I get it: When it comes to the Seahawks over the last 24 hours, we’ve all felt as disgruntled and crotchety as Mr. Scrooge.
A frustrating home loss has that effect – especially with a first-round playoff bye on the line. Bah Humbug, indeed.
Add the devastating loss of Tyler Lockett for the rest of the season, and this is arguably the low point of a maddening year of inconsistency where none of us can forecast which team will show up each game, let alone each half. It’s also the point where the critics and naysayers reach a fever pitch, questioning every move, every play call, every missed assignment by an offensive lineman or blown coverage by a defensive back.
And that’s a good thing. Because if we’ve learned anything, the Seahawks’ best comes out when they’re doubted the most. Historically, when the players in the locker room have heard the most smack – they’ve smacked right back.
We stood here in mid-November last year with a 4-5 record yelling bloody murder before they rattled off six of seven wins to make the playoffs. We stood here in 2014 scratching our heads in mid-November with a 6-4 record before they reached the Super Bowl. And we stood here incredulous in 2013 after losing two of three games in December before they won their first title.
I’m not saying this team is Super Bowl bound. I’m just saying this team’s pride never lets them be cast aside. And with that pedigree and mindset – that history of grit – anything is possible.
That doesn’t mitigate any ongoing dissatisfaction with the offensive line, or execution in the Red Zone, or a dip in confidence with this defense without Earl Thomas. But what we think doesn’t mean a thing to the guys in the locker room, other than instilling an added determination to prove us wrong – to prove they can overcome any shortcoming, any injury or any perceived slight. That’s what this team – and every team under Pete Carroll has been about since this program began.
And that’s what this next month is all about: Finding that way - finding that spirit and momentum - and taking it as far as they can. Because when it comes to the playoffs, that’s what it’s all about.
So tonight, don’t make me be the ghost of Christmas past, reminding everyone where this franchise has been. Or taking you to Cleveland or Jacksonville or Los Angeles where fans have no hope – or any of the other 15 or so cities where their team no longer has a chance. As division champs, the Seahawks have that chance, and at the very least, a home playoff game to try and kickstart a title run.
It’s the holiday season after all. Let’s share in the spirit of what we have – and that’s a damn good franchise.
And whatever happens come playoff time, it’s only fair with this team to expect the unexpected – and never count them out.