Watching the Seahawks is like taking Viagra and nothing happens. You have all the potential, all the anticipation, all the buildup, and you end up with soggy wood. That’s what October 30th in Seattle was like when the Cincinnati Bengals came to town with a weak 4-2 record and a highly ranked defense.
I was anticipating this game as a big one because Seattle blew it in Cleveland, blew it badly with green chunks, while the 49ers have kept winning. For Seattle to have a shot at retaining the NFC West crown, this was a game the Seahawks had to have.
I knew it was going to be bad when Charlie Whitehurst trotted out to the huddle on the first play. Despite my hopes for something (anything) good, three quick plays and a punt showed that Whitehurst’s performance in Cleveland was no aberration.
Fast forward halfway through the second quarter, with the Bengals up 10-3, Pete Carroll finally agreed with the boos coming from the rafters and put Tarvaris Jackson in to replace Whitehurst. So it became official; Whitehurst is a worse quarterback than an injured Tarvaris Jackson.
Not that Jackson looked good; on the first play, he ran into Marshawn Lynch in the backfield on a hand off, causing a fumble that the Bengals recovered. It was like starting to feel the Viagra taking effect and hearing your girlfriend say, “Oh no! I think my Dad is home.”
Heading into halftime, the Bengals hit on a 43 yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to AJ Green to take the teams to the locker room with the score 17-3, although it should have ended differently.
With 14 seconds left in the half, on a 4th down with 2 yards to go on the 3 yard line, Marshawn Lynch takes the hand-off up the middle and gets the first down. Because Seattle has no time outs left, time in the half runs out with the ball on the 1 yard line.
To show you how awful the officiating was, this is my Play of the Game.
Picture the scene: 10 seconds left and Cincinnati Bengals defenders basically sitting on Lynch, not allowing him to get up so the referee can place the ball. That is a penalty for delay of game. It’s in the rule book specifically for this situation but did the referee call it? No, he allowed the time to run out.
The officiating was horrible, and this is from a Seahawks fan who swore not to complain about bad calls because I’ve seen way too many of them over the years. On one running play Bengal Domata Pedo rips Lynch’s helmet off and throws it across the field. Referee Tony Corrente actually explains that it’s not a penalty because he didn’t use the facemask; he used both hands on the side of the helmet, and thus it is not a penalty.
Seriously? It’s okay to rip a guy’s helmet off his head and throw it away as long as you don’t use the facemask to do so? There is no way you can tell me that doesn’t break a rule somewhere.
Never mind the crappy pass interference call against Brandon Browner, the false starts against Russell Okung when the defensive end jumped into him, or the Andre Caldwell punch to Browner’s head that should have caused an ejection if any of the eight officials saw it. They were the only ones who didn’t since it was replayed on the big screen.
1.Deep Passing Game: One of the many places Jackson is better than Whitehurst is the deep ball. Jackson burned the Bengals repeatedly with the deep pass, hitting 7 passes of 20 or more yards.
2.Run Defense: Cincinnati didn’t have their leading rusher but were intent on running the ball against a stout Seattle defense. The Seahawks answered the call, holding the Bengals as a team under 100 yards.
3.Pass Defense: Andy Dalton has been talked about as a “should-have-picked-for-Seattle,” but I was not really that impressed with his performance. Apart from the 43 yard pass to Green, the vast majority of his 168 yards passing came from dinks and dunks. The other two times Dalton tried to go deep, he got picked off.
1.Kam Chancellor: On the pass Chancellor intercepted, he got up and stood there looking around instead of running. He was ruled untouched; if he had run he could have easily gotten 20 yards, maybe more. Those are yards the Seahawks offense can’t seem to get on their own.
2.Red Bryant: a week after everyone, myself included, was talking Hall of Fame; Bryant didn’t seem to be able to handle the double teaming the Bengals put on him.
3.Whitehurst: Jackson threw for 323 yards, more than Whitehurst put up in his time of almost 1.5 games. Seriously, is there any questioning about Whitehurst anymore?
1.Officiating: I already talked about this before but I have to note it here as well.
I understand that a Bengals – Seahawks game won’t get the All Star officiating team, but does it have to be Foot Locker rejects?
Seattle had to challenge the spot on one third down because the line judge moved the ball back 2 yards before the measurement after the referee spotted the ball following the play. The challenge proved the mistake but this isn’t something that should have to be challenged if the line judge is competent in any way, shape or form. I could go on, but really, this point has been made.
2.Rushing Offense: I have heard some say part of the problem for Whitehurst last week in Cleveland was Lynch being out. Lynch gained 24 yards on 16 carries; he wasn’t the problem with Charlie. The whole offense is abysmal but the running game is especially horrid.
3.Dropped Passes: There were a shitload of dropped passes with Sidney Rice being the main culprit but he wasn’t alone. Anthony McCoy dropped both passes targeting him, making me wish John Carlson could somehow heal quicker.
Overall, it was a bad game for the Seahawks against a very over rated Bengals team that seemed more interested in talking trash and trying to bully Seattle more than play football. So what we learned is that even though the main players for the Bengals have changed, the team is still the same.
Next week Seattle travels to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. I’m not looking forward to the Seahawks offensive line matching up against the defensive line that features DeMarcus Ware.
I am interested in seeing if an injured Jackson takes the field or if Pete Carroll bypasses Whitehurst completely and puts in the rookie Josh Portis. Hell, nothing else has worked for the Seahawks offense.
Photo Credit: ELAINE THOMPSON/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS