The Seahawks had all kinds of drama on Sunday against the Falcons. But what you might consider chaos is just another day for Seattle, which was able to pull together and rally for a 26-24 victory over Atlanta.
A blown lead, a helmet-slamming cornerback, and two short kicks gone awry.
A controversial cut block, a late interception, and a redemptive fourth-quarter comeback.
Wild surrounded the Seahawks Sunday and crazy stood at every turn. And if you’re looking for a way to describe it, you just need one word.
“We like chaos,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said with a smile.
Chaos has become synonymous with the Pete Carroll-era Seahawks and Sunday only confirmed that. Storylines circle all NFL teams, but they seem particularly potent with this one.
The controversial personalities and unexpected pitfalls are every bit as striking as the perpetual success. On the surface, that 26-24 win over Atlanta looked like the definition of weird — but for the Seahawks, it was pretty much routine.
“We’ve been through some struggles together, we’ve been through some obstacles we’ve had to overcome,” Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said. “And that’s why when we find ourselves in these tough situations, we find a way to get it done.”
It should be noted that the Seahawks don’t always find a way to get it done. Last year, those struggles Baldwin described came in the way of fourth-quarter giveaways and stretches of offensive ineptitude.
But more often than not, the Seahawks do figure out how to win in the stormiest of circumstances. And that’s probably because it’s the only reality they know.
The chief talking point from Sunday’s game surfaced when Richard Sherman threw down his helmet after busted coverage allowed a Falcons touchdown in the third quarter. He proceeded to tear into defensive coordinator Kris Richard and safety Kelcie McCray, and seemed inconsolable for most of the second half.
Regardless, it was Sherman who tipped the pass that led to Earl Thomas’ interception with 3:48 left in the game.
The next biggest talking point likely would have been the 29-yard field goal Steven Hauschka missed in the fourth quarter and the extra point that got blocked. The field goal would have cut the deficit to four points, and the extra point would have tied the score with 4:43 to play.
But less than three minutes later, it was Hauschka who drilled a 44-yarder that ended up being the game-winner. Hardly a chip shot given the previous events.
“That’s the character of our team. They bring in guys who are resilient,” said Seahawks right tackle Garry Gilliam. “It’s not about how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up.”
Good or bad, the chaos is everywhere with this team. There was Kam Chancellor’s holdout, Percy Harvin’s departure and all things Marshawn Lynch. There was Sherman’s rant after the NFC championship game, last year’s 2-4 start and, of course, the devastating Super Bowl loss.
These guys are vocal on issues ranging from the collective bargaining agreement, to the presidential election, to police brutality — meaning there’s never really going to be a quiet day. But the day things quiet down is the day these guys aren’t really the Seahawks anymore.
“We’re emotional. It’s an emotional team, emotional guys, and we ride that emotion,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s what these guys are like. I am, too.”
There are going to be moments when chaos gets the best of this team. In fact, for a stretch on Sunday, it looked as though Sherman’s outburst had a detrimental effect on the defense.
There are going to be games that inexplicably slip out of this team’s grasp. It happened regularly last year much to fans’ shock and chagrin.
Most of the time, though, Seattle is going to use chaos as an ally — that crazy friend who drives you nuts but always comes through in the end. You hear a lot of coaches emphasize the importance of a team “blocking out the noise.”
The Seahawks? No way. They embrace the noise.
|A defense in three acts|
|The Seahawks were dominant in the first half before coming undone in the third quarter and then pulling themselves together in the final period:|
|Time frame||Yds allowed||Pts allowed|