Ugly wins count too, and in the National Football League a team will take any win it can get. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday that may not have been pretty to most fans, but to Seahawks fans it was a beautiful thing.
For much of Sunday it appeared the Seahawks might be in jeopardy of losing the same way they lost to Dallas last season. In 2014, Dallas dominated time of possession by running the ball and a controlled passing game from quarterback Tony Romo. Even without Romo, the Cowboys were controlling the clock through most of the first three quarters. At one point Dallas had held the ball for 26 minutes to the Seahawks 16. The Cowboys were not scoring touchdowns, but were getting field goals and led in the fourth 12-10.
Seattle offensively looked like they had for much of 2015 thus far, meaning very inconsistent and not scoring many points. The Seahawks seem to either go three-and-out or sustain a drive for five minutes and there seems to be no reason for either. Sometimes the Seahawks run the ball well for a half, and other times they cannot gain more than two yards. It is baffling to fans, and it must be confusing to the team.
Still, this was the kind of win Seattle has gotten used to seeing: a close game decided in the last four minutes. This time, as has happened many times in the past three years, quarterback Russell Wilson was able to find open receivers when needed on a final drive that resulted in the game-winning field goal. That Wilson appears to do this so easily when the game is on the line and the offense seems incapable of producing much of the rest of the game adds to the confusion.
The Cowboys ran the ball fairly well, and tossed in some short passes, to keep the Seahawks offense off the field, but showed in their own final drive why they have lost five straight games. When the team absolutely needed to throw, they could not. Quarterback Matt Cassel looked calm for nearly the entire game, and was not facing much pressure. However, on the final drive he looked lost and held on to the ball far too long allowing Seattle defensive end/linebacker Bruce Irvin to get a sack. The Cowboys simply are not good enough to win games without Romo.
Seattle controlled the game when it had to starting in the last part of the third quarter, however, and held the ball for 13 of the last 17 minutes. They had two sustained drives, one that ended with a blocked field goal and another that resulted in kicker Steven Hauschka’s winning kick. Though this was a game the Seahawks should have won more easily based on the talent on the field, it is a good sign after a first half of the season that has seen Seattle squander fourth quarter leads they can win a game in the fourth as well.
Seahawks fans probably did not learn a lot from watching Seattle play Dallas on Sunday. If anything, the team may have reaffirmed just how far away it is from being a Super Bowl contender. At the halfway mark of the year, Seattle stands at 4-4, but 4-2 in their last six. The team has an off-week this week and then five of their next seven at home, including their first game back from break against the division-leading Arizona Cardinals. With a win over the Cardinals the Seahawks would move to within a game of the division lead, and a slightly easier schedule, including games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers, lies ahead. There is a lot of season left for Seattle, and there is no reason that should not include the playoffs.