As Eames once said to Arthur, you mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darlings...
You should all probably put a huge discount on what I'm about to say here. Remember: I was telling you that we still had a shot at the playoffs when we were 5-7 last year (then Mora led us to possibly the worst month of football in franchise history)... Here I go anyway:
The Seattle Seahawks have a legitimate shot at going to the Super Bowl. This season.
Of course, if the Hawks somehow crap away this Sunday's game against the inexplicably 3-2 Cardinals, I'll go back into the shadows, hoping we still scratch out 9 wins to take the division. Seems bloody unlikely though, doesn't it? After that is Oakland, which even being a road game is one that the "born again hard" Seahawks should win.
Then NYG. At Qwest. As it should be. Back in 2005, it was a win over the Giants that made a lot of Soldiers of Twelve start believing that something bigger than sneaking into the Wild Card game was possible. This year, the NYG game will probably pit two 5-2 teams, atop the NFC standings, against each other. If Seattle wins? Well, it's obvious where I'm going with this....
A HUGE part of this equation is the overall weakness of the NFC this season. Look around.. Is there ANY NFC team that Seattle shouldn't be able to beat at Qwest? I'd say no. Is ANY NFC team a good bet to finish above 11-5? Again, I'd say no (as would Football Outsiders' current playoff projections). It is likely that 2 or 3 teams will finish 11-5 (and no higher), and then tiebreakers will determine playoff seeding.
The Seahawks have a plausible path to 11-5 that includes key tiebreaking wins over the Giants and Falcons. Here's the eight wins that could get us the #1 seed in the NFC: AZ, @OAK, NYG, @AZ, CAR, @SF, ATL, STL. If we can win at Soldier Field, why can't we complete season sweeps of the Cards and Niners? In an effort to show I haven't got absolutely off my nut, I've conceded a home game (to KC) and road games at Tampa and New Orleans. However, 10-6 feels about right for the Saints, and while TB's off to a nice start, I can't see them cobbling together more than 8 wins.
Imagine how insanely rocking Qwest Field could be against the Rams on January 2nd if we're not playing for an NFC West title, but for a bye and TWO home playoff games at Qwest?
Imagine how tough it would be to come into Seattle and win a playoff game against a young, hungry Seahawks team hitting its stride, backed by the fury of the Twelve Army... Sure, all of this might seem implausible to many of you.. but not as implausible as it might have been a week ago, right?
My god... What if we actually played Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl? Could ANYTHING be more cathartic than beating those Yinzer crapsacks to win our first World Championship? Some of you probably just winced, thinking about what the mighty Steelers could do to our developing, rebuilding, fragile Seahawks...
Fuck that. This team will get better and better as the season goes on, and I will fear NO foe if we actually make it into the postseason.
Yeah, none of this is LIKELY to happen... but with each win, the impossible becomes improbable, then plausible, then WITHIN OUR FUCKING GRASP.