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12th Fan View: Seahawks vs San Diego Chargers
The Seattle Seahawks opened their 2014 home campaign against the San Diego Chargers last Friday, a hot August night that was a rough cut diamond in what Seahawks fans hope will become a crown of championship jewels that began with their victory over the Denver Broncos last February in Super Bowl XLVIII.
It was great to travel to CenturyLink Field again. Not having been there since the championship celebration on an extremely cold February day. Despite the bitter cold of my 50th birthday, I was warmed to the soul to see Paul Allen, John Schneider, Pete Carroll and a number of players hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Seattle. What a great birthday treat! Quite unlike what happened on my birthday in 2006, but we won’t get into that here…
I can only imagine how the players feel, reaching the peak of their profession. As a fan, it felt like a huge relief to finally have that monkey removed from the franchise’s back. I’ve always been a proud fan, but it still hurt when you’d hear the argument about not having a ring. That was like the ultimate “Shut up!” What could you say?
Well, now the fans have that in their pocket, but it really belongs to the players. And it was great to see those players in action again. The Seahawks lost a few key contributors from last season’s team, but I feel it is nothing that can’t be overcome. The depth this team had last year is, for the most part, still there.
It is a comforting feeling knowing that the team is relatively unchanged, yet seems to be much more dynamic, especially on offense. With Percy Harvin healthy, will we finally get to see what diabolical schemes can be created to exploit his mere presence on the field? If Friday night was any indication of what is to come, it could be an overpowering run game. The Seahawks amassed nearly 150 yards rushing in the first half and finished with nearly 250 by the time the 41-14 drubbing was over.
Russell Wilson ran for two touchdowns and had a productive night through the air as well. I saw a ferocious Robert Turbin, running over and through guys. I saw a top-ranked defense play that way, and their backups didn’t slack off, with a 105-yard pick-six nullified by a call that was later deemed incorrect by the NFL. Seahawks quarterbacks ran for 4 touchdowns, including a 44-yarder by Terrelle Pryor and a seven-yarder by B.J. Daniels. If the Seahawks are considered a “run-first” team, Friday night did nothing to disprove that notion, and, if anything, confirmed it.
CenturyLink Field displayed some new crown jewels itself: new scoreboards on the façade of the upper deck, new offensive and defensive scoreboards in each corner of the end zone that double as additional video monitors, and perhaps everyone’s favorite, the Super Bowl XLVIII Champions display in the northwest corner of the lower concourse. It definitely seemed like the photo-op stop for the night for most people.
This team is young, stacked, and ready to defend their title. I look forward to seeing them do just that over the next several months. I hope to see that rough diamond turn into a multi-faceted, well-polished gem, suitable for embedment in the Seahawks’ crown of championship(s). I think this team has the guns to at least give it a hell of a run.
GO HAWKS! WHAT’S NEXT?