Me, Dave Boling and Ted Miller all are on the same flight to Atlanta, which takes off in about 35 minutes, so for those looking to get into the business if you hear about a plane going down there will be a lot of openings in the Seattle journalism world. Just a thought.
I actually can't believe we have to travel so far for such a meaningless game, and I'm sure the Seahawks feel the same way. But it won't be meaningless if Patrick Kerney can get a few sacks against his old team and win the sack title. That's a pretty good ride home for him if that happens. The weird part for the Seahawks is that they won't know until they hit the ground who they play in the playoffs. I'm sure the pilot will be communicating with the ground to get updates but you get the idea. They are taking off from Atlanta and still won't know if they have Washington, Minnesota or New Orleans. I'm sure Holmgren has scouts prepping on all three teams, with Washington the focus since a win there means they play the Redskins, and Dallas is calling off the dogs early. But, as Holmgren said earlier this year, whoever they think they are going to play, they never end up playing. So that probably means the Saints.
The defense can set a franchise record for fewest points in a season if it holds the Falcons to 13 points or less. That's a pretty big statement, both for John Marshall and for Tim Ruskell, who brought in the important free agents over the summer that revamped the defense. If defense indeed wins championships, the Seahawks have to feel reasonably good about at least having a shot.
Can Matt Hasselbeck set the record for most yards in a season. He needs 23. He has had a career year in every category except passer rating, which he set in 2005, and appears to be in his prime. I wonder if he can get better the more comfortable he gets. Imagine if he had all the same receiving corps this year rather than having to rotate because of various injuries.
How will the run game look? I have to think that one of Mike Holmgren's main points this week is to build on what was accomplished last week against Baltimore. Two games in a row of productivity would bode well as they go into the playoffs, making defenses have to prepare for a two-pronged attack rather than just Hasselbeck.
Will Walter Jones and Deion Branch play? I got the sense on Friday that Branch would sit and Jones would play a limited role, perhaps just the first half, but you have to ask why Holmgren would even chance it with Walter. You know what he brings. Let the guy rest. Then again, if you really want to build on the run game, you are going to need him in there for a period to get some continuity.
Will the loss of Niko Koutouvides have an affect? It seems like a minor loss, but every time I look up that guy is making a big hit on a special teams play. Somehow, he is always the freed up guy and brings some thunder.
That's about it for me. They are calling final boarding. We start blogging early for you tomorrow, probably about 8:00 or 8:30 your time.