Despite controversy Monday night and in the past few years, the Seahawks still have made critical plays to put themselves in position to win.
For a week we heard how the officials have it out for the Seahawks — that the zebras skew calls to screw Seattle.
And for a week we heard how the Seahawks are unstoppable on Monday nights — that something in their DNA allows them to excel when featured on ESPN.
And though each story line contains compelling evidence, there is one thing Seattle fans might have trouble admitting: Over the past few years, the refs have blessed the Seahawks with more Monday night fortune than humanly imaginable.
Before delving into the controversy surrounding Seattle’s 31-25 win over the Bills, let’s go back to the Fail Mary of 2012. In what ESPN would later dub the most memorable moment in Monday Night Football history, the Seahawks were awarded the game-winning touchdown on what was universally considered to be an interception by the Packers.
Luckier yet for Seattle, it was a reviewable play that the replacement referees botched after going under the hood. The Seahawks are in the midst of an 11-game Monday Night Football win streak, but that evening it should have been snapped at six.
Fast forward to 2015, when the Lions trailed by three with 1:51 remaining, and Kam Chancellor punched the ball out of Calvin Johnson’s hands at the Seahawks’ 1-yard line. It was a magical play by the Seattle safety, but what happened next was borderline miraculous.
As the ball bounced in the end zone, Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright knocked it out of bounds via an illegal bat — except there was no flag and Seattle took possession. Later that evening, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said the Lions should have gotten the ball back on the 1-yard line.
So compared with those two games, Monday’s controversy against the Bills was relatively tame. It simply involved Richard Sherman getting away with a late hit at the end of the first half, which led to an official-induced delay of game, which led to Bills kicker Dan Carpenter being forced to attempt a 54-yard field goal that missed wide right.
Would it have changed the outcome had the Bills gotten their three points? Tough to say. But had they been down three instead of six on their final drive, they could have kicked a field goal for the tie.
Now, this shouldn’t completely detract from the Seahawks’ Monday Night Football prowess. Despite the controversy in the aforementioned games, the Seahawks still made critical plays in each contest to put themselves in position to win.
It also shouldn’t dismiss the fact that the Seahawks have been on the wrong side of the whistle or penalty flag this season. The officiating clearly benefitted the Saints in their 25-20 win over Seattle two Sundays ago.
Still, when it comes to prime time, you can’t ignore some of the breaks Seattle has gotten. When playing on Mondays, the Seahawks tend to have good nights and good luck.