Yesterdays win now makes the playoffs (and the Super Bowl) achievable. Never mind that we lost the last Super Bowl, which is when this photo was taken.
Yesterday's win now makes the playoffs (and the Super Bowl) achievable. Never mind that we lost the last Super Bowl, which is when this photo was taken. Courtesy of Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have played some very good games this year. Until this week however, they lost every single one of those good games. This made good football feel like bad football, and as the Seahawks were reserving the winning for slogs against poor quarterbacks, bad football was feeling like good football. Football, which in many ways is inherently backward, was in the context of the Seahawks season becoming emotionally backward. That said, the Seahawks had yet to play a regular old "good" football team, a team that's competent without being exceptional. Yesterday, Pittsburgh was that sort of team, and represented what the Seahawks will have to beat in order to make a postseason run to redemption.

Good thing the Seahawks won 39-30 (even if it was in pyrrhic fashion), moving Seattle to 4-1 over their past five games. The playoffs are now achievable in spite of the Seahawks' current propensity for ill-advised foot shooting.

All that said, Pittsburgh will never be just a regular "good" football team. This win was tinged with the constrained joy of being slightly better off than someone who dumped you a decade ago, but you have to do your best not to revel in the small margin by which your life is presently objectively better. The dumper in this case were the Steelers, who rejected the Seahawks in brutally public fashion back in Super Bowl XL. The small margin by which we're objectively better now is the nine points we won by on Sunday paired with the more recent Super Bowl and heartbreaking loss on our résumé. The not-reveling was the treating this just like any other game, even though it was the team's first win over Pittsburgh since before Super Bowl XL.

• Speaking of Super Bowl XL, the officiating across the NFL was atrocious again on Sunday. The Seahawks game featured a healthy dose of terrible calls, and each team was forced to deal with a slew of weird calls. The Seattle slew ran first, bringing to mind memories of the Super Bowl. Kam Chancellor at one point was called for a horse-collar tackle that was committed by Jeremy Lane, except the way Lane made the tackle was not a horse-collar and was legal. Fun! The second half was a delightful palate cleanser of similarly borderline calls going Seattle's way. It was enough to make you think the NFL is too incompetent for the fix to be in.

That was until the Patriots spent Sunday night getting jobbed out of a run at an undefeated season in Denver. So many ludicrous calls went Denver's way. Again, I don't want to revel in the suffering of a team that beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, but it was hard not to laugh at what was happening until Rob Gronkowski went down with a brutal-looking knee injury. Reports are, however, that the Patriots tight end will be fine.

• Oh, speaking of great tight ends, you know who won't be fine? Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham, who is lost for the season and likely won't be at full strength again until 2017 after tearing his patellar tendon. This is terrible, and it's hard to oversell how damaging this injury is to Graham's prospects going forward. Graham had, despite failing to reach the statistical heights he had reached in New Orleans, integrated himself into the Seahawks offense, emerging as the team's primary threat in the middle of the field. He's also a person who must be in immense pain, and may well have lost the capacity to perform his job at a high level ever again. It's horrifying and unfortunate, and that it happened on a fairly routine play is a reminder... of something. I don't know. It sucks.

Speaking of things that suck, Richard Sherman made Antonio Brown look like he sucks. Brown only managed three catches on nine targets against Sherman. Meanwhile, the rest of the Seahawks secondary made Markus Wheaton look like Antonio Brown. Never forget that Richard Sherman is a generational talent who looks bad staggeringly infrequently. Never forget how good Richard Sherman is and how lucky we are to root for him. Never forget.

• Earl Thomas played a bad game of football. I can't remember thinking that specific thought since Thomas' rookie year back when he was rocking dreads. This was likely just a blip against a really good quarterback who was looking anywhere but Sherman's direction all day long. That said, it was weird to see Thomas victimized multiple times in one game.

Russell Wilson had one of his best games as a Seahawk on Sunday. Wilson is back up to fifth in the NFL in yards gained per attempt, a stat that takes into account his propensity to take sacks after holding on to the ball in the league. Russ will likely never be the best QB in the league (though the same was said of Tom Brady at Wilson's age, and look what happened) but he will consistently be a top-ten quarterback. If you have one of those for a long time, your franchise has the capacity do exceptional things.

• Matt Hasselbeck is 4-0 in Indianapolis. As of this week, there is a non-zero chance that the Seahawks will play Matt Hasselbeck in the Super Bowl.

• Michael Bennett jumped offsides on a 3rd-and-2 play, and almost killed me.

• Weird number of ads for Concussion during the game. I'm worried about the message of the film at this point. It can't be a pro-concussion movie, can it? Concussions can't be the heroes of Concussion, can they?

• The undrafted Jermaine Kearse, Doug Baldwin, and Thomas Rawls and the barely drafted EDM star Luke Willson all looked good, save for Kearse playing a dangerous game of "fumble the ball out of bounds and scare the crap out of everyone for no reason." They will need to be good if the Seahawks are going to make another run with an array of skill position talent that was wholly untouted coming out of college. Also, the return of a healthy Paul Richardson has gone from "cool luxury car" to "must-needed mode of transporting the ball down the field."

• The Seahawks would be in the playoffs if they started today. If they can beat Minnesota next week, they will be in ludicrously good shape to qualify. It behooves the Seahawks to keep winning football games, both because they're a football team coached by Pete Carroll and thusly are obliged to Win Forever, and well, there are other reasons, but let's just go with the Win Forever one. Time to Win Forever, boys. Let's do it.