Russell Wilson will try to watch today like you and me. But of course he won't.
“It’s hard for me just to sit there and watch the games as a fan or anything like that: I play that quarterback position in my head,” the Seahawks' quarterback said before his NFC West champions and top conference seed this postseason got Friday through Sunday off to watch the start of the playoffs. “But that will be good to watch."
The Seahawks don't play until next Saturday, Jan. 10. They will host either the winner of today's 1:30 p.m. wild-card game, Arizona at Carolina, or Detroit -- if the sixth-seeded Lions win at No. 3 Dallas tomorrow afternoon.
Seattle has beaten Arizona (11-5) twice since Nov. 23, 19-3 at home and 35-6 in the desert two weeks ago. The Seahawks won at sub-.500, NFC South-champion Carolina 13-9 on Oct. 26.
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"There will be familiar teams that I’ll have to watch in Arizona and also the Panthers," Wilson said, "And then also Detroit plays on Sunday, and that will be a good game to watch and see who wins that one.”
Really, though, it's just good for the Seahawks to be off. They had the earliest bye week in the league in the regular season, Sept. 28 in Week Four. Center Max Unger (high-ankle sprain), wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (hamstring) and cornerback Tharold Simon (shoulder) are among those who are benefitting most by this bye to recover from injuries and potentially be able to play in the playoff opener.
Here's one man's view of what's going to happen this weekend while the Seahawks do nothing:
Arizona at Carolina (-6 1/2), today at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN:
I still recall the Panthers not winning a game in 65 days during the regular season. Ryan Lindley or not, the Cardinals' defense wins this game and sends Arizona to Round 4 with the Seahawks next week in Seattle. Cardinals 14, Panthers 13.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh (-3) today at 5:15 p.m. on NBC (channel 5 in Seattle-Tacoma market):
By now you should know I'm not picking against my Steelers, especially against the Ravens who have been suspect all season. But it's whole 'nother if AFC rushing champion Le'Veon Bell isn't back for next week at Denver. Steelers 24, Ravens 16.
Cincinnati at Indianapolis (-4), Sunday at 10 a.m. on CBS (channel 7 in Seattle-Tacoma):
Colts have no running game and no defense. But they do have Andrew Luck. Colts 31, Bengals 27.
Detroit at Dallas (-7), Sunday at 4:40 p.m. on Fox (channel 13 in Seattle-Tacoma):
The Cowboys are a huge threat to Seattle in the NFC because of how they play offensively: physical running with Demarco Murray behind a powerful line. But their defense gives Matthew Stafford a chance here -- which he'll blow. Cowboys 27, Lions 24.
Happy weekend. I'll let you know if I hear any more on what's become of Seahawks assistants Tom Cable and Dan Quinn interviewing for the head-coaching opening with the Jets, Quinn reportedly also with the 49ers, Bills, Bears and Falcons, and Darrell Bevell with the Raiders and Bills.