Oh, what could have been.
Heading into Week 10, the top 7 teams in the division (in terms of playoff positioning) were, in alphabetical order: The Arizona Cardinals, the Atlanta Falcons, the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers, the Los Angeles Rams, the New Orleans Saints, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Four of those 7 teams lost this week; 3 of them by a lot.
Had Seattle handled their business in Green Bay, they’d have gained a game on the Packers, the Cardinals, the Rams and the Falcons.
Oh, what could have been.
That’s not what this article is about though because all of that absolute zaniness falls under the age-old cliché of “any given Sunday” (or in the case of the Rams getting their backsides spanked by the San Francisco 49ers by a 31-10 score ... any given Monday).
This article is about the bigger picture, schedule-wise, and how even though the Hawks have been perfectly dreadful up to this point, they haven’t actually lost much, if any, ground the past few weeks.
In fact, division-wise, they’ve actually gained ground.
Yes, you read that right.
Let’s jump in the Wayback Machine and revisit the standings after Seattle lost a heartbreaker to the Saints, 13-10, at Lumen Field on October 25th. When the dust settled on Week 7, the only team in the NFC with a worse record than the Seahawks (2-5) was the woeful Detroit Lions (0-7).
To be fair, there were 3 other teams with a 2-5 record (the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Washington What’s-its). However, there were eleven teams with a better record and that ain’t good.
And Seattle trailed the division-leader in the NFC West by a whopping five games !!!
Fast forward to today and what do we see?
Well, let’s start with the NFC West:
- Arizona, 8-2
- FTR, 7-3
- Santa Clara, 4-5
- Seattle, 3-6
That. Is. UGLY. But remember what I said earlier? Three weeks ago, Seattle trailed the division-leading Cardinals by 5 games. Now? “Only” 4-1/2.
That there is progress.
You know what isn’t progress?
As of today, the only team in the NFC with a worse record than Seattle (3-6) is the woeful Detroit Lions (0-8-1).
To be fair, there are 3 other teams with a 3-6 record (the Chicago Bears, the New York Giants, and the Washington What’s-its). However, there are eleven teams with a better record and that ain’t good.
I sound like a broken record, don’t I?
In this case, that’s actually a good thing because, as bad as things have gone thus far (and they have gone very, very, VERY bad), Seattle hasn’t really lost any ground over the past 3 weeks. And there are still 8 games left to play (basically half a season).
Could Seattle win out and finish the year 11-6? YES! Yes, they could. Both technically and mathematically speaking, that is certainly ... um ... possible.
Will they win out and finish the year 11-6? Even I am not optimistic enough to answer that question affirmatively.
But could they win enough games to claw their way into the playoffs?
Yeah! They could.
Three weeks ago, Seattle was 1-1/2 games behind the 7-seed (Atlanta). Today, the Seahawks are 1-1/2 games behind the 7-seed (Carolina).
Their window is obviously smaller since there are fewer games left to play and their margin for error is incredibly thin. Plus, they’re (probably) going to have to win at least 1 game against either the Cardinals or Rams to have any realistic shot.
As bad as things have been, ain’t nothing really changed. Seattle is still in this - despite how that 3-6 record might make it look.