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Thanksgiving has come and gone (10th Oct 19 at 6:55am UTC)Quote Reply
Kam Chancellor Color Rush Jersey , and for the next six weeks we will be surrounded by holiday spirit, cheer and more Christmas songs than most people prefer to hear. And the Seattle Seahawks are right in the middle of a fantastically close playoff race in the NFC. As I noted Tuesday, all three of the Thanksgiving Day games had playoff implications in the NFC, and for the most part things went well for the Seahawks. In the opening game of the day the Detroit Lions had the ball late with a chance to take the lead on the Chicago Bears, but a pick-6 on a pass to the left flat all but ended the game. A strangely familiar sight against the Bears for Hawks fans, but the loss dropped Detroit to 4-7 and all but ends any hopes of the postseason for the Lions as the Lions can only hope to reach nine victories on the season. While nine victories may be enough to make it to the postseason in the NFC, the Lions are in last place in the NFC North and would need to leapfrog at least one of the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers in order to have a shot. The Bears, meanwhile, tightened their grip on the NFC North with the victory. They are currently 2.25 games up on the Vikings and 3.25 games up on the Packers. Chicago certainly has a tough task going up against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13, but follows that with games against the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers over the final five weeks of the season.Thus, they probably only need to win one of the two games against Minnesota and Green Bay in Weeks 16 and 17 to take the NFC North title. Meanwhile, the NFC East has been thrown into chaos. The Washington Redskins had staked an early lead in the division while the other three teams floundered. However, with quarterback Alex Smith out for the season, Washington has dropped two straight games to teams from the Lone Star State. With the victory by the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Dallas is now in first place in the division thanks to holding a better division record than Washington. The win not only puts the Cowboys in front of the Hawks in the playoff picture, but it also removes the tiebreaker that Seattle holds over Dallas from the equation as long as the Cowboys remain in first place in the NFC East. Of course, we’ll see how long Dallas is able to stay in front of the division, because their next three games are against the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts. The Eagles play Washington and the New York Giants in their next two games, so it would not be unreasonable for the Week 14 game between Dallas and Philly to be for the division lead. In the final game of the day, the New Orleans Saints did what the New Orleans Saints do, and dispatched the Atlanta Falcons without too much trouble. The victory puts the Saints at 10-1, and back into the number one seed in the fight for home field advantage through the playoffs. With the Los Angeles Rams on a bye this week Shaquem Griffin Color Rush Jersey , the Saints slide back into the NFC’s top spot thanks to their tiebreaker as a result of their victory over the Rams in Week 9. On the other side of the night game the Falcons now sit at 4-7, and much like the Lions, have only the slimmest of playoff hopes remaining. Absolutely everything would need to break Atlanta’s way for the Falcons to reach the postseason, so while they aren’t dead dead, odds are they will be soon. The way things have turned out makes the Seahawks game Sunday against the Carolina Panthers extremely critical to the team’s playoff chances any way one looks at things. The Panthers and Vikings are likely the Hawks’ stiffest competition for the playoffs, and with both those teams on the schedule over the final six games, things are certainly going to be interesting down the stretch. According to the New York Times Playoff Machine, the Hawks have a 68% chance of making the postseason with a win Sunday, versus a 26% chance if they lose. Brian Burke of ESPN has the team’s playoff leverage at a similar level, as seen in the following tweet. The ESPN numbers were from before the Thursday games, but they clearly demonstrate the importance of the showdown in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon. It’s a huge game. Hopefully the Hawks don’t perform as poorly as they did Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, when they traveled cross country to Tampa and played one of the worst games of the Pete Carroll era. RENTON, Wash. (AP) — When he first underwent knee surgery in mid-August, K.J. Wright targeted the Seattle Seahawks‘ Week 3 game against Dallas for his return.It made sense. The procedure was relatively minor and the amount of recovery time should have been sufficient for Wright to be able to play at least some against the Cowboys.“I was running within two weeks,” Wright said. “But I think I went a bit too hard.”It’s now Week 8 and Wright is finally set to make his season debut when the Seahawks travel to Detroit on Sunday. A month later than he expected, Wright’s return should help solidify a position that’s used four different players through Seattle’s first six games.If Wright can play at the level he has for most of his career, his return is a major boost for a defense that has held three of its last four opponents to under 20 points, including a 27-3 rout of Oakland in Seattle’s last game.“We’ve been playing together for seven years, so we have a communication that can’t be replicated,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “He makes plays and he’s going to make adjustments and things of that nature. I’m extremely excited to have him back. I think the last time you saw him, he was making big hits and all that stuff, so that’s what I’m expecting from him.”Wright said it was a very simple movement that led to his injury during pregame warmups before Seattle faced Minnesota in the third preseason game. Wright said he was doing a shuffle move when his leg gave out momentarily. He didn’t really think much of it and went on to play in the game without any problems.It was afterward, when he told trainers his knee was a little sore Bradley McDougald Color Rush Jersey , that concerns started to grow. Wright initially balked when told he needed to undergo an MRI, but soon learned the concerns were justified.“I was like, ‘I don’t need the MRI,’ but once they showed what happened, it showed that it was messed up and I had to get it repaired,” Wright said.While Wright was out, the Seahawks used four different players to try to fill his spot. They started rookie Shaquem Griffin in the opener against Denver, but it was obvious Griffin wasn’t ready for the role. Seattle signed Mychal Kendricks, but he lasted only three games before being indefinitely suspended by the league for his guilty plea on federal insider trading charges. Austin Calitro also got a look, but the most promising option may have been Barkevious Mingo.Signed by Seattle to play strongside linebacker and rush the quarterback in passing situations, Mingo showed a knack for playing behind the line of scrimmage and covering in space.“It’s a tremendous boost for him in his career, too, to be able to play behind the line of scrimmage as he grows to do that,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It really will help him. I don’t think anybody’s seen him do that very much and (we’re) surprised that it’s come so easy to him, but we’ll continue to work on with it.”The emergence of others at weakside linebacker and the time missed with injury has heightened questions about Wright’s long-term future in Seattle. He’s in the final year of his current contract and Wright said not having future security crossed his mind briefly in the immediate aftermath of his surgery.“When I got hurt it did cross my mind like, ‘Damn, this is the worst timing,'” Wright said. “But when you get hurt and you miss some ball, all you care about is football, and the contract stuff will handle itself. I just want to play. The money is the money — whatever. I just want to play ball, be out three with my guys, and just do what I love.”
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