It may not feel that way but it is.
A 3-0 team faces its biggest overall test in its quest for elite status on Sunday.
So far we took care of business. We won at home against the 9ers and away in Carolina. Those are games that an elite team should win and we did.
The 4 toughest games of this season are all away at HOU, IND, ATL and SF. Winning the rest of the games will get us the division title with 12W. Dropping 1 will probably do to – 11W should be enough to win the division this year. Winning any of the top 4 games is a bonus and a statement.
Two of the big 4 will be played back to back in the next 10 days.
Ever since we became poll darlings and power ranking heroes we heard one thing over and over again – depth, depth, depth and…depth. Little did we know at the time how much that depth is going to be put to the test. Losing Scruggs, McCoy and Williams for the whole season before it even started was the first bump on the road. Losing our biggest off season acquisition Harvin for at least half of the season was much harder to swallow but you can’t really miss someone you never had right?
The defense started the year with Clem, Browner, Irvin and Avril on the sideline. Our depth was tested and found to be as advertised on the D side of the field. Still, playing 2 games at home and one away against Carolina is not exactly a full strength test but the results were as expected. By now the D is back to full force and ready to take on the world.
The offense on the other hand will probably start without both starting tackles and with a banged up center. Before the season everyone haled continuity as the main factor in Oline success beyond individual talent. Hence the late round picks to bolster the Oline. The only players from last year to start in their original position on Sunday will be the banged Unger and the ex-rookie convert Sweezy. So much for the age of continuity.
Sunday we play away, at 10am, against the best defense in the league other than our own. We play a team that ended 2012 with a better record than us, they are back home hungry to erase their first loss of the season and they are out for blood. This is a tough and very balanced team with talent all over playing a similar type of physical football to us and J.J. Watt is drooling with anticipation.
All of the above makes for a game we could lose without any blame. There will be no "What happened to the Seahawks?" articles on Monday if we drop this one. When I tried to predict a 13-3 season 2 month ago I had us losing at HOU,ATL and SF and it sounded too good to be true.
So we agree it won’t be the end of the world if we do somehow not win this one. Actually if we split the next 2 games and end up 4-1 after 5 weeks we could say we are on schedule.
That makes it the first real true test of the season.
Will we come spitting fire in spite of all the injuries etc.? Will we fight on every play like it’s a do or die game? Can we win against a top team away at 10am with a banged up roster?
It’ll be ohh so easy to let go if things don’t work out. If the make shift Oline fails to withstand the assault which will surly come from the start, If Wilson is harassed, sacked and banged repeatedly, will we keep the faith or accept the inevitable and return to win another day?
This game will test the team mentality more then its overall talent. We proved we can win the games we have to win so far. Can we win some of the games we don’t have to win?
Losing such a tough game away with all the missing parts will not be a big blow. Winning it in spite of it all will be a HUGE STATEMENT. This could be the Chicago game of last year. A game that we may get back to and say – That is the game that made it a 14-2 or 15-1 or 16-0 year. The one that made us THE TEAM this year.
Go my Hawks, win this one and never look back again.