Monday, December 24, 2012

Current State of the Seahawks

Pure domination. That is the best way to explain the victory that the Seahawks had over the 49ers on Sunday. The ‘Hawks dominated in all phases of the game: offensively, defensively, and especially on special teams. The offense was very efficient, scoring early and often with beast mode in full effect and Russell Wilson up to his usual spectacular ways. The defense was stout as well, only allowing six points in the first half, and zero in the second half until a meaningless, garbage time touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the game. Even the special teams played well the entire game, with a couple good returns from Leon Washington and the game-changing play, which was Red Bryant’s blocked field goal that led to Richard Sherman’s 90 yard return for a touchdown. When watching the game, my friend Joey Calabro, who you all should follow on Twitter @redmondsfinest, prophetically predicted the play would happen saying, “Red Bryant is due for a blocked field goal.” It was just pure perfection. From three points in the 49er’s favor to seven points in the Seahawk’s favor, I would say it was the turning point of the game. Instead of being a 14-6 game, it was a 21-3 game and the Seahawk’s had all the momentum. Clearly, the Seahawks dominated in brilliant fashion, and to top it all off, the game was on national television so the Seahawks might even get some recognition for their win.

Red Bryant's blocked field goal shifted the momentum towards the Seahawks way for the rest of the game.

So it’s clear that we won the game in convincing fashion, but you may ask, what does that mean for us? Well first of all, it clinches the Hawks a playoff spot and secondly, it gives us our first winning record since 2007. What’s even better is that the Hawks are now getting some national recognition. In ESPN’s newest power rankings (which came out this morning), it has the Seahawks at sixth, just behind the Patriots, Packers, 49ers, Falcons, and Broncos. Now before all of you fans complain that we shouldn’t be behind the Patriots, Packers, and 49ers because we beat them, think of the body of work over the entire season. Now the most important thing to be gleaned from last night’s victory over the 49ers is that the Seahawks are here and they are here to stay for a while. One of the recent trends in the NFL is that teams who peak at the end of the season and don’t necessarily clinch a playoff spot until week 16 or 17 are in fact the teams who make long playoff runs. Think about it. Last year, the Giants didn’t get in to the playoffs until they beat the Cowboys in week 17, and then they made a super bowl run. The year before that, Green Bay was decimated by injuries and barely made the playoffs until peaking late, and then they made a long super bowl run. The Seahawks are peaking at the right time and it seems like the kind of team that nobody wants to face in the playoffs. Plus, a top defense, top running game, and a quarterback who can make plays and doesn’t turn the ball over are things that we have, and are key components to a Super Bowl team.

The Seahawks will face the winner of the Cowboys-Redskins game in the first round of the playoffs.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

However before we get to the Super Bowl, we will have to win three playoff games, most likely all on the road. At this point, it is almost certain that we will play our first round game against the winner of the NFC East, which will be solely determined by the Redskins and Cowboys game this Sunday. That begs the question, who would we rather play, the Redskins or the Cowboys? Personally, I don’t think it’s much of a question at all: we want to play the Cowboys. First of all, the Redskins are exactly the kind of desperate, peaking at the right time type of team that I described could make a deep playoff run. Secondly, playing against the Seahawks in the playoffs would be Tony Romo’s worst nightmare after he famously botched a snap in Qwest Field to lose the Cowboys a playoff game. So that means as hard as it’s going to be, Seahawks fans should be rooting for Romo and the Cowboys this weekend. To make my final point, the Seahawks are peaking at the right time, and with the pieces they have, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a deep playoff run. I’m not predicting anything yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘Hawks made it all the way to the Super Bowl.  

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