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. 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 No. 1: 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 No. 2: With 8:59 left in the first quarter and the game still scoreless, the Dolphins lined up at the Seahawks' 39-yard-line. RB Ronnie Brown took the handoff and pitched the ball back to QB Chad Pennington on a flea-flicker.
Miami WR Greg Camarillo was wide open on the left side, but Pennington decided to throw it as far as he could down to the middle of the field to a streaking Ted Ginn, Jr., who was bracketed by Seattle CB Marcus Trufant and S Brian Russell.
The pass was perfect, but there were still four hands within reach that could have knocked the ball away from the two hands trying to catch it. Trufant and Russell failed to make a big play on the ball.
Result: Miami touchdown.
Play No. 3: On the ensuing drive, the Seahawks lined up from the Dolphins' 32-yard line and QB Seneca Wallace overthrew WR Bobby Engram, who had a step or two on the defender and likely would have scored had the pass been on-target.
Play No. 4: 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 RB Ricky Williams.
DE Darrell Tapp reacted too slowly on the option by Brown (hand off to Williams or keep it himself), DT Howard Green was sealed off to the inside by Miami guard Justin Smiley, and Jake Long, the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, tied up S Brian Russell.
Result: Williams ran 51 yards untouched for another Miami touchdown to make the score 14-0.
Play No. 5: 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 Dolphins' WR, intercept the ball and run it back for a Seahawks' touchdown.
Result: Seahawks are on the board!
Play No. 6: Down 14-10 with 4:09 left in the third quarter, the Seahawks had a first-and-10 at the Dolphins' 11-yard-line.
After RB 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 Seattle field goal two plays later and four points left (dropped) on the field.
Play No. 7: 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 attempt back five yards.
Result: An unsuccessful try left the Seahawks still down two points with time winding down in the fourth quarter.
Play No. 8: 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 20 or so more yards and kick the game-winner. After two incomplete passes, Bobby Engram ran wide open at the Dolphins' 30-yard-line. This time, Wallace threw short.
Result: Incomplete pass, fourth down.
Play No. 9: The Seahawks had one more chance with 26 seconds left and a fourth-and-10. 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. Turnover on downs. Game over.
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