Welcome to the Seattle Seahawks' theatre 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.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/
Seahawks’ opponent this week
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
KICKOFF: 1:15 p.m., Sunday, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
Against the Seahawks: This is the longest road trip for Seattle, and the sixth time in the past seven seasons the Seahawks will face Tampa Bay. Seattle holds a 7-3 advantage, but lost the past time the two teams met – last season at Qwest Field – 24-7. The Buccaneers and Seahawks joined the NFL together for the 1976 season.
Stats and stuff: Second-year Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman is one of the up-and-coming signal callers. Freeman has thrown for 2,959 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. Freeman has a 59 percent completion rate and 88.8 passer rating. ... Rookie running back LeGarrette Blount, a University of Oregon product, has found a home in Tampa Bay. An undrafted free agent, Blount signed with Tennessee. The Titans waived him a day after he made the final roster in September. The Bucs claimed Blount off waivers soon after, and all he has done is produce, with 777 yards and six touchdowns. Blount is averaging 4.7 yards a carry. ... WR Mike Williams leads all rookies with 58 receptions for 880 yards and eight touchdowns. ... The Bucs play pretty good in the back of the defense. They have 18 interceptions, tied for fifth in the league.
Quotable: “We took a lot of pride in the fact that we controlled our own destiny. And now that we have to look for help, it’s kind of frustrating.”
Buccaneers linebacker Barrett Ruud on Tampa Bay needing to win the last two games and get some help to make the playoffs.
Sept. 12: Buccaneers 17, Browns 14
Sept. 19: Buccaneers 20, Panthers 7
Sept. 26: Steelers 38, Buccaneers 13
Oct. 3: Bye
Oct. 10: Buccaneers 24, Bengals 21
Oct. 17: Saints 31, Buccaneers 6
Oct. 24: Buccaneers 18, Rams 17
Oct. 31: Buccaneers 38, Cardinals 35
Nov. 7: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 21
Nov. 14: Buccaneers 31, Panthers 16
Nov. 21: Buccaneers 21, 49ers 0
Nov. 28: Ravens 17, Buccaneers 10
Dec. 5: Falcons 28, Buccaneers 24
Dec. 12: Buccaneers 17, Redskins 16
Dec. 19: Lions 23, Buccaneers 20
Jan. 2 at New Orleans
Eric D. Williams, staff writer