Seahawks vs Cardinals; the fork in the road


I’ve heard a lot of cliches this week as we get ready to pull up the curtain on Seahawks vs Cardinals 2015: version 1. A lot of folks want to label this match up as “must win,” “do or die” or “make or break.” Literally, none of those are true. Even if Seattle beats Arizona Sunday night at CenturyLink field, they’ll still be right in the thick of a jammed-up NFC playoff race.

However, the outcome of this game will dramatically shape the road that lies ahead for these Seahawks. Will they control their own destiny, with winning the division still a realistic goal? Or will they be left to scratch, claw and grind their way to the much more difficult prospect of having to go on the road as a wild card entry in the tournament?

Here’s a clear look at how drastically their fortunes may change after this game:

Both teams enter this game as healthy as they’ve been all year, coming off their bye weeks, and both have reasons to be optimistic. The Seahawks defense hasn’t given up a touchdown since week #5, while the Cardinals offense is third in the NFL in yards and second in points scored. For Arizona, this is their chance to send a message that they now control the division, while Seattle is looking to make it clear they are still capable of making a championship run.

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It’s under the lights of national TV. NBC. The whole nation watching. Al Michaels calling the game. SKY CAM!!!!!

Usually, I have a healthy feeling of concern, worry and sometimes fear as we approach a game against a quality opponent. But not this time. This time I’m excited just to see how the Seahawks respond. Because we are going to get our most definitive answer yet about exactly what type of team we have on our hands this year. Has all the adversity of losing four games in the first half, and in HOW they lost those games, going to manifest itself in the kind of focused, intense, and uber-confident manner that’s become this teams trademark? Or will the weakness that caused those losses (poor offensive line play and dreadful redzone production) prove to be their Achilles heel?

Next: Marshawn Lynch injured?

Typically, these spotlight games are precisely what the Seahawks thrive on. In fact Michaels himself admitted this week what we have suspected for years now, that the network doesn’t award more SNF home games to Seattle because they usually end up in boring (except to those of us who actually root for the Hawks) blowouts. How will the Cardinals stand up to the challenge?

One of these teams is about to make a statement.

Only one more sleep until we find out who that’s going to be.