This Blue Friday in Seattle will include Honolulu Blue. That’s the official name of that shade of color sported by the Detroit Lions.
Two years ago, no Seahawks fan would have believed that Geno Smith and Jared Goff would be their two favorite quarterbacks heading into the final game of the 2022 regular season, but here we are. This weekend, Emerald City will temporarily become Motown (hey, the Hawks already have a Michael Jackson.)
Yes, Seattle (8-8) beat the Jets 23-6 on Sunday to keep its playoff hopes alive, but the only way that game is the main story right now is if New York came out on top. A Seahawks defeat at the hands of a team that has now lost five straight would have confirmed all suspicion that they were never postseason-worthy to begin with.
But the Seahawks did what they were supposed to (and had to) do in hammering a sliding Jets squad in all three phases of the game, thus giving themselves a chance at the playoffs before the final game of the season. They just need to beat the Rams … and hope like hell that Detroit beats Green Bay.
I suspect most fans around here would have accepted the following scenario if presented to them before the season: The Seahawks will have a shot at the postseason heading into Week 18, and Denver will finish (at best) with one of the five worst records in the NFL, thus guaranteeing Seattle a top-five pick in the draft.
That’s the current reality, but that doesn’t mean all the 12s are thrilled. A couple months ago, the Seahawks were 6-3 and facing perhaps their easiest four-game stretch of the season. Then, they went 1-3 against the Bucs, Raiders, Rams (their win) and Panthers — all of whom have losing records — before dropping games to the division-leading 49ers and Chiefs. So though the Seahawks are still alive, they are not necessarily well — especially given that the Lions are 3-27 vs. the Packers in their past 30 games at Lambeau Field.
But that team from the Great Lake State doesn’t seem to be on the forefront of most of the Seahawks’ minds. At least that’s the front they’re putting on.
“We can’t really worry about that. There’s nothing we can do but worry about ourselves,” Seahawks center Austin Blythe said. “I’d say we still are in control of our situation and that situation is winning the football game in front of us.”
“I’m too dumb to know all the (playoff scenarios),” special teams captain Nick Bellore said before being briefed on the scenario. “I think ultimately we don’t gain anything thinking of the Lions and Packers. We just have to focus on the Rams.”
Defensive end Quinton Jefferson echoed his teammates, albeit more colorfully.
“We gotta handle business. All this means nothing if we go out there and (expletive) the bed,” he said, adding that he never checked the score of the Packers-Vikings game Sunday, which resulted in a Packers win.
Not controlling one’s playoff future has to be frustrating, but it’s doubtful it will impact how the Seahawks prepare. Seattle entered its contest with the Jets needing help from around the league, yet managed to produce one of its more complete games of the season.
Sure, glowing praise must be couched when the opponent has been playing as atrociously as the Jets, who have won just once since Nov. 6. But holding any opponent to 279 yards and no touchdowns is noteworthy in the NFL.
The Seahawks also got 133 rushing yards on 23 carries from Kenneth Walker III, who posted his second straight 100-yard game after being held to under 50 in his previous outing. That’s all an afterthought now, though, even if it’s just a few hours old.
The Seahawks now turn their attention to their date with the 5-11 Rams this weekend, while their fan base will have one eye in Seattle and the other in Green Bay. The last time the Seahawks relied on help for a playoff berth was in 2017, and they didn’t get it — the Falcons beat the Panthers to eliminate Seattle before kickoff at Lumen Field.
That season felt a little different, as it marked the first time in the Russell Wilson era the Seahawks missed the postseason. An 18th game for Seattle this season would feel like more of a bonus, but that doesn’t make these games any less intense.
The Seahawks have put themselves in a position to get into the tournament. They just need some assistance.
The Emerald City is Motor City this week. Consider this town revved up.
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