All summer long I tried to avoid the buzz that was being generated by our Seahawks.
In my mind I tried to downplay the high expectations that the so called experts
were laying on my team. Afterall, we've been let down and severely disappointed
so many times in the past, right? We've had pretty good Seahawks teams in the
past only to come out flat to start a season and limp to the finish line, breaking
our hearts again and again.
So, like any rational person
would, I tried to refrain from getting too excited. Deep down I thought we'd
be good but opening up with two tough games on the road after last years road
woes loomed as a daunting task to say the least. Could we put the ghosts of
last year behind us? Could we quite all the critics that said we'd be good but
had to cure our road troubles?
In the blistering Florida
heat, our Seahawks displayed a defensive intensity and pressure that we haven't
seen in a long time. We were flying around the field like wild men knocking
down everything that wore a different color uniform. We gave the Buccaneers
nothing. Even with the officials help down the stretch, we still gave them nothing.
With our high powered offense sputtering, our defense stood tall and punched
Tampa Bay right in the mouth. It's been a long time since our Seahawks have
won a game like that and it bodes well for our future that we can win games
even without our terrific offense leading the way.
Let's take a look at some
'extra points' from yesterday's victory.
The interior of our defense
is much better than most of us thought it would be. Antonio Cochran and Rashad Moore are playing terrific football and Rocky Bernard isn't missing a beat when
he plays either. We're getting some much needed pressure up the middle and we're
stopping the run with regularity which good teams need to do to win these types
of games. We're playing this well with minimal contributions from our number
one draft pick Marcus Tubbs. When he gets healthy, we should only get better.
The acquisition of Grant Wistrom is already paying dividends. The guy has a non-stop motor and his presence
has opened things up for Chike Okeafor on the other side. Chike has been terrific
so far this year as well. I can't say enough good things about our defensive
line play. A weakness from a year ago has turned into a strength this season.
Our linebacker play hasn't
had the drop off that we all feared it would when Chad Brown was injured. Orlando Huff and Isaiah Kacyvenski have held their own the first two weeks and although
Kaz has missed a few tackles, their play has been a pleasant surprise. Anthony Simmons continues to play at a Pro Bowl level making plays all over the field.
We have one of the best
young secondary's in the NFL. Marcus Trufant is a superstar in the making and
Ken Lucas isn't far behind. Both of these guys are shut down corners who allow
Bierria and Hamlin to make plays in the open field by not having to worry too
much about receivers getting open. It also allows Bobby Taylor to play in the
nickel defense which is a luxury for us to have a corner of his quality on the
field on third down.
All of those 'experts'
that said Michael Boulware couldn't make the transition from college linebacker
to NFL safety have to be eating crow right about now. The kid looks good back
there and will only get better as he learns the position and gets more comfortable.
Two interceptions in two weeks is pretty good for any safety, much less a rookie
playing the position for the first time.
I thought Shaun Alexander
showed a lot of guts playing this game with a sore knee. You could tell he wasn't
a hundred percent but he gave a valiant effort and is hopefully getting rid
of the 'soft' label that has hounded him since his arrival in Seattle.
It was nice to see Koren Robinson bounce back and have a good game this week after last week's disaster
in New Orleans. He has deservedly been taking a lot of heat for the dropped
passes so maybe this solid performance will get him over the hump in that department.
We simply can't live with the dropped passes anymore and I think he knows that.
He's been a disappointment since being a number one draft pick and it's time
for him to change that. If he can string together a few games like Sunday's
then he will be taking a major step in the right direction. We desperately need
him to do that because if he doesn't then opposing teams will start to double
team Darrell Jackson even more and that will disrupt our offense.
I can only hope that Tampa
Bay didn't provide other teams with a blueprint on how to shut down our high-octane
offense like they did back in 1999. Remember that game? We were 9 and 2 or something
like that and the Buccaneers came into Seattle and spanked us, setting off a
month long period of offensive futility caused by other teams picking up on
what Tampa Bay did to slow us down. Of course, that was Jon Kitna at quarterback,
we now have Matt Hasselbeck back there who I have the utmost confidence in,
plus our receivers, offensive line and running game is much better than it was
back then as well so we should be just fine but still, I couldn't help but flash
back to that game 5 years ago and what it did to us then.
Is it just me or did it
seem like we had never seen a blitz before? It wasn't like we didn't know it
was coming but time after time Hasselbeck was pressured, knocked down or sacked.
We definitely need to correct the blitz pick up this week because teams are
going to start coming after us now. A few touchdown passes while being blitzed
should do the trick and hopefully coach Holmgren will correct this immediately.
We also have to get Chris Terry to play better. He was awful against the Bucs.
Penalties and missed blocks killed us and he has to play better this week. He's
a much better player than he showed on Sunday so I'm confident he'll bounce
back this upcoming week against the 49ers.
We are off to a terrific
start! Winning our first two games of the season on the road sets us up to have
a very special season. If we can play as well at home this year as we did last
year then home field throughout the playoffs is a real possibility. But let's
not get too far ahead of ourselves. There's still a lot of football left to
be played but if we continue to play the kind of defense we've displayed the
first two weeks and our offense gets it in gear which we all know it should,
then this indeed could be the year that all of us long suffering Seahawks fans
have been waiting for.
It's a great time to be
a Seahawks fan, always has been, always will be.
Micky James writes weekly for Seahawks.NET. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.