On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks beat the St. Louis Rams to clinch the NFC West, the No. 1 seed, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The 13-3 record ties for the best in franchise history. The Seahawks will host the lowest available NFC seed at Century Link Field on January 11.
Two roads diverge for this Seahawks team and one is all too familiar for Seattle fans. This could be the year the 12th man has been waiting for or yet another disappointment in a line of many.
News has surfaced this week that Percy Harvin may be available for the Divisional Round of the playoffs. After the Saints win in Philadelphia, they will travel to Seattle. Harvin will finally complete the final pieces of his recovery plan and be near 100 percent by game day. Harvin’s return energizes an offense that at times has looked lethargic coming down the home stretch.
After narrowly escaping Philadelphia with a win, the New Orleans Saints will travel to face the Seahawks. In a game hyped by revenge for a 34-7 dismantling on a Monday Night Football national stage, the Saints don’t come any closer in the rematch. The vaunted defense, which has peaked even higher as the season closed, frustrates Drew Brees and Co. yet again. Harvin steals the show in his comeback party (part two), scoring first on the opening kickoff and later of a short screen pass from Russell Wilson in which he slips past defenders like their hands are made of butter.
The NFC Conference Championship pits the Seahawks against their bitter rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. After splitting the season series, the game is not as close as pundits anticipate. An offensive line that has been doubted all season helps Marshawn Lynch goes Beast Mode, while Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas both have interceptions in the red zone.
The Super Bowl is young versus old as Wilson and crew take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. In a game ripe for Manning to add to his amazing year with another ring, Wilson is the best quarter back on the field, spreading the completions all over the field. The Seahawks secondary stifles Manning, who throws for no touchdowns and two interceptions.
Wilson is the Super Bowl MVP. The Seahawks bring only the major sports championship to Seattle and the first in 34 years when the Seattle Supersonics (may they RIP) won an NBA title in 1979. The current players fall in love with Seattle and later take pay cuts to stay together in the Emerald City. The Seahawks begin a dynasty and win 3 more Lombardi trophies. The winning is contagious and even the Mariners get in on the act with a World Series victory. David Stern retires and the NBA comes back to Seattle. The Pacific Northwest becomes the sports capital of the country.
Harvin comes back too early and reinjures his hip in practice. Pete Carroll says he’s out for 12 months. Richard Sherman played hurt in the second half against the Rams, but is unable to take the field for the first playoff game. The beating that Golden Tate took on Sunday keeps him off the field also.
The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Saints, which sends the 49ers to Seattle for the first playoff game. The offensive line shows itself as the weakness many have feared. Russell Wilson spends most of the game on the ground. The constant pressure forces him into bad decisions he normally doesn’t make. The poor offensive showing puts the defense in a hole not even the legion of boom can escape.
The Seahawks lose their opening game to the 49ers, the eventual Super Bowl Champions. In the most difficult division in football, Seattle never recovers and is a perennial 4-6 win team for years to come.
It’s a road all too familiar to Seattle sports fans. The teams are either nothing to get excited about or just good enough to make you hope for the best, only to crush your spirits like a stocking full of coal.
Two roads diverge for these Seattle Seahawks. Let’s hope they take the one less traveled.