The NFL playoff race, as it pertains to the Seattle Seahawks, got jumbled a bit over the weekend—just like the prior week—and there was a major mix-up among the NFC teams competing for the top seedings.
But instead of Seattle blowing a game they should have won, as they did two weeks ago against the Los Angeles Rams, this past week they went on the road against the Carolina Panthers, and won a game they were supposed to win.
The unexpected thing was that their rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, lost a game that they weren’t supposed to lose. They hosted the 5-9 Atlanta Falcons, who made the Niners look perfectly pedestrian.
And so instead of being the five seed in the playoffs, the Seahawks jumped all the way up to number one.
The Seahawks the number one team in the NFC? You can debate all day about whether they’re actually the best team, but, as for now, their record indicates that they are.
And there’s no reason they shouldn’t be.
All the Seahawks have done all year is run and pass the ball well. The defense has mostly held up when it’s needed to. And while it hasn’t always looked pretty, it’s gotten the job done. Trot out the old football cliché: gritty not pretty.
No, the Seahawks are not putting up gaudy numbers like the Baltimore Ravens seem to do, outscoring their opponents by double digits, almost week in and week out. But almost nobody does that. Let’s trot out another captain obvious type statement: the team that scores more points always wins. There’s no such thing as bonus or style points. Not in football, anyway.
Now the Seahawks control their own destiny. If they win their remaining two games, they will be the number one seed going into the playoffs, which means they’ll have home-field advantage throughout, and they’ll also have a first-round bye.
The good news is that they play their final two games at home. Both are early afternoon kickoffs; expect the fans to be absolutely wild.
This week they play the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have a 4-9 record and are in rebuilding mode under new coach Kliff Kingsbury. They have superstar quarterback Kyler Murray, who is very young, and Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is very old.
The final week, 12/29, Seattle hosts the 49ers. Again, if the Seahawks beat the Cardinals and the 49ers, they will be the number one seed. If they lose one or both of those games, the situation becomes much more complicated, and probably entails Seattle being at the mercy of some of the other playoff bound teams, such as the Saints, the Packers, and the Cowboys. However, at the end of the day, the Seahawks are guaranteed a playoff spot. It’s likely that they end up being the number one seed.
And that’s got to feel good as a fan. Several years ago, it looked like Pete Carroll was building a dynasty. Then, after back to back Super Bowls, things started going downhill. But, like the way their season has gone, so goes their decade. Take the long view, not the short one.
It’s a dynasty, alright. Now they just need to add another ring or three.