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In any close competition in any sport, there are some small-but-important moments that get lost in the shuffle. One of those occurred late Sunday in the Seahawks' 24-23 win over the Patriots.
With 2:06 to play and Seattle trailing 23-17 with the ball near midfield, New England was forced to use its final timeout because of some confusion on its defense. The Patriots had linemen running onto the field after the offense had lined up, and it was forced to stop the clock.
After Seattle took a 24-23 lead with a 46-yard TD pass, New England took over on its own 20 with 1:18 to play — and no timeouts. The Patriots ended up turning over the ball on downs, but that wasted timeout represented the difference between championship teams and merely good teams.
Jon Ryan certainly knows how to make up for his mistakes. The Seahawks' punter botched his first try Sunday against the Patriots, dropping the snap and then failing to get a kick off after picking up the ball.
So, what did Ryan do the rest of the game? He merely had kicks of 66, 50, 66, and 58 yards. That's an average of 60 yards per punt, which according to the Seahawks is the highest average by an NFL kicker since 1946.
It was a thrilling victory Sunday for the Seahawks, and the players were rightfully excited. So cornerback Richard Sherman playfully took a shot at the NFL Network and others who allegedly doubted the Seahawks.
"I'm jacked. I'm pretty jacked," Sherman said. "If I could go on the NFL Network I'd tell them all how I feel."
Athletes often take shots at their critics and non-believers — after a victory.
But when somebody comes out after a loss and says, "You know, they were right when they said we would lose," then we'll start to give the tired nobody-believed-in-us mantra a little more credence.
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