The Seattle Seahawks are not known nationally as a force to be reckoned with. After a grueling loss at Super Bowl XL despite spurning a remarkable underdog story, the Hawks were written off by the rest of the country as a onetime deal; a fluke if you will. Since then, the team has certainly seen better days.
Hard work seems to have paid off as the Hawks have made it to the postseason once again for the 2010 season. But it seems that everyone remains “sleepy in Seattle” as the fanfare for our local team seems to be somewhat lacking. Five years ago, posters sprung up in every business in support of the team and merchandisers got rich off of Seahawks gear. Where is that same buzz?
Truth is, 2005 and 2010 are very different from each other. Sure, the Hawks got to the postseason but they are far from the underdogs. In 2005, after a rocky 2-2 start in the season, the Hawks went undefeated for 11 games straight and finished at 13-2; easily justifying their eventual spot at the Super Bowl. So how did they finish this year? 7-9.
The fact of the matter is, the Hawks did not do so great as much as the rest of the NFC West Division did so horribly. The Arizona Cardinals finished at 5-11, San Francisco 49ers are at 6-10, and the St. Louis Rams also finish at 7-9. Note that the only reason why the Seahawks finished first in the division and Rams finished second was that the Hawks went into the final season game against the Rams at 6-9 and the Rams went in at 7-8 in a winner takes all contest where we beat the Rams.
This still puts Seattle in a tough spot. On one hand, yes, the Hawks got to the postseason. On the other hand, this was literally due to default circumstances. NFC East’s Philadelphia Eagles stand at 10-6, NFC North’s Chicago Bears stand at 11-5, and NFC South’s Atlanta Falcons stand at 13-3. The Seahawks might have a little more than an inch to run before finishing that mile.
There has even been speculation that the NFC needs to be reseeded so that certain teams such as the Packers or the Jets have a better chance of going to the postseason. It is also no secret that the West Division is the worse division in the league.
The question is glaringly obvious. “Do the Seahawks really deserve to be in the postseason?” That answer will be answered for many when the Seahawks take on the Super Bowl defending champs, the New Orleans Saints on January 8th in a postseason wildcard home game. The Saints may have finished second in their division but being the winner of 2010’s Super bowl, they are the defending champions. Whether the hawks can prove that they can still play at the championship level or not, the fact that they have been bestowed an incredible opportunity has not changed. For now, let’s keep our fingers crossed for another amazing football story.