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From the sidelines: Seahawks vs Eagles
The Seahawks had a party on Thursday night, and the whole country was invited.
The raucous party was held at CenturyLink Field, with Seattle reveling in a 31-14 victory over the Eagles on national television. The win pushed the Seahawks to 5-7 on the heels of their third win in four games, fueling some extremely positive momentum for where games — and seasons — are won or lost.
The third quarter of the 2011 season was one to remember for the Seahawks, who went 3-1 in the stretch with strong wins over Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia. Now they turn their attention to the fourth quarter of the season with a chance to continue their hot streak.
But they only got to this point thanks to a strong finish in Thursday’s action-packed win.
“Finish” was a theme leading up to and throughout this game, as coaches and players clicked into finish mode with their words and actions as the fourth quarter of the season closed in.
It started during the eve-of-game team meeting on Wednesday night, with Coach Pete Carroll telling the players, “We’ve got to finish — we’ve got to do stuff right longer than the other guys.”
The topic was especially apropos this week following a late-game collapse against the Redskins just four days before the Eagles game. In the 23-17 loss to Washington, the Seahawks were outscored 16-0 in the fourth quarter, a virus Carroll hoped to cure in the Philadelphia matchup and for the remainder of the season.
“You can all feel it — this is awesome,” Carroll said during his pregame speech in the locker room. “Be poised and let it rip, from start to finish.”
Following the previous defeat to Washington, many players took the opportunity personally.
“How far are you willing to go to earn respect?” defensive tackle Brandon Mebane asked his teammates in the locker room before kickoff on Thursday.
In the first half, the Seahawks jumped out to a 17-7 lead, a score that was oddly reminiscent of the score heading into the fourth quarter of the Redskins game just 96 hours earlier. The stage was set for redemption, and there was a definite air of determination in the locker room at halftime.
“Let’s focus in and finish,” defensive end Chris Clemons shouted out.
“It’s finish time!” wideout Mike Williams exclaimed.
“Everyone in this room knows we’ve got to finish,” Carroll said to start his brief halftime speech. “Do things right one play at a time and we’re going to do this. We’re in control, we’re in charge. Let’s bury these guys.”
On the sidelines during the fourth quarter, with the Seahawks up 24-14, offensive line coach Tom Cable approached tailback Marshawn Lynch and had a few appropriately themed words for the tailback.
“Regardless of what happens here, we finish it here on our next drive,” Cable said as the Seahawks defense was on the field and about to score on David Hawthorne’s 77-yard interception return for a touchdown. When the Seahawks ended up getting the ball back with 4:01 remaining, they fulfilled Cable’s vision, going 46 yards in eight plays before taking a knee on the 1-yard line.
So the Seahawks bounced back and finished strong in Thursday’s victory. Can they finish strong and make something memorable happen in the final four games of the season?
“That was a really complete win,” Carroll said during his postgame speech. “You can feel us, you can see us. Let’s keep getting stronger.” Read