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Originally published Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Hawks aren't going to rest easy

The next two weeks will be important for the Seahawks, though they know where they will stand come playoff time. The Seahawks will be either...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Sunday

Baltimore @ Seattle,

1 p.m., Ch. 7

KIRKLAND — The next two weeks will be important for the Seahawks, though they know where they will stand come playoff time.

The Seahawks will be either the third or fourth seed in the NFC when the playoffs start, but the objective, coach Mike Holmgren said Monday, is to keep playing hard and winning.

"I want to have the best record we can. I want to win as many games as we possibly can," Holmgren said. "There's always a chance that you get another home playoff game if something weird should happen, so you're always shooting for that. But more than anything else it's the pride factor, I guess. I don't want to lose any games."

For that to happen, the Seahawks will focus on areas that need improvement as they gear up for the postseason. Those include third-down conversions and sustaining drives on offense, winning the field-position battle on special teams, and forcing turnovers and generating a good pass rush on defense.

"Turnovers are everything to us," Holmgren said. "Pressuring the quarterback and turnovers."

The Seahawks failed on three important third-and-short situations that killed drives in Sunday's 13-10 loss at Carolina, two of those on third-and-one. That down and distance have been a problem for the Seahawks in games this season.

The Seahawks are 0-4 when they fail to register a sack in a game this season and 8-0 when they force two or more turnovers.

Seattle has two more regular-season games and has already clinched the NFC West title, so it will host a wild-card game the first week of January. The opponent depends on what seed the Seahawks end up with and the seeding of the two wild-card teams.

The New York Giants, Minnesota, New Orleans and Washington are the top four teams vying for NFC wild-card berths.

"I just want to keep playing," Holmgren said. "Who we play, where we play, once it's been taken out of our hands that we can no longer play at our place, then it doesn't really matter."

There is still the matter of the two remaining opponents in the regular season. This Sunday it's the 4-10 Baltimore Ravens in the regular-season home finale at Qwest Field, then the 3-11 Atlanta Falcons on the road.

Holmgren said he hasn't discussed with coaches what players he might decide to rest over the next two weeks should he decide to do so.

Pro Bowl prognosis

The Pro Bowl rosters for the NFC and AFC will be announced today, and several Seahawks are in the running.

"I know the ones I voted for," Holmgren said. "You can't vote for your own guys. On our team, I think there are four guys on defense and four guys on offense."

Holmgren wouldn't say who those eight players are except for a mention of wide receiver Bobby Engram. The best hopes for the Seahawks are likely linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson, defensive end Patrick Kerney, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, left tackle Walter Jones, Engram and cornerback Marcus Trufant.

"Matt, obviously," Engram said. "I think I got a shot. I deserve to go, but you don't know how the voting's going to go. Defensively, Kerney's playing lights out. J.P. [Peterson] has had a great year. Lofa, Deon Grant."

Notes

• Holmgren was pleased with new long snapper Jeff Robinson's performance Sunday after the coach had reviewed game film.

"I think he's going to be a real asset down the stretch," Holmgren said.

• Injured CB Josh Wilson and WR D.J. Hackett could see a little practice time this week, Holmgren said, and he would like them back before the regular season ends.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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