It was with a sense of morbid curiosity that I sat at home this morning watching the Seattle Seahawks take on the St Louis Rams for the right to punch their ticket to the dance.
Could a team going into week 17 with 6 wins and a backup quarterback and the worst rushing offense in the entire NFL make it into the playoffs? YES
Was it all a bad dream? NO
Hirsute Charlie Whitehurst fought off Sam Bradford and all of his rookie passing records (attempts and completions) to beat the St Louis Rams in an ugly ugly game.
This was always going to come down to the field goal units making the difference and lo and behold Olindo Mare came up with the goods – 10 points worth of goods, the eventual winning margin.
The reward for this scrappy victory is a home playoff game against the current Super Bowl champions the New Orleans Saints.
Yes we are in very strange times indeed. In fact I’m still not sure that I’m used to the Saints as the holders of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, so it is only fitting that their long road to retaining their shiny silver trophy starts in a wet and cold Seattle, Washington State.
All the Saints fans better stock up on coffee as I have a very odd feeling that the 7-9 Seahawks could do some serious damage at home, despite their how do I say it poor record.
We knew in September 2010 that we were in for the possibility of a team with a losing record making the playoffs, and now this has become a reality.
Teams like the 10-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 10-6 New York Giants will be spitting in their off-season spittoons knowing they won three more games each than the ‘Hawks, yet they will be watching the playoffs from the comfort of their living rooms.
No-one thought the Arizona Cardinals would reach the Super Bowl a few years ago, and god no I’m not predicting the Seahawks to make the Super Bowl in 2011, but it seems stranger things have happened.
Being at home in the playoffs and going in on the back of a hard-fought and emotional victory is always better than limping in on the back of a loss.
Maybe Charlie will continue to take the glass elevator upwards – I’m sure of one thing, the game on Saturday will be a giant peach of a contest !