RENTON, Wash. — The Seahawks have more losses than any playoff team in NFL history, their offense ranked No. 28 out of 32 teams in yards gained, and their defense was No. 27 in yards allowed.
Just don't say they're sorry. Not even a little bit.
Matt Hasselbeck made that clear this week. After coach Pete Carroll said Hasselbeck will start today's playoff game against New Orleans, the Seahawks quarterback was asked if any apologies were in order for being in the playoffs with a losing record.
"Apologize to who?" Hasselbeck said. "No, I've got nothing to apologize for."
So what's it like being a 7-9 team preparing to play the defending world champions?
"We're 0-0 right now," he said. "That's where my head's at."
Consider that the first sign that this team isn't just happy to be here. There's a little bit of defiance inspired by the reality that the Seahawks are the largest home underdog ever in the NFL playoffs. The Saints are favored by 10 points. That's pretty concrete proof this is a game not many people outside the Seahawks' locker room think they can win.
"Good," Hasselbeck said.
But right about now, people around town are beginning to talk themselves into the idea that the Seahawks are better than a halfcourt long shot.
After all, the Saints lack two of their best running backs, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory, both on injured reserve. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, tight end Jimmy Graham and linebacker Danny Clark are out too. The Saints have never won a true road playoff game.
But Seattle is not only 7-9, it's a statistically poor 7-9. The team allowed 97 more points than it scored and lost nine games by 15 or more. Only 2-14 Carolina had more double-digit losses.
And that game Seattle played Nov. 21 in New Orleans, when Hasselbeck passed for a season-high 366 yards in a 34-19 loss? The Saints scored touchdowns on five consecutive drives and Drew Brees was 9-of-10 passing on third down.
Still, Carroll has spent this season trying to make the Seahawks focus on what they're going to do, not who they're going to do it against.
"We really don't focus on who we're playing," Hasselbeck said. "Actually, it's kind of funny because Pete always says, 'Hey, I don't care who they bring in here — they could bring in the world champs.' "
Today, that's exactly who's coming.