The Elephant in the Locker Room: A Must-Win Scenario?


By Greg Wright

As you may have gleaned from following NFL news this week, Seattle stands a good chance of clinching a playoff berth with a win tonight against Kansas City; but a loss does not rule them out. In the latter scenario the Seahawks will still “have their destiny in their own hands” when they host the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.


With a home game against one of the top teams in the league, Seattle has the opportunity to test their character tonight. What they demonstrate will go a long way toward predicting what might come in the playoffs.

A caveat, of course: the outcome of previous games is not a foolproof predictor of current or future matchups. One classic example is the Giants team which backed into the playoffs as a Wild Card entry with three straight losses, and ugly ones at that, but won three on the road for a Super Bowl berth and eventual win.

Still, what we have seen from past Pete Carroll teams is this: when they demonstrate the ability to win big games in prime time, they have also demonstrated the ability to win playoff games on the road; and when they have demonstrated a failure to actually take control of their own destiny, they have made an early exit from the playoffs.

So far this season the verdict remains out. Seattle won big games in November, and pasted the Vikings when it mattered on Monday Night at the beginning of the month; but they could have clinched a playoff birth with a win against San Francisco on the road last week, and got in their own way.

Today sort of tells the tale: Does this 2018 team take its place with the 2012, 2013, and 2014 playoff contenders, or the 2015 and 2016 pretenders?

My guess is the former. What’s yours?

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