In a game that could have sent the Seahawks to the playoffs, their kicker decided effort wasn't part of his job description. I don't know if it was the NFL's laziest play this season, but it has to be on the podium.
What do a Siberian prison, a cobra pit and a Gilbert Gottfried concert have in common? They’re all places Sebastian Janikowski would rather have been than Monday’s Seahawks film session.
In a game where a win would have sent the Seahawks to the playoffs, their kicker decided effort wasn’t part of his job description. I don’t know if it was the laziest play in the NFL this season, but it has to be on the podium.
Just after missing an extra-point attempt in the first quarter Sunday at San Francisco, Janikowski booted a kickoff to 49ers returner Richie James, Jr. About 50 yards later, he found himself about a foot from James, who was inches from the Seahawks sideline.
But instead of attempting to act as any sort of obstruction, Janikowski politely moved out of the way. James wound up scoring as San Francisco took a one-point lead.
I’m not saying Seabass is responsible for Seattle’s 26-23 overtime loss. When 123 of your franchise-record 148 penalty yards come after halftime, the onus doesn’t fall on the kicker. Still, a play that had the rest of the nation cracking up likely had the Seahawks steaming mad. Seriously — what was that?
“I wish he would have tried anything,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “The first thing a kicker has to do is get the guy to turn back into the field. He got that done. But anything, we’ll take anything because it wound up being a touchdown. We could do more, and so he feels bad about that.”
It’s not as though Janikowski is a stereotypically feeble kicker. The dude is 260 pounds, which is about 85 more than James. Just standing in his way like a basketball player taking a charge probably would have prevented a score.
Instead he made what media folks like to call a “business” decision. But if the Seahawks had a capable alternative, I wonder if that decision would have pushed Sebastian out of the business.
Perhaps this is too much ink on a kicker missing a tackle — especially when it’s a 40-year-old who’s made one tackle in his career. And if the Seahawks do end up missing the playoffs, it means they’ll have lost their final three games, two of which were at home, and one of which came against the now 3-11 Cardinals. That would go beyond one player. Even so, I can’t help but think of Seahawks punter Michael Dickson in a moment like this.
Two months ago, with his team facing fourth-and-eight from its 3-yard line, Dickson entered the game with 2:18 remaining. Considering the Seahawks led the Lions by 14, the Aussie was instructed to roll right, eat some clock and take a safety. But when he caught a glimpse of all the open space in front of him, Dickson went rogue, sprinted downfield, absorbed a hit and got the first down by a yard.
No, it wasn’t the smartest decision, but his teammates went nuts. Carroll did, too, and later referred to the play as “Aussie Sweep.”
But the best part came in the locker room, when Dickson was christened with the nickname “Big Balls.”
Janikowski? He’s not about to steal that moniker.