Seattle is one of those teams that is hard to believe in because, on paper, they don’t seem to match up with other top playoff contenders in the NFC.
In Week 9, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks were presented with the opportunity to move ahead of the San Francisco 49ers for sole possession of first place in the NFC West and second place in the conference, holding the tiebreaker over Detroit. Instead, they traveled to Baltimore and pooped their pants, justifying all the doubters who haven’t bought them as true NFC contenders.
Losing is always disappointing, but when traveling across the country only to get trampled 37-3 by the Ravens can be demoralizing. Seattle was a quiet 5-2 coming into Sunday’s game with a chance to take control of the division. But like the Lions a couple of weeks prior, the Seahawks ran into a buzzsaw in Baltimore. The Ravens beat two of the best the NFC has to offer by a combined score of 75-9.
When speaking of the top teams in the conference this year, the Seahawks might get a mention, but it’s usually down the line. They’re never mentioned first, second, or rarely even third among NFC “contenders.” Sunday was their chance to throw it in everyone’s face, but they couldn’t even score a touchdown. Lamar Jackson was even sidelined for part of the game for Baltimore, and Seattle still couldn’t get anything going.
Not the Seahawks we used to know
Geno Smith played like he was stuck in a New York City flashback with the Jets while the running game was stifled by the Ravens’ defense. Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet combined for 24 yards on the ground on 13 carries. The crazy part about this game is neither team scored in the first quarter. The second quarter is where things slipped away for Carroll’s Seahawks as they went into halftime down, 17-3. And that was all she wrote.
The Seahawks have a date with the 49ers on Thanksgiving night, but have a chance to add a couple wins before that, squaring off against the Commanders and Rams. Then Seattle plays the Cowboys, the Niners (again) and the Eagles. Those four weeks will likely determine whether the Seahawks are a legit playoff team.
Over the next few weeks, Seattle will have plenty of opportunities to prove those outside the Pacific Northwest wrong about this franchise. One thing they’ll need to do is recapture the run game. What was once a staple of Carroll’s Seahawks’ offense is now just an afterthought. Seattle ranks in the lower third of the NFL in rushing.
It is incredible for Seattle to be 5-3 because they’ve been a middling or worst team in many offensive and defensive categories for most of the season. They’ll look great for a couple of games, then wet the bed and get blown out. That’s why it’s so hard to trust this team and hold them in the same regard as other NFC squads. The Seahawks need to find themselves before Week 12, otherwise, they may find themselves on the outside looking in through that postseason window they snuck into last year.
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