The Seattle Seahawks are awful. Putrid. Miserable. Monstrously ugly. They’re 10 1/2 point underdogs at home to the Saints on Saturday, and that line seems downright courteous to a team that went 3-7 over its last ten games and was outscored by double digits in every single game it lost this year. No one thinks the Seahawks can win this game. Even the Seahawks don’t think they can win this game. They’re the turd in the playoff punch bowl and surely they know it. I think they’re even getting a little kick out of it.
But you’d be a fool to assume that Saturday’s outcome is a given. OH YES YOU WOULD. History tells us that any number of KRAYZEE and unexpected things can happen during the course of a football game. After all, who expected the Giants to beat the Pats in 2007? Who expected the Pats to beat the Rams in 2001? Sure, both those teams had the advantage of being competent, but that doesn’t mean the Seahawks can’t rise up and shock the world by somehow beating the defending champs. Here are eight reasons why:
1. They’re home dogs. ALWAYS beware the home underdog! I have it on good authority that home underdogs beat the spread 97% of the time. You can bank on it. (NOTE: Stat actually false.)
2. When everyone thinks one team will win, that team never wins. This week’s Seattle game represents the biggest contrarian alert in history. I picked Seattle to beat the spread and I’ve had to restrain myself for the past 22 hours to smack my own forehead as hard as possible and change course because they’re the SEAHAWKS, man. But that doesn’t matter when you have karma on your side, brother.
3. Does no one remember that the Saints are happy to lose to bad teams? Remember: They got crushed by Cleveland at home and they lost to Arizona – ARIZONA! – on the road. This is not the same Saints team that won a title last year.
They turn the ball over plenty enough where you can actually see a game plan for how Seattle could win. A few early turnovers. A big surge from the crowd. A sudden lead. BOOM! It’s a miracle! Well, not a miracle. More of a perversion of the whole playoff system. But still… TRIUMPH!
4. The Saints can’t run the ball. Pierre Thomas just joined Chris Ivory on IR. That leaves the heavy rushing load to… GUHHHHH… Julius Jones. Ask Seattle fans what they think of Julius Jones’ ability to NOT fail.
5. Drew Brees’ backup is Chase Daniel. All it takes is one injury for everything to suddenly turn, so if you see Drew Brees get his knee mangled in the first quarter on Sunday and give way to Chase Daniel… You see? Not so implausible.
6. The Heavens portend it. Look, birds are falling out of the SKY right now. Does that strike you as a sign that orderliness is thriving right now? No, it suggests something is horrible and wrong. I can think of no better omen that a 7-9 team might win a playoff game.
7. Is Pete Carroll secretly a genius? Well, no. No, he’s not. But he can wave a towel like no other. You can’t tell me players don’t appreciate that!
8. Random stuff happens, I tell you. Look, the Saints win this game 99 times out of 100. But you never know if you’ll spin the roulette wheel and land on that ONE bad time now, eh? All it takes is a flat game from New Orleans and they can lose, frankly, to any team with a resting pulse. That’s how the NFL works. So don’t assume that Saturday’s game will automatically be a 44-0 rout. It probably will be, but the Football Gods have a cruel way of defying you like that. Beware the Hawks.