Will the Seahawks pay attention to Falcons-Panthers? Depends on who you ask

K.J. Wright

SEATTLE – Believe whomever you like, but K.J. Wright’s answer seems the most credible.

The Seahawks linebacker admitted the team will be tuned in to the results of the Atlanta Falcons-Carolina Panthers game on Sunday, even as Seattle (9-6) plays concurrently against the Arizona Cardinals (7-8) at CenturyLink Field on Q13 FOX at 1:25 p.m. in the team’s final regular-season game of the year.

“Somehow, it’s gonna get to us. The word spreads,” Wright said at the VMAC last week. “It’s gonna spread around. That’s natural and that’s gonna be the case, and so we’re definitely gonna find out, and whatever we find out, we’ve just gotta play ball still. It doesn’t matter.”

You know the math by now: If the Seahawks win and the Panthers win, Seattle is headed to the playoffs. If the Falcons or Cardinals win, Seattle’s headed home early for the first time since the end of the 2011 season.

“Of course we know what the case is, we know that we need a little help,” Wright said. “That’s unfortunate, but like always, we’ve gotta focus on ourselves. No matter what happens, we’ll got out there and play hard, play to the best of our abilities.”

The latter half of that sentiment is all that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll would cop to. He said he spends the whole year making sure every game is treated with the utmost focus in hopes of creating a mindset that will hold up in situations just like this one.

“I don’t know how we can be any more motivated,” he said. “We have to win the football game, and we have to do everything we can. It’s not necessary in a normal week; why would it be necessary now? I know that you guys look at it that way: ‘Oh boy, now we’ll REALLY try hard!’

“But we’re going for it, and that’s how we prepare to always think so that we don’t show inconsistency … it doesn’t change in this situation.”

To hold up their end of the bargain, the Seahawks will have to dispatch of a Cardinals team that’s battling through a disappointing season that included a 20-10 loss to Seattle in Week 9.

Quarterback Russell Wilson  also denied any intention of watching the scoreboard Sunday, saying he wants to “make sure I’m very locked in on what we’re doing” against the Cardinals.

“It’s still in our hands, in the sense that you can control what you can control,” Wilson said. “It’s the last regular season game of the year; we don’t know what’s gonna happen after that. All I know is that we want to put our best foot forward and try to play our best game.

“It’s the last opportunity in the regular season to accomplish something that we wanted to accomplish, and that’s to continue to progress and be better. We want to be great come Sunday.”