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Wednesday in Hawkville: Monday night’s game comes with playoff possibilities

Posted Nov 27, 2013

The Seahawks have the best record in the NFL at 10-1. With a win over the Saints on Monday night, and an array of other possibilities on Thursday and Sunday, the Seahawks also could be among the first teams to qualify for the postseason.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 27, when the players continued to prepare for Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: THE P-WORD

That’s right, playoffs. Cue Jim Mora the elder’s playoff rant from Nov. 25, 2001, when he was coaching a 4-6 Indianapolis Colts team.

The reason we’re going where most coaches don’t want to go is that the Seahawks can clinch a playoff spot this week. Really. At 10-1, the Seahawks not only have the best record in the NFL, they can be one of the first teams to secure a spot in the postseason.

Here’s what needs to happen:

A win by the Seahawks and a loss by the Cardinals (at the Eagles on Sunday);

Or, a win by the Seahawks a loss by the 49ers (to the Rams on Sunday);

Or, a win by the Seahawks and ties by the Cardinals and 49ers;

Or, a tie by the Seahawks and a losses by the Cardinals and 49ers and a loss or tie by the Cowboys (to the Raiders on Thursday) and the Bears (at the Vikings on Sunday);

Or, a tie by the Seahawks and losses by the Cardinals and 49ers and a loss or tie by the Cowboys and Lions (to the Packers on Thursday).

YOU DON'T SAY

“I just remember it being loud, loud, loud all the time. Just a crazy atmosphere. Obviously a great home-field advantage.”

Saints QB Drew Brees on the 2010 wild-card playoff game against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field

That’s a Thanksgiving eve smorgasbord of playoff possibilities. But, it’s the Seahawks’ one-game-a-time approach that has carried them this far, and it’s their fine focus on the task at hand that will carry them through their final five regular-season games.

“Things happen so quickly, and we’re so focused on just going 1-0 each week that you kind of forget what the overall record is,” leading receiver Golden Tate said. “I think it’s a really good thing, because it doesn’t allow you to get arrogant and get complacent. We’re always striving to be 1-0 after each week.

“But I think that mindset helps us out a lot.”

The Broncos and Chiefs, both 9-2 and playing each other in Kansas City on Sunday, also can clinch playoff berths this week.

INJURY REPORT: NOT TODAY

Because the game is Monday night, the Seahawks and Saints don’t have to issue their first injury report of the week until Thursday.

STAT DU JOUR: HE’S NO. 1? HE’S NO. 1!

Russell Wilson doesn’t have the most wins of any active quarterback in the NFL. That honor goes to Peyton Manning (163). But the Seahawks’ second-year QB does have the best winning percentage among active quarterbacks:

Player, team W-L Pct.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks 21-6 .778
Tom Brady, Patriots 144-42 .774
Peyton Manning, Colts/Broncos 163-72 .694
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers 92-45 .672
Andrew Luck, Colts 18-9 .667
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers 12-6 .667
Aaron Rodgers, Packers  57-29 .663
Matt Ryan, Falcons 58-31 .652
Joe Flacco, Ravens 59-32 .648
Philip Rivers, Chargers 75-48 .610
Andy Dalton, Bengals 26-17 .605
Drew Brees, Chargers/Saints 108-72 .600
Tony Romo, Cowboys 61-43 .587

But coach Pete Carroll offered updates on wide receiver Percy Harvin and PUP players Greg Scruggs and Tharold Simon during his midday Q&A session with the media and Tony Drovetto has the details.

ROSTER SHUFFLE: DeSHAWN SHEAD ADDED TO 53-MAN ROSTER

Shead, a versatile second-year defensive back who was on the practice squad, has been added to the 53-man roster. To clear a spot cornerback Perrish Cox was released – one day after being signed.

Shead also was signed off the practice squad as a rookie last season, but was inactive for the final four regular-season games and both playoff games. That should not be the situation this season, as Shead can help on special teams and also provide needed depth in the secondary with cornerback Walter Thurmond serving a league-imposed four-game suspension and cornerback Brandon Browner out indefinitely with a groin injury.

A four-year starter at Portland State, Shead has played cornerback, both safety spots and also nickel back while on the practice squad this season.

“He’s a terrific utility player,” Carroll said of the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Shead. “He’s big and strong and fits the mold of the guys that we like. He’s a playmaker and he’ll have a nice role on special teams.”

Did someone say playmaker? Shead forced a fumble and intercepted a pass in Wednesday’s practice.

“We won’t hesitate to play him in a game because we know how he’s prepared himself,” Carroll said.

To fill Shead’s spot on the practice squad, tight end Cooper Helfet was re-signed – one day after he was released because cornerback Akeem Auguste was added to the eight-man squad.

UP NEXT: THANKSGIVING DAY

Because they play on Monday night this week, the players’ “off” day falls on a day worth having off – Thanksgiving Day. It’s a rarity in the NFL.

The players will return on Friday to continue their preparation for the “Monday Night Football” matchup against the Saints. That’s also when the schedule veers from calendar to Carroll – as Friday will be “Turnover Thursday,” Saturday will be “No Repeat Friday” and the final walkthrough that’s usually held on Saturday will be conducted on Sunday.

Game Rewind: Seattle Seahawks