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VIDEO: Super Bowl-minded Seahawks head to St. Louis for Monday Night Football
It'd sure be something to see inside Seattle's head right now. Not the city – with its gourmet coffee, sloppy salmon, or 90's soundtrack – but the Seahawks.
This is true for any NFL team, maybe. But when the Seahawks took the league by the horns in the second half of Twenty-Thirteen, they appeared to be above the chatter. In the clouds, but only practically. They had that unflappable quarterback Russell Wilson, who didn't seem to know he was supposed to fail early and progress later. They had that coach Pete Carroll, who clearly doesn't know what he looks like when he celebrates. They had Golden Tate, whose confidence somehow only grew after that undeserved touchdown in Week 3. They had the soft Sidney Rice and Buffalo's reject Marshawn Lynch, who were both supposed to fade into obscurity or at least positive mediocrity in their cushy new, West Coast digs.
But the Seahawks exploded. They shoved the slights and hisses in everyone's face And then, when people finally believed them, they were still sitting on their chests punching them in the face.
"Look at these games. After eight games — we could easily be 8-0."
That was Pete Carroll almost exactly one year ago, on October 29, 2012. The Hawks were 4-4, slouching their way to the fringes of the NFC playoff picture.
"We could be 8-0 right now. And I think — I hate to think of it this way — but if you go ahead and you look at us a year ahead from now, when these guys have been through all of this, then all of these edges that we need — these little edges that you need — if they fall in our favour then we have a great football team."
They'd finish 11-5.
So – with expectations raised but presumptions tempered – welcome to the sophomore season, where Seattle has steamrolled to 6-1 to top an insanely competitive NFC West. The Seahawks' opponent on Monday night – the St. Louis Rams – are reeling from a season-ending injury to Sam Bradford, the former No. 1 pick-turned-serviceable starter who tore his ACL in Week 7's loss to Carolina.
It's a perfect time for Seattle to go 7-1, and now they have to... they have to win to keep their footing with Denver, Kansas City, and New Orleans. They have to stay in the national conversation. They have to prove to everyone they are deserving of their preseason appointment as one of two or three Super Bowl favourites.
The better question is, are they even listening?
"Every game's a championship game for us," Carroll said on Sunday. "We don't know which one's going to factor and which one's going to make the difference at the end."
Well, if Carroll's already talking about "the end", maybe they are.