How did we get here? Wasn't this season going to be the one where the Seahawks bottomed out?
Yet somehow, after a rocky 2-6 start, the 'Hawks were still alive for a wild card—having won four of their last five—with only one small, yet critical, stumble against the Redskins wedged in between.
With a record of 6-7, the team went to Chicago with a chance—albeit a slim one—to stay in the hunt.
However, after 30 minutes of play on Sunday it looked like the Seahawks had finally run out of gas. It wasn't so much the score as it was the fact the team simply looked flat on offense.
Marshawn Lynch just couldn't get anything meaningful started, and coupled with Tarvaris Jackson's critical end-zone strip/fumble, seemed to waste a fairly solid effort by the team's defense. The entire first half, it just seemed really hard to believe the team could ever get in gear.
But then the 'Hawks came out of the locker room a different team making quick work of the Bears to tie the game at 14.
And then IT happened..."Run Fat Boy RUUUNNNNNN!!!"
Like an early Christmas gift, Caleb Hanie put the football right in Red Bryant's bread-basket to take the lead, after that the Hawks did everything they needed to even up the season.
At 7-7, the 'Hawks come home for a Christmas Eve matchup against the 49ers with a chance—a very slim chance to make the playoffs.
Can they do it? Sure, just need to take care of a few minor details.
Do you believe in miracles? Then I urge you to read on.
Before we even start getting into any fuzzy math and funky scenarios, this team needs to handle it's business.
Starting Saturday at home against the 49ers, then New Years day at Arizona against the Cardinals.
At 9-5, the Lions need just one win or a tie.
Assuming the 'Hawks beat the Niners and Cardinals, Seattle would get the edge over the Lions with a better division record.
The Lions remaining schedule and their odds?
Christmas Eve they're at home against a suddenly good-looking San Diego squad that is now fighting for a playoff spot of their own at 7-7.
If they lose, they then face the NFC's likely No. 1 seed and hated rival 13-1 Green Bay at Lambeau Field. If the Packers clinch the top spot this upcoming week and decide to rest their starters, it could make things easier for the Lions.
This option is just plain hard to see happening...
First: The 9-5 Falcons.
Their remaining schedule is as follows:
@ New Orleans (11-3)
vs. Tampa Bay (4-10)
While it's certainly possible for the Falcons to lose in New Orleans, it's hard to see them losing a must-win game at home against a miserable Bucs team.
Meanwhile, making things even more difficult, the very same Bears squad that the 'Hawks thrashed at home on Sunday will need to win at Green Bay following their loss in Kansas City this past weekend, before hosting a beatable, yet feisty Vikings squad at home.
Assuming the Packers will want to lock up the No. 1 spot and assert themselves after this weekend's upset loss, ultimately means the Bears could (more likely should), be in for a long afternoon.
Even if they somehow manage to beat Green Bay, they would still need to handle a Vikings squad looking to play spoiler against a hated division rival.
It seems these two NFC East rivals will have to fight it out on their own for their division title, but both teams have no bearing on the Seahawks odds at this point, as Danny O'Neil points out in his writeup for the Seattle Times.
The most plausible option at the moment would be the Lions losing out to a surging San Diego squad and a Green Bay team potentially leaving their starters in just long enough to win?
Meanwhile, the potential of Atlanta losing twice isn't impossible, but to pair that with two Bears wins on top of the required wins for the 'Hawks seems like a tall order.
Of course, anything can happen.
After all, if a 323-pound lineman can dance across the gridiron like a man half his size on a pick six, who's to say the 'Hawks can't reverse course on a season, and for the second year in a row make the playoffs on the final week of the regular season?
Right now, this team needs to take it one game at a time.
Saturday's matchup at CenturyLink should have the 'Hawks and their fans pumped for a game that only a few weeks earlier figured to be another nail in the coffin of a lost season.
Win or lose, it's been an exciting ride and should bode well for this squad going into next season.