October 11, 2010
What one team can do, another can do.
It's pretty common for human beings to put too much weight upon the most recent events. We tend to think that what we JUST SAW is indicative of larger trends, and has enormous predictive power. The most recent event in the world of Seahawks football was an embarrassing, demoralizing defeat in St. Louis, and based in large part upon that performance, you'd probably be hard pressed to fill Qwest with Seahawks fans who HONESTLY believe Seattle will win this Sunday at Chicago.
Concurrently, we've all seen the entire NFC West get off to a brutal start. No NFCW team has a road win against a non-divisional foe so far this season, so the chorus has already started signing: "Oh, this shall be the year a team with a losing record wins the divisoooooonnnnnnn!" (Cue the bitching about how a 6-10 division winner might make the playoffs instead of a deserving NFC East runner-up... Horror!)
I'm here to tell you that conventional wisdom is fucking dead-ass wrong on two counts:
1. The Seahawks will win at Soldier Field this Sunday.
2. As usual, the NFC West Champion will finish the season with nine or more wins.
These notions are intertwined, obviously. In the entire history of the NFL, only two division winners finished with non-winning records: The 1985 Browns and the 2008 Chargers. Both teams finished 8-8 (Cleveland dropped a heartbreaker at Miami, and the Chargers BEAT the mighty Colts in the Wild Card game), and here's the crazy part: NEITHER TEAM WAS IN THE NFC WEST.
Yup. Go look up the entire history of the division, going back to its creation in 1970. Somehow, someway, at least one team has managed to win more than half its games for 40 seasons in a row. 2010 won't be any different; Some team, at some point, will figure it out. The cosmic tumblers, as the man once said, will click into place. Some team will win a couple games on the road, maybe even against a team or two they aren't supposed to beat.
It could be ANY of the four teams in our division (just kidding about the Niners: They are FUCKED)... Why not the Seahawks?
Why can't they rise up this week and smite an overhyped team with an overbearing fan base stuck in a glorious but long-gone past? The Seahawks can stuff the Chicago running game. They can harass whichever QB the Bears roll out there into mistakes and turnovers. They can feed the ball to Beast Mode and physically punish that Chicago defense. Softened up, that Bears defense can be carved to pieces by a well-protected Matt Hasselbeck. Golden Tate could make a big play, as could Leon Washington, John Carlson, Mike Williams or Deon Butler. Pete Carroll, Gus Bradley and Jeremy Bates can outsmart the Chicago coaches.
WE CAN WIN. WE WILL WIN.
We can be the team that breaks out of the NFC West scrum of suck, and it starts Sunday, Twelves.