Welcome to the Seattle Seahawks’ theater of the absurd.
They’ve lost six of their past eight games by an average of 22 points a contest, yet instead of considering their potential position for next year’s draft, the Seahawks at 6-8 will win the NFC West by winning their final two games, beginning at Tampa Bay on Sunday.
“We still have an opportunity and we’re blessed with that,” Seahawks running back Justin Forsett said. “And we’ve got to make sure that we take advantage of the opportunities that we’re given, and don’t let this slip away.”
Taking advantage of its opportunities means Seattle needs to limit errors that have led to teams running away in the second half.
The most glaring problem has been turnovers – 30 in all. With a minus-9 turnover differential, the Seahawks are 30th in the league.
Further, the Seahawks are tied for 23rd in the league in accepted penalties with 93 for 810 yards; holding and false start penalties have consistently stalled potential scoring drives.
“It gets frustrating at times when you know what you’re capable of and we don’t consistently do it. And that’s what we’re missing – the consistency,” Forsett said.
“We’ve got to make sure that we’re executing and not shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s going to come down to who’s executing the most at the end of the season, and we’ve got to make sure we’re finishing drives and putting points on the board, and making sure we’re closing teams out. We’ve not been putting together a complete game yet, and we’ve got to have that.”
Coach Pete Carroll is not apologizing for the situation his team is in.
“I don’t know if this is a surprise to you, but our guys are excited about the opportunity,” Carroll said. “We’ve set out from the beginning to try and get all of our focus on winning the division, and that’s what is still out there, and we’re going for it.”
With two games to go, here’s a look at the scenarios for the Seahawks to make the postseason:
• If the Seahawks win their last two games, they wind up the division winners and in the playoffs at 8-8 by virtue of beating division rival St. Louis in the final game of the year and holding a tiebreaker over the Rams.
• If Seattle loses at Tampa Bay and the Rams beat San Francisco, the Seahawks can be the first team in NFL history to sneak into the playoffs at 7-9 if they defeat St. Louis at home the following week. Seattle also would advance at 7-9 in that same scenario if San Francisco defeats St. Louis but loses its final game of the year against Arizona.
• If Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis tie at 7-9, with the Niners beating St. Louis and Arizona down the stretch, then the Niners would go to the playoffs by virtue of their better division record at 5-1.