These Seahawks ARE a playoff team after all


Turns out this writer was wrong, and the 2015 Seattle Seahawks ARE a playoff team.

On November 15th, the night the Seahawks lost at home to the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 39-32 I posted a piece here entitled “The 2015 Seattle Seahawks Are Not A Playoff Team.”

Turns out I was wrong, as the Hawks clinched a post-season berth today after beating Cleveland 30-13. It was their fifth straight win since that loss to Arizona.

You’re welcome for the reverse jinx.

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Here’s part of what I wrote at the time:

"“Time and again this season the Seahawks have done one thing extremely well; miss opportunities. Early in the schedule you could excuse that away by citing inexperience, or new personnel, of a holdout by your Pro Bowl safety. But 9 games into a season, with a roster full of well compensated star players in their prime, this team simply isn’t making plays when it needs to. There are too many mistakes and too many of those missed opportunities.”"

At the time it was true. The Seahawks had no rhythm, no chemistry. They couldn’t sustain drives on offense, and most times they needed a key stop on defense they would commit a drive-sustaining penalty, or give up a big pass play that was just outside their grasp. The offensive line was beginning to show signs of improvement, but then QB Russell Wilson threw out perhaps his biggest clunker of a game against the Cardinals, coming off a bye week in which he garnered more attention for posting pictures of his off-week vacation online then with his heretofore legendary commitment to preparation.

In short, Seattle came off their bye week looking unprepared and uninspired, against a key divisional opponent, at home, in a game that meant everything if they wanted a legitimate shot to defend their NFC West divisional crown.

But then, someone turned on the switch. In the five games since that loss the Seahawks offense has become a juggernaut, averaging 32.4 points. Russell Wilson is now 5 games into a historical run of success and looks to have taken a huge step towards that elusive (and rather ridiculously debated) “elite” title. In those five games he’s thrown for 1,420 yards, with 19 TD’s and 0 INT’s. He’s the ONLY player in NFL history now with five straight games of 3+ TD passes with no INT’s. And he’s doing it in the most traditional manner, standing in the much-improved pocket and scanning the field.

Forget about Wilson the game manager, or the scrambling mad scientist. Hello Russell Wilson, surgeon.

Suck on that, Pete Prisco.

This team has developed into one that looks every bit the opposite of the one that lost to Arizona. They’re focused, intense, and consistently effective. The offense hasn’t missed a beat even with injuries to RB’s Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls, and their 3rd down efficiency has been off the charts. Losing Rawls seemed like a big blow, but the Seahawks rushed for 182 yards today with a cast of characters led by castoff journeymen Christine Michael and Bryce Brown.

Next: Keith's 5 Takeaways from Browns win

Also, since that Arizona game, the defense has come together. The pass rush is better, and the post Cary Williams era has resulted in much improved coverage and fewer big plays. They’re banged up, but the injuries to Kam Chancellor and DeShawn Shead are more of the nagging variety. Neither should miss playoff time.

And there it is. We get to use that word again.

Because THIS 2015 Seattle Seahawks squad IS a playoff team.

I’ve never been so happy to admit I was wrong.