Nearly all close ball games are determined by one or two big plays. While the defeated team may often lament over how they were thisclose to winning, the bottom line is that winners make those big plays and losers do not. On Sunday, the Seahawks had at least nine opportunities to make or stop a big play. They made good on two of the nine. And had they made or stopped just one more big play, the 21-19 loss may very well have turned out differently. Instead, it appears they were intent on reminding us that, for at least this year, they are definitely losers. Thanks guys. But to be honest, I’d rather be confused on that point and at least wonder if, just maybe, deep-down, the 2008 Seahawks could possibly be winners. Unfortunately, I’m afraid the answer is no. Here’s the proof:
Play Number One: On a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Ted Ginn, Jr., Seattle drew the attention of the official who penalized the Dolphins for a hold. Result: No Miami touchdown.
Play Number Two: With 8:59 left in the first quarter and the score tied 0-0, the Dolphins lined up at the Seahawks 39-yard-line. Running back Ronnie Brown took the handoff and then pitched it back to quarterback Chad Pennington on a flea-flicker. Miami wide-receiver Greg Camarillo was wide open on the left side, but Pennington decided to throw it as far as he can down to the middle of the field to a streaking Ted Ginn, Jr. who was bracketed by Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant and safety Brian Russell. The pass was perfect, but there were still four hands within reach that could have knocked the ball away compared to two hands trying to catch it. Trufant and Russell failed to make a big play on the ball. Result: Dolphin touchdown.
Play Number Three: On the ensuing drive, the Seahawks lined up from the Dolphins 32-yard line and quarterback Seneca Wallace overthrew wide-receiver Bobby Engram, who had a step or two on the defender and likely would have scored had the pass been on-target.
Play Number Four: On the first play of the second quarter, the Dolphins lined up from their own 49-yard-line. Ronnie Brown, lined-up in the Wildcat formation, took the direct-snap and handed off to running back Ricky Williams. Defensive end Darrell Tapp reacted too slowly on the option by Brown (hand off to Williams or keep it himself), defensive tackle Howard Green was sealed off to the inside by Miami guard Justin Smiley, and 2008 first-overall pick Jake Long tied up safety Brian Russell. Result: Williams ran 51 yards untouched for another Dolphin touchdown to make it 14-0.
Play Number Five: With a 14-0 lead, the Dolphins lined up at their own 26-yard-line with 8:31 left in the second quarter. Craig Terrill disrupted Pennington’s pass just enough to allow Jordan Babineaux to step in front of the Dolphin wide-receiver, intercept the ball and run it back for a Seahawk touchdown. Result: Seahawks are on the board!
Play Number Six: Down 14-10 with 4:09 left in the third quarter, the Seahawks had the ball at the Dolphins 11-yard-line, first-and-10. After running back Julius Jones lost a couple of yards on first-down, Seneca Wallace found Koren Robinson in the end zone on second down. Wallace threw a perfect pass this time, hitting Robinson right in the hands. K-Rob, in dropping the ball, conjured up all of my nightmares he starred in back in his first stint with the Seahawks. Result: A Seahawk field-goal two plays later and four potential points left (dropped) on the field.
Play Number Seven: After scoring a touchdown to make the score 21-19, the Seahawks lined up for a two-point try from the Dolphins two-yard-line with 2:59 remaining in the game. A false-start pushed the try back five yards. Result: An unsuccessful try left the Seahawks still down two points with time winding down in the fourth quarter.
Play Number Eight: After admirably holding Miami to a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, the Seahawks needed only a field-goal to win the game. They drove to the 50-yard-line and had a first-and-10 with 0:46 left in the game—plenty of time to pick up twenty or so more yards and kick the game-winner. After two incompletions, Bobby Engram ran wide-open at the Dolphins 30-yard-line. This time, Wallace threw short. Result: Incompletion. Fourth down.
Play Number Nine: The Seahawks had one more chance with 26 seconds left and a fourth-and-ten. Wallace found Keary Colbert at the Dolphins 36-yard-line. A catch would have given the Seahawks a first-down and allowed them to spike the ball to stop the clock and try a 52-yard field-goal to win the game. Wallace was on target this time, hitting Colbert in the hands. Result: Another dropped pass. Turn-over on downs. Game over.
This article can also be read here.