A recap of the day’s activities:
Rooting for the Rams. Rooting for the Rams? That’s right. Before the Seahawks kickoff against the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday, they will know who won the game between the Rams and San Francisco 49ers in St. Louis.
A Rams’ victory will eliminate the 49ers from contention in the NFC West, and that’s big for the Seahawks because if the 49ers win their final two games they would hold the tiebreaker over the Seahawks based on a better division record (5-1 compared to 4-2 or 3-3).
So, win or lose against the Bucs, the Seahawks also would know that their hopes of winning the division – and advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 – hinge on the Jan. 2 regular-season finale against the Rams at Qwest Field. With a win, the Seahawks would hold the tiebreaker against the Rams based on a better division record (4-2 compared to 3-3).
As linebacker and leading tackler David Hawthorne put it after Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Seahawks’ sixth in their past eight games, “It’s crazy to even think that way – losing games and you still have an opportunity. But it’s reality.”
MIKE WILLIAMS, MIKE WILLIAMS
The Seahawks’ leading receiver is Mike Williams. The Bucs’ leading receiver is Mike Williams. And, their statistics are almost as similar as their names.
The Seahawks’ Williams has 60 receptions for 720 yards, or a 12.0-yard average, and one touchdown. The Bucs’ Williams has 58 receptions for 880 yards, or a 15.2-yard average, and eight touchdowns.
The Seahawks’ Williams entered the league as the 10th pick overall in the 2005 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. He signed with the Seahawks in April, after being out of the league the past two seasons. The Bucs’ Williams was a fourth-round draft choice this year.
The Seahawks’ Williams’ full name is Michael Troy Williams. The Bucs’ Williams’ full name is Michael Anthony Williams.
Roy Lewis is out for the final two games after having surgery today to repair a troublesome knee. So what will the Seahawks do without their special teams captain? Turn to the next available player – or players, in this case.
As many as five players could inherit Lewis’ roles: Jordan Babineaux, Kennard Cox, Justin Forsett, Kelly Jennings and Will Herring.
The Seahawks were flagged for two false-start penalties in the fourth-quarter touchdown drive against the Falcons that was directed by Charlie Whitehurst. But coach Pete Carroll put the blame on the backup QB, not center Chris Spencer and left tackle Russell Okung.
“He made a couple of mistakes with the cadence and got some penalties for us where it looked like it was an O-lineman,” Carroll said. “But it was the quarterback. So we didn’t function as sharp as we would like.”
It was one of those little things that coaches notice, and likely played into the decision to stay with Matt Hasselbeck as the starter for this week’s game after Whitehurst replaced him in the third quarter last week.
STAT DU JOUR
After the 34-18 loss to the Falcons, the Seahawks’ eight losses have been by an average of 20.8 points, while their six victories have been by an average of 13.7 points.
“It’s kind of just the season has kind of gone like that,” Carroll said. “When we get behind, we’ve lost some games fairly significantly. And other games we’ve gone the other way. So we’re not handling that situation as well as we have and I feel like it starts right with me.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“Right now, our vision is set on Tampa. That’s the next game for us and that’s our next opportunity to go out there and be one step closer to the goal we set out to do back in OTAs (spring practices). Despite the loss (to the Falcons), the one thing that’s positive from the outcome of the game is that we still have a chance. We still have a chance.” – Babineaux