I like to be as optimistic a fan as possible when watching my Seahawks play every week, and I love when my team, the team of the Pacific Northwest, does well.
However, there have been times this season that, quietly and in the back of my mind, I think about how much better the future of this franchise could be if we end up not making the postseason this year.
I can almost hear the collective hiss of every fan in Seattle as I type these first few words, but don't think of me as some sort of anti-fan who wants us to throw games NBA style, no that's not what I'm talking about.
The way I see it, this season is already a win-win. We have five wins, and while that currently matches us with last year's total, I fully expect to get at least 1-3 more wins, whether or not that is enough to win the division remains to be seen. But even at five wins, this team already looks improved, it is younger and faster, it is stronger, it plays harder and it has certain core play makers we will be able to count on for years. We are a unit on the rise.
While I was watching us get dismantled by the Kansas City Chiefs this last Sunday, I was really full of mixed emotions, and by the time the game was over, I was disappointed that we had lost for sure, but part of me wasn't angry in seeing the Rams leapfrog us for first place in the division...
Why you might ask?
Because if another team in our division goes to the playoffs, they instantly move down in the draft by at least six spots. Six spots may not seem like a lot but in the first round, that pick could be all the difference in us getting a QB of the future or guard to help with our horrid run blocking or CB to help lock down our secondary. Those six spots could also be all the difference in us trading down with another team to acquire more draft picks to help fill more holes.
We would drop from being a Top 15 picking team in the draft to ending up somewhere in the 20s where pick value is far deflated and the talent of the prospects, especially in a semi-thin class outside of the QB and WR positions, is like the one we happen to be looking at.
I know there are many different opinions on where this team is and where it will end up under our current regime, but the fact is we have an excellent core of players consisting of Okung, Tate, "Hurricane" Earl, Thurmond and players who we traded for that are so young, we might as well have drafted them (Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Charlie Whitehurst *debatable*).
We have the young pieces of a great team and are one more good draft from really, truly getting back into the mix, and then possibly one more off season after that from returning to an elite sort of status like the one we enjoyed for a chunk of this last decade.
Right now, this team on the rise that is still in a rebuilding year has hit a fork in the road...and it is likely we will be blindfolded and spun in circles and clumsily stumble into either a playoff berth (losing spots in the draft) or we will be bypassed by the Rams and 49ers in a weak division. One way or another, we are going to compete our way into the future, and I would rather we soar into better things by perching on a branch for now to rest, rather than flop into the playoffs with the current injuries having clipped our wings on this season.
Yes, we are competing our way into the future, but the question one has to ask is which future will we compete ourselves into.