NFC West: window of opportunity
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
|Jarrett Baker/Getty Images|
|Matt Hasselbeck's injuries may narrow Seattle's window of opportunity.|
Windows of opportunity can be foggy in the NFL.
They do not open as wide nor shut as tightly as they once did, and more teams enjoy access to them.
Salary-cap mismanagement no longer derails the best teams the way it did after the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers enjoyed dominant runs through the 1990s. Quarterbacks remain key variables, obviously, and teams can have a harder time when injuries hit a position hard.
The context helps make sense of three successful franchises suffering through subpar seasons. The Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks have combined for 14 playoff appearances over the last six seasons. None is even .500 through Week 8.
Are their windows closing?