Here is another “guest” post by Joseph. Hopefully it’ll be the last one, because that means I’ve managed to get his access fixed and he can publish thing as a normal staff writer.
"The Most Important Showing of the Seasonby Joseph OkabeLast week, I said that the Seahawks’ game against the 49ers was the most important game of the season, and I stand by that statement. The Seahawks’ loss does not bode well for the rest of the season. The only saving grace is that none of the rest of the Seahawks’ upcoming opponents fared very well, either.The Steelers, Falcons and Giants all suffered embarrassing defeats, while the Cardinals struggled to beat the lowly Panthers. The teams that lost were all on the road, with the Steelers and Giants facing bitter division rivals and the Falcons facing the defending NFC North Champion Bears. I will grasp whatever straws I can as I struggle to maintain the slightest amount of optimism going forward.If anyone expects the Seahawks to defeat the Steelers in Pittsburgh today, they are delusional. There is nothing in last week’s game or the team’s recent history that indicates a victory is remotely possible. However, it is important, perhaps vital, that the team plays competitively. Though they will be 0-2 going into next week’s home opener against the Cardinals, a good showing can give the team some confidence that they can turn things around and get on the right track.Now is probably the perfect time to be facing the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s confidence can’t be very high following last week’s humiliating thrashing at the hands of Baltimore. The Ravens had to reveal some weaknesses that the Seahawks can take advantage of. However, Pittsburgh has to be thinking that they couldn’t have picked a better opponent for this game than Seattle.The Seahawks’ offense has to have a better first half than the pathetic performance they gave against the 49ers. A similar display this week will result in a blowout of massive proportions. The defense was excellent against San Francisco, but they need to step it up, as well. The Steelers are a better offensive team than the 49ers, and the Seahawks still couldn’t stop the 49ers when they needed to in the fourth quarter. Improvement in special teams is a given. They must outplay Pittsburgh in this area. San Francisco had a substantial advantage in field position in the first half last week. The Seahawks cannot afford to do the same to the Steelers.Besides special teams, the other area where Seattle must show significant improvement is penalties. The Seahawks took far too many penalties last week, particularly on defense. They gave San Francisco several additional opportunities to score that the 49ers didn’t take full advantage of. Pittsburgh cannot be expected to do the same.I’m not expecting miracles to happen today. However, if the team were to be within one score of the Steelers in the fourth quarter, it would be a tremendous moral victory. A blowout could send the Seahawks on a downward spiral that they will not recover from. There must be indications of improvement across the board that the coaches can build upon going into the next two games at Qwest, oops, I mean CenturyLink Field.This is the most important showing the Seahawks must deliver this season. Even in a loss, they must display progress in all facets of the game and play competitively. I would be happy if the Seahawks just don’t get blown out. It’s already shaping up to be a looooong season. A poor performance today will rekindle memories of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, years that are best left forgotten. Hopefully, 2011 won’t join them in that category."