Seeing Arizona lose again yesterday further reinforced what Pete Carroll more than two weeks ago, before the Seahawks' surge and the Cardinals' swoon left Seattle (8-4) one game out of first place in the NFC West with four games remaining in the regular season:
"Everything's still out there" for his team," Carroll said on Nov. 19.
Wins over the Cardinals and 49ers later, the Seahawks begin preparations for Sunday's game at the Eagles (9-3) knowing they still have a game to play at Arizona in three weeks. Many are focusing on Arizona's offense after Drew Stanton threw two more interceptions and the Cardinals got one offensive touchdown in the 29-18 loss to the Falcons yesterday. But more glaring is Arizona's previously bedrock defense allowing 500 yards to Atlanta. You figure Matt Ryan might get his, and he did in passing for 358 yards. But Atlanta also ran past the Cardinals for 142 yards on the ground.
While Seattle is at Philadelphia on Sunday the Cardinals will be hosting the suddenly sliding Chiefs, who are 7-5 and currently holding the AFC's last playoff seeding. Then next week while the Seahawks host the 49ers the Cardinals play at the 5-6 Rams, who just beat Oakland 52-0 and have also defeated the Seahawks, Broncos and 49ers.
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Seattle currently has the fifth seed and first wild card in the NFC playoff race, but that hold is tenuous. The Seahawks currently own a three-game tie-breaker with Detroit and Dallas for that No. 5 spot. The Lions are currently the sixth and final seed. Detroit figures to be headed to 10-4; it hosts Tampa Bay and Minnesota the next two weeks. Dallas' next three games are at Chicago Thursday night, at a Philadelphia team that just squashed the Cowboys 33-10 in Texas then home against AFC South-leading Indianapolis.
So, yes, everything is still out there -- for the Seahawks and everyone else above.
A reminder that our weekly Seahawks chat begins at 1 p.m. Pacific Time here on the blog, blog.newstribune.com/seahawks.