Look, I’m going to make this pretty short, because it’s late on Friday afternoon, and let’s face it, we’re all totally OVER the regular season.
First, let’s get this out of the way: the Seahawks will be the 5th seed in the NFC. San Francisco will NOT lose to Arizona. Yes, I know it’s fun to dream. Arizona’s defense isn’t terrible. And, after all, they did go into New England and snuck out with a victory. But, really, come on. Come on. Just come on, okay?
Once we let that sink in, this game is pretty fucking meaningless, right? We can’t fall to the 6th seed, so essentially we’re playing this game for the sake of keeping up our momentum while (hopefully) (knock on wood) not getting anyone important on our team injured.
Of course, if the plan is to play all our starters and go all-out (considering the 49ers play at the exact same time, we have to at least put up the appearance that we think Arizona can win that game, which we’ve already discussed they cannot), then we might as well win, right? There’s an argument people like to trot out: it’s good to lose a game late in the season, so you know what defeat feels like; ergo, you know you don’t want to feel that feeling ever again. It’s apparently very important for teams who are so on fire that they don’t take each and every game as seriously as they should. I tend to think that argument is pretty bunk. They’re professional athletes (no matter how young they are), they know what it’s like to lose. And I don’t think – this late in the season – they’re taking ANY team lightly.
I’m more of the opinion that momentum is huge. You WANT to be the hottest team going into the playoffs. While the Broncos have a stranglehold on that title, the Seahawks are right there at number 2 in the NFL. With the kind of momentum we have going – absolutely DESTROYING our last three opponents going into week 17 – nobody wants to play us in the playoffs. That’s a psychological edge any way you slice it. No one on the other team would ever come out and say as such, but it’s true. Everyone on that other sideline knows what the Seahawks have done the last month of the season. That kind of shit is going to mess with them, especially if the Seahawks get out to an early lead.
So, let’s not just win, let’s KILL the Rams. Another 30-point victory would look REAL good going into the playoffs. The Redskins/Cowboys will be pissing their pants all week in the lead-up to this game.
There’s also something to be said for winning 11 games instead of 10. A 10-win season is pretty ordinary. An 11-win season just feels like something better. There usually aren’t too many 10-win division winners. 11-win teams, however, win divisions pretty regularly. Which, you know, even though we’re not ACTUALLY division winners, still puts us in the realm of other division winners. 10-6 and 9-7, those are Wild Card records. 11-5 looks down snootily upon everyone beneath them.
11 wins would put Pete Carroll’s record with the Seahawks at 25-23 (plus a 1-1 record in the playoffs). That’s over .500, instead of exactly .500. In his career, Pete Carroll is already over .500 in his NFL record, but I would still argue that this one is important. It’s seemingly-meaningless games like these that can either pad out your coaching record, or it can take away from it. Not that we anticipate many 5-11 seasons with Pete Carroll at the helm, but this seemingly-meaningless victory could very well mean the difference between being fired at some point and being retained. Owners look at overall record as part of their analysis on whether they’re going to retain a head coach. I don’t think Pete’s looking to throw this one away by any means.
Most important, though, let’s get everyone through this game without injury. Let’s get ready for Wild Card Weekend. Let’s get ready for a nice, long playoff run.