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It is a frigid winter morning. There is not a cloud to be seen as the rising sun slowly paints the sky shades of orange and red. You can see the Puget Sound glistening. The marine air fills your lungs before a slow exhale creates a trail of steam that rises and disappears. You look down and see cars and people scurrying around the Seattle Center. It messes with your equilibrium a bit, so you take a step back from the edge. The rhythmic flapping of the 12 flag behind you is soothing. One more breath. One more look around your surroundings, and then two steps forward and a jump.

The world is a blur. You are falling fast. The ground is getting closer. Your life could come to an end in an instant. Instead, your arms extend and the wind catches the wings attached to your suit, causing a sharp turn skyward. The horizon glows brighter as the sun continues its march toward ascension. You feel everything in that moment. Your heart pounding in your chest, the air flowing across your face, the adrenaline pulsing through your veins, helps etch an indelible memory in your brain.

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Seahawks on Saturday on the edge. There are others with us who are peering over the same edge. They fear the next step. They see the risk and the potential for peril and pain. Not you. Not the Seahawks. Every risk some see looks like a thrill to you. Where they imagine failure, you imagine success.

Those people are going to tell you about the Falcons and their historically great offense. They will focus on the absence of Earl Thomas. Seattle’s recent history of slow starts in road playoff games will dominate the conversation. Each item they list is an attempt to lower your expectations (and theirs) and shield themselves from potential pain. They do not see what you see. The greater the challenge, the sweeter the reward.

Instead of fretting about what Matt Ryan and Julio Jones might do to a Thomas-less secondary, you imagine what it would mean if the Seahawks are able to slow them. Where others cast doubt about the chances for the Seahawks offense to outscore the Falcons, you imagine the signal it would send should they sustain the momentum they captured last week.

Championships are not won in the Super Bowl. They are won by walking a path filled with opponents whose varying strengths test your worth. This team is Daniel-san facing down Cobra Kai in the tournament. People think it was the crane kick that won the trophy, but it was the hundreds of hours of training coupled with the confidence gained from moving past previous foes that made that moment possible. The Seahawks crave tests like the one in front of them this weekend. This is an opportunity to beat a dynamic, healthy, favored opponent on their turf.

We stand with them on the precipice of something special. A win would infect the Northwest with football fever and send shockwaves reverberating through the NFL. Everyone knows that a Seahawks team playing well enough to beat these Falcons in Atlanta is a team that can beat anyone, anywhere. The path does not get harder from here for Seattle. It gets harder for those who must face them.

Look forward to this game. Look forward to a healthier Russell Wilson finding the mark with his passes and terrorizing the Falcons with his strengthening legs. Look forward to Jimmy Graham going over, around, and through the Falcons defense as he did in the first game. Look forward to Thomas Rawls introducing himself to their sternums. Look forward to Doug Baldwin exasperating the city of Atlanta by catching the ball with every part of his body at the most crucial junctures. Look forward to Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Frank Clark, and Bobby Wagner taking turns slamming Ryan into the turf. Look forward to Richard Sherman making Ryan pay for trying him one too many times. Look forward.

The edge beckons.

 

 

5 Responses

  1. Uncle Bob

    We curmudgeonly types need to chase the kids off the lawn from time to time and this time of year not many kids are out, and quite frankly, the lawn doesn’t look that good anyway. As a result it’s necessary to redirect that angst. Last week we mentioned that the lowest paid O-line in the league advanced in the playoffs while the highest paid one went home. This week the target are those embracing the losers lament of “Oh no, Earl Thomas isn’t playing, the defense is in soooooo much trouble”, or the equivalent. If we take that notion to a logical progression then the Atlanta defense is in “sooooooo much trouble” because he’s not playing for them either. And likewise for all the other remaining contenders.

    Look, I’m a big ETIII fan like most. To me, he, by himself, is at least 5 of the best FS in the game today. But he’s not available, so you trust what ya got. (The same can be said for all those who say the retirement of Lynch killed the offense similarly) We’re back to the reality of play the players you have, with the game plan and plays you have, and make the most of it. If the Seahawks lose tomorrow it won’t be because ET is out and Terrell is in. It will be because a combination of the coaches and players didn’t do their best when they needed to. The Falcons won’t beat the Hawks, the Hawks will beat the Hawks…………………or more preferably the Hawks beat the Falcons.

    C’mon guys, the odds makers have ya down 5 as I write this………………….that’s like a red carpet welcome to Atlanta. Whup ’em!!!!

    • Doug

      Absolutely Uncle Bob! I would be more worried about the Seahawks if they were favoured on the road–being the underdogs plays right into the team’s collective shoulder boulder. I like that. It will be a good game regardless, and we can count on the Seahawks showing up and giving it their best. It should be enough.

    • SikhHawk

      As Holmgren said Health is biggest factor period ! U cant win when teams best unit (LOB) suffers 2+ injuries (we lost sb49 when Lane exited after bad decision to not take knee down, Kam, Sherm & ET3 played on with IR type injuries & losing avril in q4 was final straw). Likewise we lost to falcons when shead & lane joined ET3 in casualty dept.

      U also cant win when teams weakest unit (OL) suffers 1+ injuries (we were doomed when Ifedi went off, & our rookie Rees struggled). This created PO high record 20+ pressures on Russ, even Peyton, Montana, Rodgers, Brady would lose.

      U cant win when seasons main FA = bust (Carey W in 201015 & JWebb in 2016). We won when our main FA was good (M Bennett in 2013).

      In hindset, Brian Nemhauser has been proven correct. U cant win when u pay any unit (OL) less than half what NFLs 31st (giants OL) unit got paid. This meant no reserve depth to cover in game injuries (Ifedi).

      U cant win when most crucial role (QB) is hurt. Our Russ is true brave heart. His injuries would have knocked all other QBs (except Favre) out for 3-4 wks (ankle) + 5-6 weeks (knee) + 1-2 wks (Pec) = 9-12 wks. I am a Dr, so u can trust me, Inflammation & other symptoms from those injuries would have been huge. He defied all medical conventions to not miss a single game. Even in the PO’s he was more than 20% unhealthy. Even 1% less makes a difference in the PO’s.

      Team needs to stop the tantrums, (Sherm) & come together as a true brotherhood, which could lead them to win 3 further SB’s in 5 yrs (maybe even 3peat).

      Pats do well as there two best players Gronk & Brady take less pay than they should, which means more left to spend on OL, which means more TD’s for both, which means more money from other sources, which means they earn much more than they would have if they had demanded huge contract pay.

      C’mon Russ, Jimmy, Kearse, Doug, take a pay cut to earn more after a stud OLer is signed via FA.

      C’mon Kam, Avril, et al, a small pay cut, will lead to more depth, which means less injuries & longer careers for all.

      If we had stayed healthy we would have win SB51 (&SB49 JL, KC, RS, ET3, Avril = IR type injuries ) & SB50 (Rawls, MLynch = IR)

      I wonder if it was a calculated gamble by PC & JS, to suffer a risky season, in order to keep Big Pay Players for SB 52, 53, 54 runs. The OL will be much better next year due to the huge leap from going to Rookie to 2nd/3rd yr pro. They have exceeded 12 expectations by turning Britt into pro-bowl calibre C, but failed with JWebb. Imagine if that money could have bought us a decent DB (who could have covered Sheads absence at Falcons ? or a decent G to cover Ifedis absence?).

      U also cant win when players (KPL) make huge mistakes (penalty which negated Hesters great run. The key turning point of the game.

  2. Randy Floyd

    I think we’re gonna take this game…all the pressure is on Atlanta and most of the national pundits are picking us to lose, exactly the scenario the Hawks want. Falcon fans are sounding very overconfident which of course leads me to believe that deep down they know they are in trouble. I was at the game back in Atlanta in 2013 when the Hawks whupped them 33-10. That stadium is nothing like the Clink…if the Hawks get rolling early it’s gonna suck the energy right out of that building and their fans along with it.
    Remember the last time we faced the #1 offense in the league in a playoff game? How’d that turn out, Denver? Hawks 37 Not-so-hotlanta 26