Sometimes the thing that sports teaches a person isn’t good sportsmanship, camaraderie, or even victorious happiness. No, sometimes that thing is gut wrenching, anguish aching, heart breaking sadness.
So far this season, the Seattle Seahawks have beaten teams they shouldn’t (i.e. the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens), lost to teams they shouldn’t (i.e. the Cleveland Browns), and played like a badly constructed roller coaster in Sim City. It’s been hard to watch at times, even harder to digest and review here because going into it, I knew it could be ugly.
I said in the 2011 preseason preview that this is a rebuilding year for the Seahawks, no matter what the team says. When you draft most of your offensive line and let the best quarterback in team history walk, you’re telling the world that this is, at best, a work in progress.
Having said that, Seattle had won two games in a row before facing the visiting Washington Redskins on November 27, so there was a fresh feeling of optimism flowing through the stands in Seattle.
Washington took an early lead with a touchdown on its opening drive that took 7:49 of game time but felt like an hour of real time to complete. It was aided by a crucial holding penalty by Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner on an incomplete pass on third and 11.
That set a tone for the whole game; the refs were very willing to let the flags fly.
Overall, there were 19 penalties, including a weird unsportsmanlike conduct on Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate’s touchdown celebration. He did what looked like the Nestea Plunge, on his own, so I’m not exactly sure where the penalty came from on it.
Play of the Game:
The only time the refs choked on their flag was on a no-call on a crucial defensive pass interference late in the fourth quarter. At the time, the Seahawks had given up 16 points in the fourth quarter to trail 23-17.
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson let the ball fly deep up the middle to a wide open Doug Baldwin. The Redskins' cornerback on the play, Kevin Barnes, draped himself onto Baldwin while not looking back at all for the ball. Despite the interference, Baldwin almost made the catch. The back judge and the line judge both decided to hold their flags on a textbook example of pass interference despite throwing the flag earlier on a much ticky-tacky foul by Redskins corner Josh Wilson.