Football is a game of talent and strategy, to be sure, but sensory elements influence outcomes, too.
Emotions come into play. Momentum shifts perceptibly.
If the Seattle Seahawks were going to harness Qwest Field's energy against the New York Giants in Week 9, they were going to need something special. Coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates settled on a third-and-1 trick play shortly after the Giants had taken a 7-0 lead with 5:49 left in the first quarter. Everything but the throw went according to plan.
Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst took the snap from center Chris Spencer, pitched the ball to Leon Washington on his right, gathered the ball back from Washington and sized up tight end Chris Baker along the left sideline. Baker was wide, wide open for what should have been at least a 15-yard gain.
Whitehurst missed Baker so high that the tight end didn't even bother raising a hand. The ball overshot Baker by 10 yards, serving as the closest thing to a decisive moment for Seattle in a forgettable 41-7 defeat.
"Baker is wide open to make 20 or 30 yards right there, and we get a little charge out of that and we get moving and we’re probably on the 35- or 40-yard line, or something like that," coach Pete Carroll said. "It didn’t happen. It looked great in practice, and we just missed it in the game. It's one play that was a factor in what’s going on, and we let too many get away from us."