In 2013, I was as confident as I’ve ever been about the Seahawks going all the way. As much as it sounds like a dream, it actually happened, and we’ll never forget it. Last year around this time, I was relatively confident. The Seahawks still had the #1 seed, and a pretty cheesy path to the Super Bowl. The Championship Game Miracle Comeback, while unforgettable, is also a pretty big reason to pause and take stock: anything can happen, good or bad.
This year, it’s more of that, only now we’ve got to take our dog & pony show on the road. If anything should bring back harrowing memories of the dreaded ending to the 2012 season, I’d say this year more than qualifies.
- 2012 Seahawks: Started out 4-4, got to 6-5 before ripping off 5 straight wins to close out at 11-5
- 2015 Seahawks: Started out 4-4, fell to 4-5 before ripping off 5 straight wins (and 6 of 7 overall) to close out at 10-6
- 2012 Seahawks: Finished 2nd in the NFC West, falling short of catching the superior 49ers, though resoundingly beating them late in the season 42-13
- 2015 Seahawks: Finished 2nd in the NFC West, falling short of catching the superior Cardinals, though resoundingly beating them late in the season 36-6
- 2012 Seahawks: Among a Wild Card field including the Vikings, Redskins, and Packers; with the NFC West & NFC South champions holding first round BYEs
- 2015 Seahawks: Among a Wild Card field including the Vikings, Redskins, and Packers; with the NFC West & NFC South champions holding first round BYEs
- 2012 Seahawks: Defeated the inferior division-winner (Redskins), leading to them facing the #1-seeded NFC South winner (Falcons)
- 2015 Seahawks: Playing the inferior division-winner (Vikings), where a victory would lead to them facing the #1-seeded NFC South winner (Panthers)
I mean, the damn thing nearly writes itself. Those 2012 Seahawks were peaking at the right time, their quarterback had taken a HUGE leap in his progression as this team’s franchise player, and we just KNEW we’d take the rubber match against our divisional rival if we could only get to that NFC Championship Game. Then, the Falcons jumped all over us, with a 20-0 halftime lead, and in spite of a furious second-half comeback, the rest was history.
These 2015 Seahawks are peaking at the right time, their quarterback has taken another HUGE leap in his progression as this team’s franchise player, and we just KNOW we’d take the rubber match against the Cardinals if we can only get to the NFC Championship Game. So, what’s to stop 2012 from happening all over again?
For the record, I’m like 85% confident in the Seahawks beating the Vikings this Sunday. The other 15% is that gnawing doubt that comes from literally every time Jeff Fisher’s Rams have made us look like assholes. There’s no reason whatsoever for the Vikings to win this game on Sunday, except it’s on the road, it’s in 0-degree weather, and they’ve got a good-enough defense to force untimely turnovers. I even bet their center is the type of dickhead who’d fall on back-to-back fumbles in his team’s same drive.
But, you know, that’s what it’s going to take for them to win. Fluke-ass bullshit. It can happen anywhere, at anytime, and if it does, the Seahawks could lose to literally anyone, including some bullshit team like the Vikings with a do-nothing quarterback and a no-name defense.
It’s the nature of professional football. But, it’s particularly apropos of this 2015 Seahawks team. I mean, we’re talking about a team that held a 4th quarter lead in every game this year except for that most-recent Rams defeat! This is a 10-6 team that very well could have ended up 15-1. The Seahawks were 2-5 in one-score games this year. Generally, those are coin-flip games, so you’d expect a record closer to .500; on the one hand, you might feel we’re due to start racking up a bunch of wins in one-score games; on the other hand, this just might not be our year.
It’s what we love about football, and it’s also what makes the vast majority of us miserable. It’s not a matter of how good your team is. It doesn’t matter what your record is, or your DVOA ranking, or how many years in a row your defense has given up the fewest points in the league. All that matters is how you perform on that one Saturday or Sunday afternoon in January. The better team USUALLY wins, but not always. So, I can be as confident as all get-out regarding this Vikings game, but it doesn’t mean a thing. If they play patient, mistake-free football and we don’t, that’s the end of our season. You can play that record on repeat for the next three weeks and shit won’t change.
Still, I’d rather be in the Seahawks’ position than the other way around. What do the Vikings have going for them? They get their home field, and that’s about it. The cold weather will be a factor for both teams, and start times don’t mean a thing when it comes to the playoffs.
What do the Seahawks have going for them? A superior defense whose specialty is shutting down the running game. A quarterback and an offense running on all cylinders. The return of Marshawn Lynch, who – when healthy – is the best running back in football. And don’t forget our savage special teams who gets it done week-in and week-out in all phases. Factor in this team’s confidence, comfort in the spotlight nature of playoff games, and the coaching staff’s vast superiority, and it all boils down to everything relating to the game of football being squarely in the favor of the Seahawks.
And, should we succumb to a bunch of Rams-esque fluke-ass bullshit, then at least we can rest easy at night knowing the better team lost.
My tune will probably change as we head into Carolina next week, but for now? Let’s get it on. I’m putting my kids’ college fund all in on the Seahawks winning this game. Money line, bitches!