DANNY ONEIL

Seahawks’ comeback bid fell short, but it shouldn’t be overlooked

Dec 24, 2016, 6:42 PM
Doug Baldwin was key in Seattle's impressive comeback bid that ultimately fell short Saturday. (AP)...
Doug Baldwin was key in Seattle's impressive comeback bid that ultimately fell short Saturday. (AP)
(AP)

Turns out the Seahawks were only mostly dead.

And as anyone who has watched “The Princess Bride” knows, there’s a huge difference between being mostly dead and being fully deceased, in which case the only thing to do is search pockets for loose change.

Because as much as the Seahawks looked like they flat-lined with about 5 minutes left in Saturday’s home finale against Arizona, they did more than just show a pulse at the finish. They inspired a little bit of hope by scoring two late touchdowns and coming within a missed extra point of taking the lead before losing on the final play of the game.

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OK, that sounds like a desperately hollow attempt to find some optimism from a game in which Seattle showed just how flawed it is. And this loss was truly a team effort, from an offense that gave up five sacks in the first half, to a defense that allowed 50 yards and a game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter, to Seattle’s special teams which had a field goal attempt blocked, a punt deflected and a PAT pulled left.

The Seahawks are not a team that should be congratulated for coming close. Not at home, certainly not against Arizona and definitely not in a game that showed there’s absolutely nothing you can count on about these Seahawks this year. Certainly not the offense, which has shown a recurring tendency to lay an egg. Not the special teams that couldn’t be counted upon to convert an extra point to give Seattle the lead late in the fourth quarter. Not even the defense, which allowed Arizona to go 50 yards without facing so much as a single third down en route to the game-winning field goal.

Not even home-field advantage can be taken for granted, as the Seahawks suffered their first home loss of the season and only their sixth loss at CenturyLink Field in five years.

But Seattle’s comeback shouldn’t be entirely overlooked here, because when Arizona pushed its lead to 13 points with 4:10 left, it seemed that Seattle was about to lose more than just control of the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs. It felt almost like an era ending for the Seahawks.

Turns out that they were only mostly dead, though.

Seattle’s offense – which gained just 90 yards in the first 30 minutes of the game – drove 75 yards for a touchdown in just 82 seconds. After a quick three-and-out the Seahawks got the ball back, and after another 82-second touchdown drive, this Seahawks team that was held to single digits in three previous games this season had scored 13 points in a matter of minutes.

While that didn’t turn out to be enough to win the game, it did make you remember that this is a team capable of seemingly impossible comebacks. The fact that Seattle ultimately lost a game that won’t affect anything more than playoff seeding might not turn out to be as important as the fact that the Seahawks nearly won it.

If Seattle does turn out to make a run in the playoffs, we’re going to look back at the second half as a turning point. Seattle went from gaining 90 yards and scoring three points in the first 30 minutes to rolling up 300 yards and scoring 28 over the final two quarters.

Now this is an Arizona team that has been one of the league’s biggest disappointments this season. Not only that, but the Cardinals gave up 48 points and more than 500 yards to the Saints just a week ago, and that was at home.

But it was also an Arizona team that held Seattle to six points in what amounted to five quarters of play back in October, forcing the first tie in Seattle’s franchise history. And while Seattle couldn’t even manage that on Saturday, the Seahawks did provide a little bit of hope at the end.

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