seahawks won seven of their final eight, featuring an incredible three week run where they outscored their opponent 150-30, capped by a 42-13 win over the division rival (and eventual division champion) San Francisco 49ers. The team had arrived.
The 2012 Seahawks shook a rather sizable monkey off this franchise’s back. The franchise had not won a road playoff game since 1983’s upset of the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Divisional Round at the Orange Bowl. The Seahawks went on the road and after stumbling out of the gate to a 14-0 deficit in Washington D.C., rallied to defeat the Redskins 24-14 in the Wild Card round.
And then the heartbreaker. After rallying from a huge deficit in Atlanta, the Seahawks took the lead with about 30 seconds to play. The Falcons quickly moved into field goal territory and kicked the winning FG, landing their foot solidly in my gut at the same time.
As a fan, there is only one defeat that stands out in team history with more of a kicked-in-the-gut feeling, and I don’t think I need to let you know which game that was.
But this team is ready. The 2013 Seattle Seahawks are returning with most of their major pieces still on the team. The core of this team is solid. And depth, well, depth is not a concern in my eyes. This team is deep at almost every position.
In other words, I expect great things from this team. And this does not come from me lightly. I’m in my 40th year of NFL fandom, and one thing I know to avoid is getting too excited at the beginning of a season, because anything can happen over the next six months. That does not mean I can’t objectively look at the team and say, “Holy schnikeys, this team is stacked!”
Let us hope it is stacked enough to get that last remaining monkey off this franchise’s back.