Say hello to your first 7-9 playoff team

Published on January 3, 2011 by     T.C.

The worst playoff team in NFL history played its very best game on Sunday night.

Complain about Seattle’s 7-9 record and the quality of the NFC West all you want.  We won’t argue.  Just recognize that the Seahawks came up big in their biggest game with their backup quarterback at the helm.

Charlie Whitehurst threw for 192 yards with a touchdown on 32 attempts in a 16-6 Seahawks win over the Rams Sunday night.  Seattle’s league-worst running game put up 141 yards on the ground, while the defense held Steven Jackson in check.

Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford struggled all night.  The Rams only had 63 yards of offense in the second half and 184 yards in the game.  Danario Alexander dropped a pair of deep passes, and Bradford’s rough stretch run continued with an ugly fourth quarter interception.

The Rams won’t get a playoff game after this surprising 7-9 season, but it doesn’t matter.  They are the only team in the division with a franchise quarterback and they get a much better draft pick now.  (Seattle falls from No. 8 to No. 21 at best.  The Rams get No. 14.)  Unless the goal is to lose in the first round, this Rams loss wasn’t a killer.

The most lasting impact of this game: It could inspire the league to seed non-bye teams by record in the future.  There is significant league support for such a measure.  In that alternate universe, the Seahawks would be visiting the New Orleans next week.

Instead, it’s reversed. A banged-up Saints team has to travel to the West Coast on a short week.  Matt Hasselbeck could be healthy enough to start at quarterback, which figures to be a story all week.

Another story: Could the worst playoff team of all time become the worst team to win a playoff game?

It’s doubtful: Even the 12th man couldn’t keep Seattle competitive against teams like the Chiefs, Giants, and Falcons at Qwest Field.

For one night at least, the Seahawks can say they played their best when it mattered the most.

via Say hello to your first 7-9 playoff team | ProFootballTalk.

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