I think, with good reason, I’ve been pretty down on the Seattle Seahawks this season. Pretty much, that’s what a Tarvaris Jackson is going to do to my overall well-being. As a fan, you never like it when you see a guy who sucks for some other team being signed by YOUR team and simultaneously handed the keys to the franchise (except, of course, when there’s a talent like Andrew Luck coming out of college at the end of that season). As such, I’ve done nothing this season but look on the dark side of things. How many games can we lose? Is it even remotely possible for us to lose enough games to get that number 1 pick?
Not once did I look on the bright side. How many games can we WIN? Is it even remotely possible for us to win enough games to take the NFC West?
Well, today it’s time to change all that. Today is the first day of the rest of this season, and from now on, I’m going to look at this team like a FAN would look at this team. A blind, devoted fan with nothing better to do than root-root-root for the home team and defend them against a pack of bloodthirsty wolves!
First of all, I don’t think there’s any way we fall short of 2nd place in the NFC West. Arizona is one of the worst teams in football, and the Rams will inevitably dig themselves too big a hole to get out of (and their injury situation isn’t helping matters any either).
So, really, all we have to compete with is the 49ers of San Francisco.
Now, we’re behind the 8-ball on this one a little bit. They’re 4-1 and we’re 2-3. They’ve already beaten us once, so they’ve got that slight edge (though, it was in San Fran, so it’s not a total edge). One thing we can look at is that they play their five other divisional games all in the second half of their schedule (including us on Christmas Eve in Week 16).
So, are the 49ers a good team? I think I still have reasons to doubt them, though they’re making it awful difficult. It took them 2 return touchdowns from Ginn in the second half of week 1 to beat us. They lost at home to the Cowboys in overtime in week 2. They BARELY beat the Bengals in Cincinnati. They had a helluva comeback in Philly (but Philly has proven to be pretty awful in this early going). And they absolutely whitewashed the Bucs this past Sunday (but that was after Tampa played a hard-fought Monday Night game, then flew across the country).
The real test for the Niners is this coming Sunday when they go to Detroit. That might be the best team they play the rest of the year. That’s also the only other difference in our respective schedules (the first being Tampa while we played Atlanta; and here we get the far more favorable matchup with the Bears). San Fran still has to go to Baltimore, they still have to host the Steelers, and they’ve yet to play the Giants, Redskins, and Browns.
If they play like they played against Tampa, the sky might be the limit for this team. But, if that was a fluke determined by circumstance and they come back down to Earth, I don’t think it’s impossible for the Seahawks to catch them.
We’re 1-1 in our division, with the remaining four games all in the second half of the season. Given our showing in New York last week, I have to believe those games in Cleveland and Dallas are MUCH more win-able. We catch Baltimore at home, which is huge, and we’ve got a three-week homestand in late November/early December that could really pad our win total if we play up to our potential.
The biggest games here on out are the divisional games. The Seahawks are going to have to find a way to be 5-1 in this division if they’re going to overtake the 49ers. That would put us at 6 wins on the season. Home games against Cincy, Washington, and Philly could conceivably make it 9. Now, should we steal a couple more on the road (Cleveland, Dallas, and Chicago are all capable of blowing a football game like the Giants just did yesterday), you might even say we could win 10 or 11 games!
I’m not saying that’s going to happen, mind you. But, it would no longer shock me.
What would shock me is if we won 11 games and that DIDN’T give us the division. That would shock me right down to my core.
Later on this week, I’ll talk a little more about why this Seahawks team is so damned entertaining. In the meantime, I’m going to let my mind wander toward rosier thoughts. We’re 2-3. We’re 2-3 and we did it the way exactly no one thought we would!