I’m as excited as anybody that the Seahawks won again, and that Russell Wilson is playing the best football of his life – and the best football in the entire NFL – these last few weeks, and even that the Seahawks are officially in the 5-seed and control their own destiny going forward, as far as at least making it into the post-season is concerned. It sure does at least feel like this team is peaking at the right time. But, I dunno. I can’t help this feeling of melancholy at what this game against the Ravens took from us.
And before you start, it’s not JUST because I had Thomas Rawls in both of my fantasy leagues, and his loss greatly impacted my ability to reach or stay in the playoffs (but, I’ll admit, that’s part of it). Not having him around for the rest of the season is a blow only mitigated by the fact that these next two games are against the most inept of opponents, so we probably shouldn’t NEED a quality running back to win those games. But, I don’t have to tell you that this team is paper thin at most every single position group. We expect Marshawn Lynch to come back in time for the post-season at least, but what happens if he doesn’t? Or, if he comes back, but then injures something else?
Furthermore, this game outlined how fragile all of this really is. We lost DeShawn Shead for a while with an ankle injury, only to be forced back into action once we lost Marcus Burley to his own ankle injury. Then, we had Kam Chancellor’s bruised tailbone; he MIGHT be back for the game against Cleveland, but I’m thinking we should probably just give him the week off to rest. Then, probably most frighteningly of all, Michael Bennett had to sit out a few plays for what’s being described as a jammed toe.
My fandom has been put on cruise control for a couple of reasons: first, because the Seahawks have finally figured out their personnel and clipped off the dead weight (*cough* Cary *cough* Williams *cough*); and second, because the schedule is pretty light in the ol’ loafers, starting with this Ravens game and running through the end of the season (depending on how hard the Cards and Seahawks want to win a meaningless Week 17 game). Wins against the Browns and Rams should be considered automatic, meaning the only thing I’m rooting for is NO ONE GETTING INJURED! This is the time of year where these types of injuries hit hardest. Players are worn out from playing almost a full season, the weather’s getting colder, making the ground harder (and those joints achier), and there isn’t a lot of time left for guys to get healthy in time to have an impact on the season (not that Rawls would’ve had a shot at returning, even if this injury happened in Week 1). Furthermore, the pile of viable free agents is dwindling. Teams all across the league are overflowing with IR’d players, and filling their rosters accordingly with the also-rans who were cut from teams at the end of the pre-season. Now, we’re looking at the VERY bottom of the barrel for free agent running backs to get us through the next few weeks.
So, yeah, you guys try to chin up. The Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin combination is looking more potent than Steve Young to Jerry Rice! Our offensive line looks better than ever! Richard Sherman somehow managed to keep all of his hair intact after getting yanked down by it after yesterday’s interception!
I’ll be over here, worriedly biting my fingernails, dreading the injury waiting for us in next week’s game.