Should the Seahawks tank it in Arizona?


The Seahawks may want to consider resting some of their banged up starters this Sunday as they prepare for the playoffs.

Typically it’s the higher seeds that consider pulling their foot off the gas in week #17 of the NFL season, and sometimes even sooner than that.

But in this case, the Seahawks may want to give strong consideration to sitting some of their best players as they get ready for what they hope will be a three game road grind through the NFC playoffs.

Heading into Sunday’s game in Glendale, AZ against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks have a number of starters who are nursing injuries. Safety Kam Chancellor, LT Russell Okung and DT Jordan Hill have missed games with theirs, while DT Michael Bennett and CB DeShawn Shead have been playing hurt. And then there’s the case of QB Russell Wilson. He took as many hits against the Rams last week as he’s taken in over a month, could he benefit from some rest?

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The Seahawks still have a chance to earn the 5th seed with a win over the Cards and a Green Bay win over Minnesota later in the evening. That would pit them against Washington in the first round, a match up many view as a favorable one for Seattle. In fact, that 5th seed has been discussed as a sort of Holy Grail for the team recently. But is it that much more of an advantage if it means risking further injury to your key players?

As I speculated yesterday, there may not be that big of a difference between playing the Redskins or facing the loser of the Packers/Vikings contest, and that difference becomes even smaller if you consider how much more formidable the Seahawks might be with a healthy Chancellor, Okung, Hill, Shead….. and if you add Marshawn Lynch to that mix as well. Pete Carroll indicated that Lynch may do some practicing this week. Is he on track to be 100% ready to go when the playoff lights come on?

Carroll hasn’t given away what they’re thinking yet, but there’s this; In Vegas, Seattle opened as a 4 point underdog but have now jumped to 6 1/2, fueling speculation that at least the odd makers “in the know” feel strongly that Seattle may not be planning to fire all their bullets this Sunday in the desert.

Also consider….. there’s the distinct possibility that the Hawks would have to return to Glendale to play the Cards again in a much more meaningful game in two or three weeks. How genuine do you want your effort to be against a team you might be facing for the right to advance to the Super Bowl?

Next: 5 Takeaways from Rams loss

When you add it all up it starts to make a lot of sense for the Seahawks to be conservative in their approach this Sunday. The bottom line is, they’re in the playoffs. How far they can go may just depend on how healthy they are.