After the Niners defeated the Cardinals, it didn't matter what the Seahawks did. They would have been the No. 5 seed no matter the outcome of their game against the Rams. They won despite playing what the guys over at Field Gulls believe was their worst game of the month.
The Seahawks had won their last three games by a combined score of 150-30, including a big win over No. 2 seed 49ers, heading into their final regular-season game at home against the Rams, who were coming into the game with a 7-7-1 record. All signs pointed to yet another Seahawks home blowout, but that's not what happened. Instead, Seattle struggled uncharacteristically at home against a team they should have beaten much easier.
While the Seahawks are all watching Sunday Night Football to determine who they will play in the first round of the playoffs, the Cowboys or Redskins, on the road, the guys over at Field Gulls, SB Nation's Seahawks blog, are still scratching their heads.
Well, that was... something.
The Seahawks played their worst game in a month, had ten penalties, struggled to create a pass rush, forgot how to block -- and still won. A huge amount of the credit goes to rookie wunderkind Russell Wilson, who collected an impressive array of improbable plays despite having Rams defenders close enough to give him a hickey on every other play. His final play was one of his best, turning a 13-13 tie into a 20-13 lead with a minute and a half left on a keeper sweep from a yard out (more on that later).
They also discussed the referees during the game. Even though they mentioned that they don't like calling out refs, they believed that the ball was dropped when it came to calling the game fairly, even if it wasn't the Seahawks that ended up getting the short end of the stick.
Something needs to be said about the refereeing in this game. I hate pinning games on the officials because I usually think that's just a sign of lame fanhood, but this game was the pits when it came to flags. I'm not complaining from a Seahawks perspective because they actually ended up on the better side of the whole affair, I'm complaining as a football fan that saw almost one out of every four plays result in a penalty, and that's not even counting all the ones that were declined. It's like Jeff Triplette's crew came into the final game well short of their flags quota and were determined to make up for lost time.
Despite how badly the Seahawks played on Sunday afternoon, the guys over at Field Gulls couldn't help but sit back and appreciate all the team's accomplishments throughout the season. They're not alone in feeling that Seattle is one of the toughest teams to beat and a dark horse to go deep into the playoffs.
It's been a hell of a regular season, you guys. This team is at least one, maybe two years ahead of schedule and are certainly a squad that no one wants to face. Cherish this, you guys -- the Seattle Seahawks are extremely young, super talented, and have the cap flexibility to keep the team in tact for the forseeable future.
For more on the Seahawks, make sure you head to Field Gulls.