Seattle Seahawks – 42
Arizona Cardinals – 21
You know, for all of the razzing that I (among many others) have given this team over the years, one very pertinent statistic has been lost in the shuffle.
With their clinching of the NFC West as a result of this win, the Seattle Seahawks are one of only two teams in the NFL that have made the playoffs each of the last five seasons. (The other team to do so is the New England Patriots.) In addition, they’ve won the division title for four straight years, which once again an accomplishment that only the Pats (who’ve won five straight) can top. Over the past four years, the ‘Hawks have had to fend off the title against each of the other three teams in the division, who’ve each finished second at least once.
So despite the complaints the team may get of a perceived lack of heart, a tendency to play down to the level of their opposition, the spotty reputation of the receiving corps, or the belief that the team has already seen their window of opportunity close after the devastating loss in Super Bowl XL, it should also be said that the Seahawks have emerged as one of the most consistent teams in the NFL. They don’t get the press that the Pats do, for whatever reason you choose. But while other teams may get all the headlines, the ‘Hawks hum steadily along, locking up playoff berths each year as if it was a matter of course. True, three of the past five years they’ve finished with a record of 9-7 – just enough to get them in the door – but as the last two years have demonstrated, they’ve gone from a group bewildered players who are heavy on bravado but light on skill (“We’re gonna take the ball, and we’re gonna score!”) to a veteran crew who’ve been there before and know what to expect of the postseason.
Three more games left, all of them winnable. A 12-4 season might be asking much, but a first-round bye isn’t out of the question, and if the naysayers are to be taken seriously, this team still has a lot to prove.
After the team’s lackluster start, they’re settling into a groove. And I’m heartily enjoying it.