Although the Qwest Field crowd’s reputation as a valuable “12th Man” does not appear in danger of withering anytime soon, the prospect of having to watch the struggling 2-5 Seahawks duel the bumbling 1-6 Detroit Lions might cause the numerical reference to dip slightly. Maybe to 11.75 or 11.5.
Not that their loyalty should be doubted. But this game hardly can be expected to become an instant classic.
As coaches (especially those with losing records) like to say, there are no bad wins. Any win in the National Football League is hard to come by, they repeat. So, to beat Detroit today would be reason for a Seahawks celebration.
Fans don’t want context, they want wins – something to cheer about. But some perspective is warranted.
The 28-0 win over St. Louis in the season opener created expectations that were crushed in a 23-10 loss at San Francisco the following week.
And the 41-0 rout of Jacksonville, which seemed to signal a Seahawks revival, was soon forgotten with back-to-back blowout losses to Arizona and Dallas.
“You’ve got to bounce back,” Seahawks coach Jim Mora said of the team’s situation this week. “You have no choice. You bounce back. That’s what you do. It’s been a week to try to refocus … myself, this whole team. This whole organization (needs to) refocus and get on track and get to where we need to be. So far, these guys have responded.”
I guarantee that a win over Detroit today will compel fans to scour the schedule for ways in which the Hawks might dig up six wins in the final eight games, and also project however many losses it might take Arizona and San Francisco to fall out of division contention.
A win today and fans will be calculating playoff possibilities tonight.
When the NFL constructed its draft, scheduling and free-agency systems to encourage parity, the fear was that all teams would meet in the middle. So why does it seem as if so many are at the bottom?
The Seahawks look at a schedule that includes four one-win or winless teams to be faced in the final nine games.
The bottom-heavy standings show six teams with one or fewer wins, with only four teams with one or fewer losses.
Teams in this relegation division at the bottom have essentially skewed their records upward with the simple fact that, in meetings with their kind, somebody has to win.
St. Louis got its one win by beating 1-6 Detroit. Kansas City and Detroit got their single wins by beating 2-5 Washington, which somehow played winless teams in the first six games of the season.
And it’s contagious. Some of the teams starting out strong have steadily worked their way down. The New York Giants started 5-0 and have lost three straight. San Francisco looked like the new NFC West Division power at 3-1, but the Niners have lost three straight, as well.
Common threads among those struggling?
Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Kansas City have gone through varying degrees of ownership/management issues, bad drafting or staff turnover, leaving continuity as an obvious weakness.
Probably most obviously, the elite teams all have good quarterbacks. The very bad teams generally do not.
Seattle has a good quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck. He’s been banged up, and his synchronization with receivers has been slow to develop this season because protection has been an issue.
But the Lions have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 70 percent of their passes for 18 touchdowns and a passer rating of 110.6. Despite his sore ribs, Hasselbeck should feel much better today.
“We’ve got enough things to think about in terms of ourselves,” Hasselbeck said this week when asked about the Lions’ 1-6 record. “We’re not thinking about their record; we’re thinking about our record. Right now, our record’s not good enough.”
But the Lions should make it pretty easy for Hasselbeck and the Hawks to get win No. 3 today.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440