The Playoff Push Begins . . . NOW (I Hope!)

By Joe Okabe

My first sentence writing on this blog said that statistics can be deceiving. Here’s some sobering statistics: 83 points, 58 first downs, 990 total yards (523 passing, 467 rushing), 83:37 time of possession. Those would be poor defensive statistics for a three game stretch, yet those are the numbers allowed by the Seahawks defense in their last TWO HOME games. These numbers are depressing, infuriating and exasperating, but they are not deceiving.

The average margin of defeat in the Seahawks’ six losses is a staggering 21.8 points, with every loss by at least 15 points. Still, Seattle is in control of its own destiny. A win versus Carolina this Sunday, a win at San Francisco, plus a win in the season finale at home against the Rams should garner the Seahawks a division championship and a playoff berth. Such is life in the NFC West.

Despite the fact that they were being completely dominated on both sides of the ball, Seattle had several opportunities to take the lead in the second half against Kansas City. However, another statistic from those two aforementioned games prevented them from doing so.

The Seahawks had only 69 rushing yards combined in those two games. That is a pathetic number for one game, much less two. The team has to make a commitment to run the ball more efficiently, like they did against Chicago and against Arizona twice. It is no coincidence that the team’s three best offensive games included their three finest rushing performances.

Whether a team loses by three points or thirty, it counts the same in the record book. The Seahawks need to have a short memory and focus on the task at hand, which starts with beating the Panthers at home this Sunday. A win would help put the team back on the right track. A loss would be a devastating blow to the team’s psyche. For all of the team’s embarrassing defeats, they’ve won the games they’ve needed to win this season (with the exception of the game in St. Louis).

What seemed to be an easy win on the schedule a month ago has turned into a dicey situation. It is clear that there is no such thing as a guaranteed win for this team. Sunday’s result will shed a lot of light on the Seahawks’ future. Whether the light leads the way to the playoffs or heralds the arrival of an oncoming freight train remains to be seen.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers NFL Playoffs Seahawks Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams

  • Greg Scherzinger

    The running game must improve, that is a given. And the effectiveness of the front line is the key, as the running back talent is certainly there in spades. Having Okung back is a plus. Lynch, Washington, Forsett are all excellent rushing talent. I’m really surprised that the run game in the last loss against KC was limited to so few attempts, something like 12-15. That’s only 3-4 attempts per quarter. And the ‘Hawks weren’t out of it until late in the game.
    The necessary division wins are a given. The Seahawks must win both at SF and home against the Rams. Certainly a key to winning the NFC West. What really bothers me is that all the writers are completely ignoring the road games against Tampa and Atlanta. As if everyone expects them to lose those and so ‘why bother’ speculating about them. If the team has the same attitude as the sports writers then they will surely lose. I seem to remember them winning on the road against Chicago. Beating expectations. The ‘Hawks CAN win on the road if they believe they can. Granted, it won’t be a cake walk, but on ‘any given Sunday’ the possibility is real. This team has the talent to do so. With the Sports Illustrated pundits and everyone else virtually ignoring the Seahawks (Bradford and the Rams seem to be the darlings of the NFC West) the avenue is open to create a stir. Believing is a lot of it. One game at a time to be sure. Winning on the road in SF is the first step.