As Seattle fans, we're pretty much preprogrammed to expect the worst.
That's what waiting 30-plus years for the city's second -- second! -- championship* with just one near miss along the way will do to you. We have this amazing ability to take something positive and parse it down to the point where we are convinced that whatever it was that we thought was positive was actually not positive at all, but in fact some ominous harbinger of future heartbreak.
*Sorry, Storm fans. I'm not even going there.
Such is our current state after the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Diego Chargers, 27-20, and now head into NFL Week 4 with a 2-1 record. Yet, the euphoria of Earl Thomas' second -- and game-clinching -- interception had hardly faded when the angst started kicking in.
"But we gave up 518 yards of offense!"
"We only won because of a couple of fluky special teams touchdowns by Leon Washington and turnovers!"
"Did you see that interception? Matt Hasselbeck's arm just isn't good enough anymore!"
And on, and on, and on.
To which I say: Relax. And allow yourself to enjoy an unexpected victory. (Or two.)
It's sort of like that present you get for Christmas from your spouse that you know you can't really afford. You can make a frowny face and hem and haw and talk about how it's too expensive, thereby robbing yourself of the chance to delight in the gift and also ruin whatever joy your spouse was about to derive from giving the gift; or, you can just relish the really cool gift and forget about the consequences because, let's be honest, you're getting the gift one way or another.
This is the NFL. Never look a gift victory in the mouth.
Are there reasons to be concerned that the Hawks' 2-1 start is at least somewhat smoke and mirrors? Sure. A pessimistic fan might point out that the Week 1 win was due in large part to Alex Smith's aversion to performing like even a league-average quarterback (not exactly a high standard for a former No. 1 pick), then go on to point out that the most recent victory was achieved despite getting whipped in the two primary facets of the game for the better part of the contest.
Of course, those were sandwiched around a stinker in Denver in which the Broncos turned the Seahawks' mistakes into a 17-point rout. Not exactly inspiring confidence.
But the optimistic fan might say that Week 1 was more about shutting down Frank Gore and taking advantage of an overly aggressive defense, and Week 3 about exploiting San Diego's special teams weaknesses and pursuing the ball.
Who's right? Neither. And both.
But the better question is this.
For the first time in two-plus years, the Seahawks are relevant. They have playmakers -- exciting players who can change any game in just a single play. Watching them once again generates anticipation and excitement, rather than dread. The NFC West is there for the taking. Even if you still believe that the Niners are the class of the division, they're now 0-3, two full games behind. The Cardinals are 2-1 as well, but how confident can they feel with Derek Anderson at the helm? And the Rams ... well, they're still the Rams.
Could the Seahawks let you down going forward? Sure. As we know all too well, that is always a distinct possibility. But the possibility also exists that this is a team that figured out a way to survive its early growing pains and is set to go on a run. And while this pretty clearly isn't a Super Bowl team, it's the same formula the team followed in 2005. Wins in the bank are wins in the bank. Some have speculated that eight wins might capture the NFC West; the Seahawks are already 25 percent there.
So whether you believe this start is sustainable, just do yourself a favor.
Enjoy it for as long as it lasts.
For more on the Seahawks visit SB Nation's Field Gulls.