As I watched the Seattle Seahawks 23-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers the general consensus on my twitter timeline was that this was the best game of the season thus far. In my opinion this should at least be nominated for game of the year at the ESPY’s. As anticipated, this wasn’t a high scoring contest. This game came down to will and determination on the defensive side of the ball and that’s exactly how Seattle pulled this victory out. This championship game definitely didn’t disappoint as the outcome was at no point certain. Russell Wilson made the plays he needed to down the stretch, Beast Mode caused a Beast Quake and Richard Sherman made the biggest play of the game as he prevented a game winning touchdown.
This turned out to be the tale of two halves for the Seattle Seahawks. At the end of the first half they trailed 10-3 because the 49ers made Russell Wilson a non-factor. The 49ers front line applied continuous pressure on Wilson keeping him out of the end zone, sacking him a total of four times and forcing him into desperation scrambles-one that resulted in an intentional grounding penalty. Wilson was obviously flustered with the constant pressure and his inability to contribute, he finished the game with just one TD. Due to the 49ers good job at containing Wilson, Pete Carroll decided to unleash Beast Mode. He appeared to wear the defense down with his relatively short gains in the first half and finished with a TD and 109 yards. Without Marshawn Lynch’s production the Seahawks would be watching the Super Bowl like you and I come February. At times though, I felt like they leaned too heavily on Lynch becoming predictable with their play calling.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for Pete Carroll’s half time speech because whatever he said paid dividends. The Seahawks came out and tied the game at 10 when Lynch burst out of the backfield and into the end zone with a 40 yard gain. Despite the 12th man still in full Beast Quake mode the 49ers remained poised making it a game. Seattle had no answer at all for Colin Kaepernick, who threw for 153 yards and rushed for another 130. Good thing they won’t be facing a mobile QB in the Super Bowl because Kaepernick rushed for big gains with every option he ran. As well as he played though, the Seahawks defense was able to get to him eventually. They forced him to fumble the ball and throw two interceptions.
“I didn’t play well enough for us to win the game.” Colin Kaepernick said afterwards.
Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin said that he told Kaepernick to “Keep his head up” after the loss. In a last ditch effort to win the game Colin Kaepernick targeted WR Michael Crabtree in the back of the end zone who had been spectacular throughout their playoff run. The pass was perfectly thrown but Corner Back Richard Sherman made an incredible defensive play. A play that could definitely win an ESPY for play of the year: He adjusted in mid air and tipped the pass to his team mate who took a knee in the end zone. The pass was very catchable and had it been on any other CB it probably would’ve been. It was this play that sparked Sherman’s post game antics and continued jawing with Crabtree.
“He’s (Crabtree) mediocre…at best!” Sherman exclaimed during his post game interview going on to say that he’s the best corner in the league.
Fast forwarding over Sherman’s antics it was a classy win for the Seattle Seahawks who will now face the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. We will see the best defense versus the best offense and a veteran ‘old school’ QB versus the new breed of QB in the league today.
“It should be an interesting matchup.” Says Pete Carroll.
Coach knows that improvements need to be made if they are going to hoist the Lombardi trophy in New York. He knows that Beast Mode can’t be their only option and that Russell Wilson will need more than one TD if they are to win at all. Wilson will need to play a 300 yard passing, 100 yard rushing, four TD type game in order to keep pace with Manning and his offense. Speaking of his offense, it will be Seattle’s greatest test so far this season. Peyton Manning reads coverages like the Sunday paper, therefore the Seahawks can ill afford to show their coverage every down. Just to add fuel to the fire, this is Seattle’s first time in these playoffs that they will play the roll of underdogs. It will be interesting to see how they respond to that. The best of the AFC versus the best of the NFC-this should be an instant classic.