What an ugly, ugly game.
The question though is does that cruddy game--a loss to the St. Louis Rams 23-17--actually mean anything?
It could mean a permanent fall (depending on the outcome of next Sunday’s games) to the sixth and final Wild Card spot for the 'Hawks and a matchup against the Green Bay Packers instead of the inferior Washington, D.C. team.
Other than that, does the loss signify anything about the team? Does the 60 total rushing yards spell doom for Seattle (and that counts Russell Wilson's 39 yards). Does Wilson’s fumble portend a slip for the Pro Bowler, or was it just a cold, rainy day?
Can any other team replicate the defense St. Louis showed Sunday? A St. Louis team that is 2-0 against the 'Hawks and seems to get as psyched to play Seattle as any team on their schedule ever? In a league where the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and the Rams are rumored to be vying for a move to Los Angeles, it’s the Rams that show motivation at the end of the season to disrupt the playoff picture.
The loss is significant. It’s a spot on the otherwise pristine coat of arms the Seahawks were wearing these past five weeks. Wilson was being crowned as the next great quarterback--along with Carolina's Cam Newton--and wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett were being heralded as the next great duo.
All of that talk can be put to rest for the time being, which could be a good thing. No team does well with the spotlight on them entering the playoffs and while a loss is never good–and the Hawks played maybe their worst half of football this season against the Rams in the first two quarters–maybe it’s a wake-up call.
It’s not like it couldn’t have been predicted. The team was without their top two running backs, one of their key offensive linemen and their top two tight ends for much of the game. Even the New England Patriots, who were also down personnel, couldn’t beat the New York Jets this week. The Patriots and Seahawks were two high-profile teams, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Packers and Carolina Panthers, to falter Sunday.
The other NFC Wild Card team, the Minnesota Vikings, won Sunday but play the Packers next weekend. If they lose to Green Bay and the Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals next week in Arizona–no small feat–then this week’s loss, myriad penalties and all, won’t matter in the long run.
But if they don’t and the team has to play Green Bay in Wisconsin in the first round of the playoffs instead of Washington, the Seahawks are unlikely to be favored.
Time will tell how the dominoes will fall. But, jeez, was Sunday hard to watch.