By SCOTT M. JOHNSON
KIRKLAND – What a difference two weeks make.
Just 14 days ago, the only ‘P’ words being mentioned at Seattle Seahawks headquarters had to do with the team’s offseason priorities.
Now, with two wins under their belts and a bye this Sunday, the Seahawks are starting to get ahead of themselves.
“If we win them all, we might make the playoffs,” coach Mike Holmgren said Monday when asked about his expectations for the team’s final five games.
“I’m talking all the time about mathematically eliminated, what the heck. We have five games left. If we win all five, we’re 9-7. Does that get us in? I don’t know. But that would be a nice way to go, so that’s what we’re shooting for.”
For a team that has sunk to lower depths than a 100-pound anchor this season, Seattle finds itself heading into the bye week on quite a high. In addition to the two-game winning streak, the players and coaches will get some rare days off before getting back to business next Monday.
“It comes at a good time, it really does,” defensive end Michael Sinclair said. “The guys that have been injured can heal up now. Just to get away from it for a while, we’ve been playing a long time.”
Sinclair has bigger bye-week plans than most of his teammates. His fourth child is due Wednesday, a girl that he and wife Betty plan to name Mary Abigal (ED: THAT’S HOW HE SPELLED IT TO ME, THREE TIMES. I STILL THINK IT LOOKS STRANGE). Sinclair will continue to work out at his Kirkland home, and hopes not to lose his edge by next week.
“We have five games. We can get these five,” Sinclair said. “We’ve got to come back and be ready. Not get ready, but be ready.”
Holmgren, who will work through Thursday before heading to California to visit his mother, said some injured players will get treatment this week. He added that all the players staying in town were encouraged to take part in “informal” workouts.
“Every time you have a bye, the question comes up: Is it a good time or isn’t it?,” said Holmgren, who gave the players the week off as a reward for back-to-back wins. “We could probably heal up a little bit, even though we’re not real injured. I don’t know. It’s a tricky question. I’m hoping they get away from it just a little bit, work out, kind of refresh themselves for a big five-game push. If we can do that, then it was a good time for the bye.”
In addition to rest and healing time, the week will also allow the Seahawks to settle their quarterback situation. All indications are Brock Huard will return as the starter next week, but it’s not a certainty. He has missed the last three games due to a concussion, and will be further evaluated later this week.
If or when Huard comes back, his goals are just as lofty as Holmgren’s.
“Win all five,” Huard said. “That’s what we’re shooting for here. We’re shooting for 9-7, and it is realistic. If we play the way we did (in Sunday’s 28-21 win over Jacksonville), we should win.”
Going from 4-7 to 9-7 is much easier said than done. But after two consecutive wins, it’s more likely than it seemed two shorts weeks ago.
“It’s been a good two weeks,” Holmgren said. “Certainly, winning before a bye allows you to really get some stuff done and enjoy your time off.”