Thursday, September 15, 2011
Top five reasons you can't blame the refs for the Seahawks losing Super Bowl XL
This week the Seattle Seahawks(0-1) take on the Pittsburgh Steelers(0-1) in a week two NFL matchup. For most NFL fans this is just a normal matchup that has a team in rebuilding mode traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the defending AFC Champions. For Seahawks fans though this is a revenge game from Super Bowl XL when the Steelers won 21-10 over the Seahawks. To make this game even more interesting is that Bill Levy will be the head ref of this week two contest. He was the head official in that Super Bowl XL game. If you've read any homer Seahawks fan(Big Lo) this has been brought up. The fans are already convinced he is out to screw the Seahawks once again this week. Now in this following post I'll explain five reasons you can't blame the refs for the Seahawks losing Super Bowl XL.
Now before I go into the five reasons let's examine those poor calls. Not to mention all the little calls the Steelers appeared to get away with there was four major calls that went against the Seahawks. The first call was the offensive pass interference on Darrell Jackson which wiped out a Seahawks touchdown. Jackson did appear to push off but it was a ticky tack call. The Seahawks had to settle for three points on that instead of the seven they wanted. The second missed call was on the Ben Roethlisberger one yard touchdown run. Roethlisberger even admitted on Dave Letterman that he didn't score but what isn't brought up is that was third and goal from the one yard line. Good chance the Steelers go for it on fourth and goal from the one. The third questionable call was the hold on Sean Locklear which nullified a completion to Jerramy Stevens down to the Steelers one yard line. The hold was very questionable but again in football there are no guarantees. You see teams fail to score from the one yard line quite a bit and even if the Seahawks do score there they are up 17-14 with around 10 minutes left in the game. Hasselbeck would throw an interception on the following play instead of overcoming that call. On the fourth call which was a bad call Hasselbeck was called for a tackle below the waste which is legal. What is lost in all that is that missed call didn't affect anything. So yes there was some missed calls and questionable calls in that game which a good team would have overcame. The Seahawks didn't overcome the Steelers that game for five reasons which I'm going to list.
During the game the Seahawks kicker Josh Brown missed two field goals. Now Brown's misses were of 54 and 50 yards which aren't chip shots at all. Still these kicks were in a dome and had Brown made his kicks the Seahawks would have trailed 21-16 going into their final drive which would have been for the win. In the NFL every point adds up. If Brown could have made those first half kicks that could have built the Seahawks lead where the Steelers would start to press a little bit. Not blaming the game on Brown but he's had better days during his time with the Seahawks that is for sure.
The Seahawks big play receiver Darrell Jackson during his career with the Seahawks was the defination of a system receiver. He ran horrible routes during his time with the Seahawks and had terrible hands. The Seahawks had a touchdown called back due to Jackson pushing off the Steelers defender. It was unnecessary to do that as well. Hasselbeck delivered a nice pass to Jackson who simply decided to push off as the Seahawks had to settle for three points. Then right before halftime the picture I have is of Jackson attempting to catch a long bomb. As you can see he has the catch but he had zero sideline awareness as he didn't drag that second foot. The following season same thing happened in the Dallas Cowboys playoff game and announcer John Madden said "It's amazing how I see Jackson and a year later he is still running horrible routes right on the sidelines giving his quarterback no chance to complete that pass ". Jackson's poor route running cost the Seahawks 11 points and seeing how they lost by just 11 points those were huge.
During the 2005 season the Seahawks had the best record in the NFC at 13-3. The Seahawks also had two all-pro offensive lineman in Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson. The Seahawks featured Mack Strong who was also first-team all-pro as well as pro bowl center Robbie Tobeck. Behind those great blockers Shaun Alexander in a contract year was a man who couldn't be stopped. Alexander that season rushed for 1,880 yards(5.1 YPC) for an NFL record 27 rushing touchdowns. During the NFC championship game win over the Carolina Panthers Alexander ran for a playoff franchise record 132 yards with two touchdowns.
That is why everyone was surprised that Alexander had just 95 yards on only 20 carries. It wasn't like he was being shut down as he was averaging 4.8 YPC during that game. Instead the Seahawks threw the ball 49 times with Matt Hasselbeck when the game was a one possession game throughout the entire contest. Mike Holmgren in some of the Seahawks big playoff losses and regular season losses would forget about the running game. Hasselbeck is a good quarterback but the games where he is asked to carry the team the Seahawks usually lost those games. If Holmgren pounds Alexander instead of blaming the refs Alexander would have been Super Bowl MVP instead of hated on by the Seahawks fan base.
2. Jerramy Stevens opens up mouth but couldn't hang onto the ball.
Heading into the Super Bowl Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens had a war of words with Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter(thanks to Walter Jones was a non factor). During the Super Bowl game Stevens was costly to his team dropping at least four passes during that game. Stevens may be the only Seahawk who has ever scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl but he also stalled plenty of Seahawks drives. During the 2003 and 2004 seasons the Seahawks had a problem with dropped passes which cost them big games. This game was no different with Stevens drops. If Stevens had played like he had all season long(his only good season) there is no blaming of the refs. Instead the Seahawks are remembering what a great season they had. That game appeared to have affected Stevens as the following year the Seahawks fans turned on him booing him and he simply was never the same player. Stevens proved that it's one thing to talk crap but it takes a real player to back it up. Stevens failed to back up his war of the words and it cost the Seahawks the Super Bowl win.
Earlier in the season the Seahawks had crushed the Houston Texans on Sunday Night football 42-10 to improve to 4-2 on the season. Later that night starting free safety Ken Hamlin who was at a night club(in the wrong part of town) decided to pick a fight with some other guys at the bar. There was a huge brawl and when the dust had settled Hamlin was knocked unconcious. Hamlin was lucky to have survived his act of stupidity but was out for the remaining of the season.
Filling in for Hamlin was safety Marquand Manuel who had played great in replacing Hamlin during the season. He would play so well the Green Bay Packers the following offseason would grossly overpay for him. During the game Manuel would end up pulling a hamstring and would have to miss the rest of the game. He was replaced by what should have been third string safety Etric Pruitt who was exposed as was fellow safety Michael Boulware. The Seahawks would allow the longest run in super bowl history when Willie Parker would open up the second half with a 75 yard touchdown run. Boulware would whiff on the tackle while Pruitt took a terrible angle on the play. Earlier in the game on a third and 30 Roethlisberger would complete the pass setting up their first touchdown because the safety play allowed the receiver to get behind them. Then the dagger of the game with the Steelers up 14-10 the Steelers did a reverse touchdown pass to Hines Ward for a 43 yard touchdown. Neither safety was in sight as Ward had blown past Marcus Trufant for the touchdown to go up 21-10.
In conclusion, that is a shame the NFL is having Bill Levy ref this game because it showed the NFL how idiotic some of our fans can be. The officiating in that game was pretty bad but as I pointed out with better execution the Seahawks walk away hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Some fans just love to live in denial but they don't realize they give the Seahawks a bad name. You'll hear words like "revenge" this week but with both teams making so many changes it's just another game. The Super Bowl loss will always haunt this franchise but I feel like the Seahawks fans aren't look at the whole picture. Instead of making excuses remember the Seahawks didn't play well enough to win that game. This sunday when Levy throws his first flag on the Seahawks I'm sure homers will be complaining but keep in mind there are always other factors that dictate an NFL game. That loss still hurts but the Seahawks lost for more reasons besides the officiating. The Seahawks take on the Steelers this week hopefully win or lose fans can simply accept the outcome without having to make excuses.