Can Seahawks end on winning note?

  • Sun Jan 3rd, 2010 12:07am
  • Sports

By John Boyle Herald Writer

There are no playoff implication tied to today’s game between Seattle and Tennessee. Nobody is going to confuse a matchup between the 5-10 Seahawks and the 7-8 Titans with must-see TV.

So why bother? What’s worth paying attention to when two teams headed nowhere meet up in January to finish out the season?

Well, there’s always pride, though the Seahawks have played the “we’re still playing for pride” card in recent weeks, and the results have been far from impressive.

OK then, how about momentum? Well that might do the trick. A win will hardly make everything better after three straight blowouts, but at least it will send the Seahawks into the offseason with a little bit better of a taste in their mouths.

“I think so, I really do, it can be a springboard,” Seahawks coach Jim Mora said. “It’s the first game of 2010, we’re playing at home. I absolutely do think that. Sometimes those games in the middle of the season, you forget about them, but this last one sticks in your mind a little bit longer. It’s the last thing you have going into the offseason, so if you have a good performance and show some hope, then it can be a springboard for you, absolutely.”

Even with a win, no one is going to view this season as anything but a major disappointment, but there’s something to be said for ending with a victory, the Seahawks say.

“I mean, it’s not going to necessarily cure all our issues, but it’s just going to feel good,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “It’s going to be a really nice thing.”

Meanwhile the Titans are playing for some slightly more tangible goals than are the Seahawks, even if the playoffs are out of the picture for Jeff Fisher’s squad as well.

A win in Seattle would get the Titans to 8-8, which may not seem like much for a team that went 13-3 last year, but considering they started 0-6, getting to .500 would be meaningful.

“It’s very important to get to 8-8 after starting off 0-6,” running back Chris Johnson said. “It’ll give us momentum for next year, just to let them know what we can do. If we could’ve won a couple — one or two or maybe three — of those first few games, what would we be looking like right now?”

Johnson also has a big personal goal in his sights heading into the final game of his second season.

With 128 yards today, Johnson would become just the sixth back in league history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Less likely but still within the realm of possibility is the single season rushing record. Johnson would need 234 yards, which is more than the Seahawks have allowed in a game in their history, to pass Eric Dickerson for the record.

Throughout this week, Seahawks players and coaches have talked about not letting Johnson make history against them.

“They’re pros, they’re competitive, this is an outstanding challenge to them,” Mora said. “This guy is a great back, and they have a goal that they’re trying to get for him, 2,000 yards, which is a major milestone, and it just so happens to be against us. And I think our guys, it matters to them. I think it really matters to them.”

The Seahawks have only allowed one running back to gain over 100 yards in a game this season, and that came against Frank Gore and the 49ers in Week 2. Keeping that streak intact for one more week would mean a lot to the Seahawks defense.

“It’s a huge game,” defensive tackle Colin Cole said. “He’s got a lot of yards this year obviously he’s shooting for 2,000, and it’s not every year that there’s an elite back with a chance to get that kind of yardage. It’s going to be a challenge, but at the same time, we’re definitely up for it.”

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog