Keep on believing, Seahawks fans. The playoffs are still possible, thanks to a big second half in today’s 38-14 victory over the Bears in Chicago.
With the win, the Seahawks have a 7-7 record, the same as the Bears and Giants. However, Seattle has now beaten both teams so they own the head-to-head advantage, and first tiebreaker, should the teams finish with the same record.
The Hawks can’t catch the Falcons, who are 9-5 and own a win over Seattle, so it helps Seattle if the Falcons earn the top wild card seed in the NFC. The second wildcard, and the sixth seed, though, is still very much in play.
What would help the Seahawks is for Detroit – who plays an afternoon game in Oakland – to lose. So, as weird as it sounds, Seahawks fans should root for the Raiders to win this one, so that Detroit would fall to 8-6 on the year, and just a game ahead of the Seahawks. And it would help if Cleveland beats Arizona today, which would knock the Cardinals a game behind Seattle.
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But back to today’s win, the team’s fifth win in six games.
The Seahawks were flatter than 2-day old soda in the first half, trailing 14-7 and lucky to be that close. Seattle’s only score came as a result of a Bears turnover inside Chicago’s 25, and the offense struggled to get going, registering just 73 total yards.
Then came the third quarter.
Tarvaris Jackson, who completed just four of 12 passes for 51 yards, and misfired on his last six passes before the half, came out hot. He hit on 8 of 10 passes for 129 yards and Seattle scored 17 points to grab a commanding lead.
Lots to talk about, and we’ll let you all get started while Eric gathers info in the locker room. He’ll give you updates later in the day.
• Wounded receiving corps. What’s happening with Mike Williams? An ankle injury knocked him out of the game after his second reception. Are the Seahawks going to be in trouble without him and Sidney Rice? Can Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate – who was solid again – keep on getting it done?
• The Beast Mode. Marshawn Lynch did not have his most productive day from a yardage standpoint, but he added two more touchdowns, cracked the 1,000-yard barrier – the first Seahawk to do that since Shaun Alexander in the Super Bowl season in 2005 – and broke Alexander’s team record by scoring in a 10th consecutive game. Is he now a must-sign – if he wasn’t already – at the end of the year?
• T-Jack. Yeah, that was a forgettable first half, but his play in the third quarter was outstanding. Throws to Obo and Tate led to the tying TD on the opening drive of the third quarter. And from there, he didn’t mess it up, which is more than you can say about the Bears’ Caleb Hanie, who threw three costly picks. Have you warmed to T-Jack?
• Big Red Bryant. His interception and TD return broke the tie and continued to show that the big guy is so key to the Seahawks defense. Is he the most important Seahawks defender?
• The Earl of Turnover. If Bryant’s not the guy on D, how about Earl Thomas, who had two of the team's five turnovers vs. the Bears? Thomas had a fumble recovery that led to Seattle’s first TD and then made an interception in the end zone to thwart a Bears scoring chance in the first half.
• How do you feel about the team in Pete Carroll's second year? The seven wins equal last year's mark, and there's still games left to play (San Francisco, Arizona). The team achieved a 1,000-yard rusher, established a run-crunching and turnover-forcing D, and won game in prime time. Is this year a success even if there's no playoffs? Or, are you going to lament – and blame Carroll and staff – for close losses to Cleveland, Atlanta and Washington, games the team should have but didn't win?