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Thursday, December 1, 2005 - Page updated at 02:50 PM



Hawks find it's better to be lucky and good

Seattle Times staff reporter

Call them lucky. Call them good. Or call them a little bit of both.

The fact is the Seahawks are 9-2 and find themselves at the top of the NFC mountain because of some good fortune and a lot of good play.

During the team's current seven-game winning streak, balls batted in the air for sure interceptions have fallen to the ground as incomplete passes. Almost all of the Seahawks' fumbles have wound up back in their own hands. A couple of sure touchdowns, on which the Seahawks were out of position, have been dropped.

And not one, not two, but three missed field goals Sunday cleared the way for the Seahawks to make one of their own and defeat the New York Giants 24-21 in overtime.

"Our defensive line ... they almost blocked a couple of those, it looked like," center Robbie Tobeck said. "They were getting after it and they didn't give up. Yeah, if they would have made the field goal, the game would have been over, but our guys stayed after them and kept pressure on their kicker. And that's the sign of a team that hopefully is going somewhere."

In 2005, it would appear, all of the things that seemed to go against the Seahawks the past couple of years — and beyond, it can be argued — are going their way. Even when the officiating is questioned and the calls are suspect, the Seahawks overcome and win.


Seattle at Philadelphia,

6 p.m., Ch. 4

There was the New York game last week, when Seahawks safety Marquand Manuel's jolting hit on tight end Jeremy Shockey looked to have forced the ball out of Shockey's hands before he got his second foot down for what was ruled a touchdown.

The call stood, but the Seahawks went on to win. It's the mark of a different and much better team.

But there are plenty of Seahawks still around who remember incidents in 2003 and 2004 when the team couldn't rise above the officiating.

The most notable include the Dallas game on a Monday night last season in which a late touchdown was not automatically reviewed after it happened inside two minutes to play, and the Cowboys came back from 10 points down in the final minutes to win at Qwest Field. At Baltimore in 2003, there was the failure of officials to restart the clock after a penalty, which gave the Ravens more time to drive for a game-tying score. The Ravens went on to win in overtime.

"Are you suggesting we were fortunate [Sunday]?" coach Mike Holmgren asked a reporter. "I would say it evened up yesterday a little bit, yeah."

To say that luck doesn't play a little part in winning games is crazy, Holmgren said.

"We've all been at this a long time. It happens," Holmgren said. "We've had a couple in the last couple years that were horrible losses that bounced the other way. So it's nice to go through a season where every once in a while, you know, it kind of goes your way."

"The football bounces crazy," fourth-year tight end Jerramy Stevens said. "We've been on the right side of it this year. We feel like this is a year that is special because those things are going our way ... Plus, we're playing well and we have a better team."

The team certainly deserves credit for the plays it has made in games to win, and for creating the circumstances that lead to wins.

"I am never going to apologize for a win, ever," Holmgren said. "So if you're in a position at any time in a football game to win a game, and everyone is playing on the same field, everyone is playing with the same amount of time and you win, you win. How you win or what happens, heck, that's football. So the feeling inside the locker room right now is a good one."

The Seahawks feel fortunate, but much of the fortune has been of their own creation. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck credits coaching and attention to detail that have allowed players to see tendencies in opponents and be in better position to make plays. "The more we study that stuff, the harder we work, the luckier we get," Hasselbeck said.

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company





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