The Playoff Push Begins . . . NOW!


Another Guest Editorial by Joe Okabe.

Despite the loss to the New Orleans Saints, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll has to be pleased. The Seahawks have a one game lead in the division with six games left to play. When the 2010 schedule first came out, the first thing I noticed was that Seattle would play four of their final six games at Qwest Field. It’s time to take advantage of that situation.

Everyone is aware that the Seahawks are not a good road team. Yet their two wins on the road this season are more than the rest of the NFC West teams COMBINED! Arizona has only one road victory, while San Francisco and St. Louis have yet to win away from home. (I’m not counting the 49ers’ victory over the Broncos in London, even if San Francisco weren’t the “home team” in that game.)

Seattle owns the tiebreaker over Arizona due to their season sweep. The Cardinals aren’t mathematically eliminated, but they realistically have to win out to have a chance to make the playoffs, since they now must total more wins than the Seahawks to be eligible. (I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that neither Wild Card team will come from the NFC West.)

In addition to being winless on the road, both the 49ers and Rams have four of their remaining six games away from home. Should the Seahawks win at San Francisco on Dec. 12, the 49ers would be in the same situation as Arizona, and almost certainly eliminated from the playoffs. They face an uphill climb regardless.

In the next three weeks, the Rams play at Denver, Arizona and New Orleans. If they don’t win at least two out of those three, their playoff chances would be bleak. Should they win two or three of those games, then the regular season finale on Jan. 2 at Qwest Field against the Seahawks could very well be for the division title. Who would have thought that this would be possible at the beginning of the season?

The Seahawks could render any division rival’s chances moot by taking care of their own business, particularly at home. If they win three out of their four remaining home games, a division title would be highly likely. That, plus a win at either San Francisco or Tampa Bay, would make the playoffs a near certainty.

It’s time for the Seahawks to step up. Everything is in their favor. The NFC West is theirs to win or lose. The season begins in earnest next week against Kansas City, which is 1-4 on the road, followed by another home game against Carolina. The Panthers may very well be the worst team in the NFL, but Seahawks fans should know very well not to take anything for granted. GO HAWKS!