Commentary: Things look bleak, but the opportunity for an NFC West title hasn’t changed one bit

I feel compelled to let everyone know I have a dentist’s appointment tomorrow, simply because that Seahawks game kind of felt like going to the dentist’s office earlier today. That was rough.

And talk about striking a – nerve? – the news about Chris Carson, C.J. Prosise and Duane Brown having to miss next week’s game and likely the rest of the season made the afternoon even more unpleasant for all of us.

But I’m not going to use this time to talk about how poor a showing that was by the Seahawks today. We all saw it up close. I don’t need to rehash the negativity that’s likely pervading the fanbase as it looks ahead to the playoffs with all sorts of pessimism, knowing the Hawks are moving forward without their three top running backs and its starting left tackle and offensive captain.

All I’m focused on is next week. As far-fetched as it may seem, nothing has changed in terms of the NFC West and the opportunity the Hawks have one night from tonight. And that’s winning a divisional title.

Now, I get it: the Seahawks can no longer earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They can’t be the top seed in the NFC. But they can still win the NFC West with a win next week. They still can clinch a home playoff game as the No. 3 seed, and with a little help, even move up to the two-seed and get a first-round bye.

Do I think they’ll win next Sunday? Given all the challenges, honestly, probably not. But would I be surprised if they won? Absolutely not.

The negativity we’re seeing tonight on social media isn’t anything I’ve seen in the Seahawks locker room this year. There’s a spirit, a resiliency and a positive mindset that permeates that group. And as long as they believe they can beat the Niners – something they proved on the road earlier this year – that’s the most important thing.

A home playoff game and divisional title comes down to one win on one day. It comes in Prime Time at home, where the Seahawks are 19-2 under Pete Carroll. It comes after an in-season loss – the perfect situation for Russell Wilson, which Ian Furness will remind you about later in the show.

So yes, we all understand their weaknesses. We all understand their faults. We accept the reality of crushing injury news and the subsequent probability of an earlier ending to a playoff run than we might have hoped for. We accept that the odds of winning the division against the Niners are now slimmer than we originally thought.

But as uninspiring and frustrating as the Hawks can be and have been at times this season, nothing is written in stone until we look up at the scoreboard when the clock reads zeroes – starting next week when they play for a divisional championship.

And right now, there’s more than enough time on that clock.