Much like last year, the Seahawks have let things get out of hand, losing their 4th game ridiculously early, and as a result have put themselves in a real bind. It ain’t 2010 anymore; to win the NFC West, you actually need a GOOD record. That record might reside anywhere from 12-4 to 10-6, but the point is: the time is now.
If the Seahawks are going to contend for the division title, they MUST beat the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday. Period. There’s no other way around it. We’re not coming back from a 3-game deficit with 7 games to go short of a team plane crash on the way back home to Phoenix.
A win pulls us to within a game of the division lead, with an early tiebreaking advantage over the Cardinals. It sets us up nicely, as they still have to face the Bengals, Packers, Vikings, and Eagles (as well as on the road in St. Louis, who they already lost to at home). Plus, we face them down in Arizona in Week 17 for – potentially – the division title. It also sets us up nicely because the only difficult non-divisional games we have left are Pittsburgh and Minnesota.
Beat Arizona this week, go on a nice little run, and landing in that 12-4 to 10-6 range feels like a done deal.
Lose, and it’s time to shift gears and focus on the Wild Card. And, let’s face it, things don’t bode well for us if we do lose. The game is at home, in primetime, in front of nearly 70,000 rabid, drunken fans, against a tough team, but a team we match up well against, and a team that’s not all that much better than us (if at all).
More than anything, losing this game has to put in question just how good this Seahawks team really is. Will we be able to hold off a high-octane Steelers offense (when it’s looking increasingly likely that Ben Roethlisberger will be back from his foot injury)? Will we be able to go on the road to tangle with a tough, young, hungry Vikings team? Will we be able to fly across the country and beat a bad, yet veteran & well-coached Ravens team? Will we even manage to clip the Rams at home, with their savage front seven on defense?
Hell, if we lose this weekend, you have to seriously consider whether the Seahawks are even a .500 football team!
For what it’s worth, I do think the Seahawks have another miracle run in them. Harkening back to 2012 and 2014, this is a second-half team through and through. The defense is starting to gel, and I have to believe the offense is going to figure its shit out. And, if you’re looking to grasp for straws, the Seahawks are undefeated (in the Pete Carroll era) when we play a night game coming off of a BYE. Those are the kinds of crunchy tidbits one can only appreciate if he’s going to be spending the weekend in Tahoe, doubling down on the Seahawks to try to win all his money back!