I keep going back to one of the Seahawks recent mottos: “Leave No Doubt 24/7.”
Here’s the thing though: The Hawks, in fact, leave doubt sometimes. But most importantly, they – and we as 12s – never give up hope.
Let’s be honest: You couldn’t have scripted three more emotionally draining playoff games than the ones we’ve witnessed dating back to the NFC Championship Game. But what we learned last January at CenturyLink Field certainly applied on Sunday: That the Seahawks might be down - they might be on the verge of elimination - but until the final whistle, they’re never out. And while seeds of doubt might be firmly planted in all of our minds, it doesn’t mean we give up our faith in this team.
The root of Pete Carroll’s optimism stems from his belief that regardless of how dire a situation may be, something good is always around the corner. And that’s exactly what happened today.
For three quarters, the execution wasn’t there, and as we warned against last week, the Seahawks were beating themselves. Even after a fourth-quarter comeback and a valiant effort to take the lead, the Vikings were still on the cusp of advancing. That doubt, which had slowly crept into our psyche the entire day, was ultimately at a fever pitch.
In that moment, all that binds Seattle’s cause together is hope. A belief. A glimmer of faith that it might just fall our way. Today, it did. And now, that hope lives on for another week.
Next Sunday, the Seahawks have another chance to leave no doubt. They have a chance to make a statement like the one they made in Arizona last week, and a chance to avenge that October loss to the Panthers. But if and when things get dire, I hope we’ve all learned not to jump off the ledge - not at halftime, not at the end of the third quarter, and not even if the opposing team has a chip shot field goal to win.
In the end, all the preparation and execution sometimes only gets you 99% of the way.
So yes, the Seahawks have given us reasons for doubt. But until the very end, we’ll all undoubtedly still have hope.