The last time the Seahawks were 4-5, they won six of their final seven games to clinch a Wild Card berth.
Could it happen again?
Both Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson suggested as much this week.
“What happened in 2015?” Carroll asked rhetorically. “I think we were right about right here and put on a good little run.”
Wilson was even more direct.
“I think this team is a championship-caliber football team,” he said. “I think we’ve shown that in terms of who we’ve played and how we’ve played our games, we’ve just got to finish the right way.”
The Seahawks first chance to do that will be Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers in a prime time matchup that kicks off at 5:20 p.m. at CenturyLink Field and will be broadcast on Q13 Fox.
Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay always pose a threat, but entering the game at 4-4-1, this version of the Packers seems vulnerable. If Seattle wants to recreate the magic of 2015, it needs to win.
Wilson said the team knows the formula.
“We just have to remain steadfast and remain focused on what we’re trying to do,” he said. “We’re going to make every attempt to make a championship run and that’s our focus right now. We’re looking forward to the opportunity.”
The Seahawks seized the opportunity in 2015 with an explosion of offense.
Wilson put together the best statistical stretch of his career, completing 71 percent of his passes for 1,906 yards, 24 touchdowns and just one interception in the final seven games.
Seattle notched wins over playoff-bound Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Arizona during the run. They also beat the Niners, Brown and Ravens. Their only stumble was against the rival Rams.
This Seahawks team is built to run the football. With three different running backs eclipsing 100 yards in a game this season, Seattle leads the league in rushing. But that production has still only produced a 4-5 start.
Still, Carroll wasn’t talking about changing the team’s philosophy this week. Instead, he insisted the Seahawks just need to focus and execute.
“We have to take these one week at a time and start piling up some wins,” he said. “I like our style and I like our style in playoff mode. I’d like to get that opportunity so we’ve got a lot of ball to play here and there’s a lot of games coming at us.”
The Seahawks may be taking it one game at a time, but the Packers are just the beginning of the daunting road ahead.
After Green Bay, Seattle will travel to face the 6-3 Panthers. They also still have matchups with the Vikings (5-3-1) and Chiefs (9-1) at home. The Seahawks will likely need to win three of those four games as well as sweep their two matchups with San Francisco and remaining game against Arizona.
Wilson admitted the time to win is now.
“I think there’s a lot of urgency,” he said. “… I think there’s also great confidence. I think there’s laser-focus that we have.”
Teams with losing records this late in the season don’t usually talk about playoff runs. But the Seahawks have done it before. The memory is still fresh in their quarterback and coach’s minds.
They’re not just hopeful, but confident they’ll do it again.
“I know that this team is very, very capable of doing what we’re setting out to do,” Wilson said. “I think everybody should watch out (for) what we can do.”