The Seattle Seahawks Are In Control Of Their Own Destiny

After last weekend’s embarrassing, frustrating loss to the New York Giants, most Seattle Seahawks fans are getting fidgety this week. We were supposed to be in the easy part of the schedule. The part where the Hawks padded their record and got tuned up for the home stretch and the playoffs.

Instead, we now must wonder whether they will win each of their remaining games. NFL games are never a walk in the part, but it wasn’t supposed to be this hard. Not for Seattle. Not with Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll, and a host of other future Hall of Fame members.

In looking at their four remaining games, each poses its own challenges.

This weekend, Seattle gets to host the New York Jets. That should be a gimme, but after last weekend, everything is possible—including a Seattle loss. Now of any of their remaining games, this one is the most likely win. The Jets are by far the worst team in the NFL and have yet to win a game. Sure, expect Seattle to bounce back this weekend. But also remind yourself of that old cliché about the wounded animal being dangerous. That’s the way the Jets look right now.

From there, Seattle has to travel east again to face the Washington Football Team. The Seahawks and traveling cross country are usually not a good combination. But it looks downright scary considering Washington is the only team to have beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.

The following week, Seattle hosts the Los Angeles Rams. You know, the team currently in first place in the NFC West. The team that has already beaten Seattle once this year and as of late looks a lot like the team that went to the Super Bowl two years ago. That game has titanic implications. While Seattle might be able to squeak by the Jets and the Football Team, it’s going to be hard to fake it against the Rams.

And then for the final game of the season, Seattle must travel down to San Francisco to face the 49ers. Sure, the 49ers have been many teams’ punching bag this year, but they will want nothing more than to knock Seattle off its big-brother perch.

At this point, Seattle could win out and go 12-4; they could lose out and go 8-8; or they could end up somewhere in the mushy middle.

It would be easy to look at the Seahawks and lay the blame at the feet of their defense. According to Pro Football Reference, Seattle is 31st (out of 32 teams) in yards given up this season. In passing attempts, passing yards and first downs, Seattle’s defense is in very last place in the whole league. In contrast, a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers has the number one overall defense. It’s hard to imagine Seattle being a championship team with a near last place defense.

Are there reasons for optimism? 

Well, if Seattle can get back many of their best defensive players, including Carlos Dunlap II and Damon “Snacks” Harrison, they could start to gel. 

And if the offense can start scoring with the alacrity that they did earlier in the season, potentially with wide receiver Josh Gordon joining the team for its final two games, maybe they can overcome the weaknesses of a historically bad defense.

Nonetheless, it’s not going to be easy sliding for these final four games. With every game in contention and playoff potential on the line, you may have to settle into a place of uncertainty. Many fans will probably pass the games nervously scarfing down bowls of potato chips. Or swapping out jerseys, rally caps and other Seahawks gear at a fever pitch.

We’ve been spoiled in Seattle for so long that many fans have forgotten what it feels like for most fans around the country. I guess we can take comfort in the fact that behind the scenes, the organization is doing everything it can to keep its goals in front of it. For the time being at least, the Seahawks remain in control of their own destiny. 

About Paul Redman 122 Articles
Paul Redman is a writer and chef in Seattle who grew up in the Midwest. His work has appeared in print and online, including San Francisco magazine, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Contrary. He eats too many chicken wings and cracks way too many dad jokes and food puns. Follow him on Twitter @predman.