It is now clear that Percy Harvin will not play in the NFC Championship game on Sunday after he failed to pass the NFL’s concussion protocol this past week.
ESPN analyst Matt Williamson said that the loss of Harvin may be the reason the Seahawks lose to the 49ers, one game short of Super Bowl XLVIII.
“I think it is giant,” Williamson said. “It will certainly be a close game and being at home is huge for Seattle, but Seattle not having Harvin is that important.”
Not having Harvin, according to Williamson, means that the Seahawks don’t have a go-to receiver against the 49ers.
“Russell Wilson is capable of greatness, no doubt, but he is also slumping in a huge way right now and his receiver corps is lackluster at best,” Williamson continued. “I think that is going to be the difference in San Francisco’s favor. [Seattle running back Marshawn] Lynch can put the team on his back, but I don’t think that is enough versus the 49ers’ defense.”
Well, here’s the thing.
The Seahawks have been playing without Harvin all season long. He has missed 15 of the Seahawks 17 games this year.
Of course having him on the field would have been nice, but that doesn’t mean the Seahawks aren’t going to win tomorrow — if they don’t it will not be because Harvin was not on the field.
The Seahawks set a franchise-record this year with 14-consecutive wins at home, without Harvin.
Russell Wilson is 16-1 at home in his career and has the most wins in his first two seasons in NFL history, without Harvin.
The Seahawks have won four of their last five home games against the 49ers, without Harvin.
The Seahawks won the NFC West and clinched the No. 1 seed this year, without Harvin.
And, the Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints last weekend to get to the NFC title game, mostly without Harvin.
Few will argue that when Harvin is healthy, he is one of the most exciting playmakers in the National Football League. But at the same time, it is silly to think that the Seahawks are a completely different team when Harvin does not lineup at wideout.
Golden Tate had a pretty good year for the Seahawks as one of Wilson’s go-to guys, finishing with 64 catches for 898 yards and five touchdowns. Doug Baldwin had 50 catches for 778 yards and five touchdowns. Zach Miller had 33 catches for 387 yards and five touchdowns.
And the Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for a career-high 12 TDs this year, in the backfield.
Harvin would have been nice to have on the field tomorrow, but the Seahawks and their fans know that the team has what it takes to make it to the Super Bowl, with or without Harvin.
Seattle is at home and has a better defense than San Francisco does, both of which may be influential in helping the Seahawks get to their second Super Bowl in franchise history.
Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. PT tomorrow and it cannot come soon enough.
Seahawks 24, 49ers 20