Seahawks absolutely need win today over the Cardinals
The Seahawks are already in the playoffs. They’ve been great on the road. That’s all true, but getting the first-week bye is critical for Seattle.
I’m as thrilled as anyone that the Seahawks are already guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. I doubt many people truly expected the Hawks to be in position to secure the number one seed with just two games to go, but here we are. Hoped for, sure, but considering all the question marks Seattle had coming into the year, this has been a great season. But the best way for the Seahawks to accomplish something in the postseason is to get the bye week. That hinges on a win today over the Cardinals.
For the record, a few of those questions we had were: would Bobby Wagner sign an extension? Could DK Metcalf live up to the hype? Would Shaquill Griffin bounce back? Could Russell Wilson possibly live up to his record-setting contract? The answers are yes, yes, yes, and a most definite yes. Wagner is headed to the Pro Bowl for his sixth straight year, Metcalf leads all rookie receivers in yardage, Griffin is having his best season yet, and Wilson is within an eyelash of doing the same.
So why is it so important that the Seahawks beat the Cardinals today? Thanks to the Rams blown coverage at nearly the last moment in last night’s game, the 49ers are back in the driver’s seat in the division. Make that the conference. As Bob Condottta explains in the Seattle Times, a loss today versus Arizona could drop Seattle to the third seed, even if they beat the Niners next week. If both Green Bay and New Orleans win out, they’d be seeded ahead of the Hawks.
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That would put the Seahawks on the road in the first round of the playoffs. They’d face either the Saints, a team that already beat them without Drew Brees, or the Packers in Green Bay. In January. Take two parkas and a camp stove for that one, 12s. Sure, Seattle has been great on the road this year, but the playoffs are a different animal. We all remember Dallas, right? The Hawks have lost their last three playoff road games, so no thank you.
More than the aspect of playing away from home, Seattle simply needs the week off that would come with the number one or two seed. The injury report for the Seahawks this week looks like an episode of MASH. That’s an old TV show about a hospital in a war zone, my “Okay, Boomer” moment for the week. As they did against the Panthers, the Hawks could go into this without about half their defensive starters on the bench. Add in the losses by suspension of Josh Gordon and Al Woods, and this game could be a real war of attrition.
The Cardinals aren’t a great team, but as the Niners discovered against the Falcons, even bad teams can pull off big wins. Make no mistake, Arizona is a dangerous opponent. The Seahawks can’t afford a loss today if they want to do anything this postseason other than just swap jerseys and catch the first flight home.