Seahawks' upset reminds us why we watch football
The Seattle Seahawks were this year's playoffs surprise. People were arguing that they just did not belong in the dance with such a poor record of 7-9. To add insult to injury, they won the NFC West, so they also had home-field advantage. This isn't even the biggest storyline: That would be Pete Carroll, having so much success at USC but leaving college behind for the pros.
Carroll inherited a team that won four games in 2008 and just five in 2009. He defied the odds in a few different ways.
Let's see: He made the playoffs with seven wins. Who would have ever thought that a team would win a division and have home-field advantage with seven wins?
Even bigger than that was convincing his players that they were not only in the postseason, but that they belonged there and should expect to win.
Well, for their first challenge of the playoffs, the New Orleans Saints -- you know, the defending Super Bowl champs? They finished out the year in full throttle, beating the Falcons, the best team in the NFC, in Atlanta. I'm no rocket scientist, but I did know that with Drew Brees and a stingy defense, the Seahawks did not stand a chance on Saturday. Wrong.
Any given Sunday, and that's why you play the game.
Coaches will always preach to their players, 'Let's just make it into the playoffs.' They didn't care how, just make it. Once you are in, the record goes back to zero. Now it doesn't matter how you got there, all that matters is whether you win.
The Seahawks brought the twelfth man and a fight to the Saints, and provided the biggest shocker so far early in the playoffs by defeating the 11-point favorite.
They outcoached the Saints and they outplayed them. I don't know if they will win another game in the playoffs, and quite frankly, I couldn't care less. What I do like and enjoy is that just when you thought the games and matchups were so predictable, this happens -- an upset of mass proportion.
Carroll has brought his fun, lighthearted, raw style to the NFL and to a team that needed a spark. I believe it's safe to say he did it, and I will be doggone if it didn't prove that every game matters and the playoffs, no matter what game of what round, make for must-see television.
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