When the Jacksonville Jaguars came to CenturyLink Field as a nineteen-and-half point underdog last Sunday, it gave me pause to reflect on Seahawks teams of the past that had held such high expectations. I really couldn’t remember a time. Although quite frequently when the team seemed to be doing well, they would proceed to lay an egg in games such as this. Frequently called “playing down to the opponent,” the franchise had a history of doing just that.
Until the second half of 2012.
Since Week 13 of last year the Seahawks have not lost a game in the regular season, with only three of those games decided by a touchdown or less. They have outscored their opponents 234-70, an average score of 29.25-8.75. That is domination, and very little playing down to the opponent. Their closest game was the season opener’s 12-7 victory over the Panthers. This team has been leaving little doubt of the outcome of the game for a while. As a longtime fan of the Seahawks, it is very fulfilling to finally see this franchise field a team that is loaded with talent that expects to dominate its opponents. I haven’t been this excited EVER about a team, and not just because of the media hype, but because I’ve been actually watching the team improve in every single aspect over each offseason.
So as I took my seat Sunday afternoon, I was fully expecting to see total domination from start to finish. The Seahawks did not disappoint.
The defense held the Jaguars offense to a paltry 52 yards at halftime, ten fewer than the team had allowed to the San Francisco 49ers the week before in the first half. Aside from a tipped pass deep in their own end that was intercepted, the Seahawks’ first unit defense completely disassembled the Jaguars. The Jaguars victimized the second unit for ten meaningless fourth-quarter points, but even with the 17 total points allowed in Week 3 the Seahawks hold the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense, allowing an average of 9.0 per game.
The offense was more than able to hold up their end of the bargain, with Russell Wilson tossing four touchdown passes and backup Tarvaris Jackson throwing for one and rushing for another. Seven different players caught a pass, with rookie TE Luke Willson tying for the lead with five receptions. Doug Baldwin had an amazing catch down the right sideline, Sidney Rice climbed the ladder for a score, and the rushing game quietly piled up nearly 160 yards. That was a game of complete domination. There was no “playing down to the opponent,” and the final score of 45-17 reflected that. I expected, and received, total domination.
Man, I love this team!