Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sweetness in Seattle as Seahawks Stun Saints

Since the Seattle Seahawks defeated the St. Louis Rams in Week 17 to win the NFC West, their mere presence in the NFL postseason has been ridiculed. After all, the Seahawks became the first team in NFL history to win their division with an overall losing record (7-9) in a non-strike season heading into the playoffs. Despite their meager efforts, they still got to host a playoff game against, of all teams, the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Even that was ludicrous. Not only had the Saints have a better winning record than the Seahawks with a +4 win differential, New Orleans already beat them earlier in the regular season 34-19. Everything was going the Saints’ way, until the game got started. Now, it is the Seahawks getting the last laugh as they upset the Saints 41-36 on Saturday.

So forget Starbucks, the Seahawks’ victory proved to be Seattle’s best.

It is the eighth time since divisional realignment in 2002 that the number six seed has advanced to the divisional round. The only team that has won the Super Bowl as the sixth seed was the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2006 when, ironically enough, they beat Seattle 21-10. Meanwhile, six of Seattle’s current eight wins have come at home in Qwest Field. For New Orleans, they are still winless (0-4) in true road playoff games.

As for the Seahawks, their remarkable run will depend on the outcome of tomorrow’s other wild-card playoff game between the number three seed Philadelphia Eagles and the number six seed Green Bay Packers in Philadelphia. If the Eagles win, then the Seahawks will travel to Atlanta to play the number one seed Falcons, another team they lost to in the regular season. However, if the Packers win, then the Seahawks will travel to Chicago to play the number two seed Bears, a team they already beat – in Chicago.

And if either Atlanta or Chicago doesn’t watch out for an upstart team from the Northwest, they may end up asking themselves the same question New Orleans is pondering right now: Wait, who dat?!

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