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January 7, 2014 at 2:44 AM

Tuesday links: Don’t believe the gloom

So should Seattle be fans worried after the team went 2-2 down the stretch?

Do the national types who look at Seattle’s finish and predicting the Seahawks’ doom really know anything?

Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone says heck no to each, saying reports of the team’s demise are not only premature but incorrect.

Writes Stone:

The three other teams remaining in the NFC (the Panthers, Saints and 49ers) ranked second, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the NFL in scoring defense. That leaves the Seahawks vulnerable to having their offense, which has sputtered down the stretch, shut down to an extent they won’t be able to overcome it in a loser-out scenario.

I don’t buy this theory, for any number of reasons. For one, the Seahawks have an excellent quarterback, which compensates for a lot of other deficiencies. They are playing all their pre-Super Bowl games at CenturyLink Field, where they are nearly impenetrable (though a loss to Arizona in their next-to-last game showed they can indeed be beaten at home).

They’ve already beaten the other three remaining NFC teams — San Francisco and New Orleans decisively at home, Carolina narrowly on the road to open the season. Most important, the Seahawks have the best defense in the league, teeming with elite players, which will allow them to win if the game turns into a fistfight.

But the best antidote to this entire scenario would be the return of (Percy) Harvin, who was acquired, at tremendous expense in both money and draft picks, precisely to push the Seahawks over the top.

In other news. …

— Here’s our notebook;

— And here’s our story on the far-and-wide reach of Seahawks fans;

— Seahawks.com says the team is preparing for the Saints that beat the Eagles, not the ones they played on Dec. 2;

— Seahawks.com also says the playoffs are off to an entertaining start;

— And Seahawks.com with an early look at the Saints;

— Interesting stuff from Football Perspective on Seattle’s pass defense;

— Football Perspective also says Richard Sherman has the same Approximate Value as Peyton Manning;

Doug Baldwin doing a live Q-and-A Tuesday night;

— If y0u want to help Marshawn Lynch pay his fine for not talking to the media, here you go;

— NOLA.com offers an early scouting report of the game;

— Probably won’t be a lot of Saints fans at CenturyLink Saturday;

— More early analysis of the game;

— Is this how the Saints can win?;

— Lindy’s with a closer look at the Divisional round;

Dan Quinn is regarded as a candidate at Tennessee — here’s an ESPN profile with that in mind.

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