Thanksgiving weekend is a time for turkey and shopping, football and raking leaves, drinking beer and leftovers.
I did all those things this weekend, in no particular order, and except for the food, it was a disaster. The football sucked like a black hole on vacation. Watching the Seahawks come off a bye week at 6-4 with a top 10 defense and a swagger to a sunny 75 degree half-filled at best Miami was like carving the turkey open to find the Alien baby smiling at you.
This game pissed me off in every way imaginable. Pets for a 25 mile radius were cowering in their beds at the high-pitched screeching emanating from my house as the Seahawks took another road trip and treated it like a bad '80s spring break movie.
Maybe it was the balmy weather after a week of 50 degrees and rain in the Seattle area. Maybe it was the longest point-to-point flight in the continental U.S. or perhaps it was the sprinklers coming on in the middle of the game. Whatever it was, it was frustrating to watch the defense start out playing well but get lethargic and finally collapse while the offense started like they were still on the plane before getting hot and then collapsing in the end.
It’s tempting to point to one play and say that play caused the loss. In this game, it would have to be the roughing the passer penalty called against Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, wiping out an interception by linebacker Bobby Wagner in the end zone. Thomas raced towards a rolling out Ryan Tannehill (Miami QB), leaping in the air as high as he could to block the pass before coming down into Tannehill. There was no malice in the collision, no desire to take out the quarterback, and no late hit intent, yet the referee decided that Thomas had broken the rules because he didn’t levitate or change direction in mid-air.
I understand that the rules are there to protect the players but the contact was minimal, at best. This was a roughing the passer penalty that should have never been called, it was bullshit at the time and it’s bullshit now. Thomas was in the air while the ball was still in Tannehill’s hand! What was he supposed to do?
As many times as you see quarterbacks hit a second after the throw, with the intent to hit them hard, and there isn’t a flag when there should be, if this is the criteria that the referee was going by anyway. I’d be interested to know how many times this referee has called that particular penalty. I know he didn’t call it any other time in this game, despite seeing both quarterbacks on their back long after the ball was gone. And hey, by the way, nice flop by Tannehill there too.