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Seahawks and ESPN get cozy in power rankings like it’s the Marshawn Lynch era

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NFL: SEP 15 Seahawks at Steelers Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are back in the top five of a completely meaningless ranking, but as recent events have shown, reputation is king these days.

Seattle is ranked fifth on ESPN’s Week 6 Power Rankings, released this week. It’s not only the best ranking for the Seahawks this year, it’s the highest they’ve been ranked by ESPN since Week 7 of 2017. Ahead of the Seahawks are the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, and Green Bay Packers.

Around the internet world, Seattle is currently 6th on Yahoo! - where the NFC West is displayed quite proudly towards the top. CBS has the Hawks ahead of Green Bay at 4th in their ranks, while NFL.com is one of the lowest right now, putting the Seahawks at 7th.

Power rankings are as useful as preseason wins, but it’s perhaps a small indicator of national appreciation for a team’s talent. Especially for a West Coast team that fans often believe is under appreciated by the East Coast media giants.

Some may remember it was an ESPN analyst who predicted that Seattle would total one win from Week 1-7, that being the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Mike Clay didn’t think Seattle would win a single road game this season. The Seahawks already have two.

It was also ESPN who had little faith in the NFC West a few short months ago. Preseason power rankings had Seattle at 15th before the season began, and the San Francisco 49ers at 22nd.

The most volatile reaction this offseason was to Bill Barnwell’s piece on offensive arsenals, wherein he ranked Seattle 29th out of 32 teams. The Seahawks WR, RB, and TE players were ranked below Washington, Arizona, and the New York Jets. Barnwell had slightly more faith in the Niners, but still they came out at 24th in the league - the same Niners who now have the best point differential in the NFC.

Brady Henderson is the beat writer assigned specifically to the Seahawks, and as such is usually the consistent voice of reason for Seattle on ESPN. He’s on a very impressive streak right now, going five for five while picking Seahawks games this season. Fans of Seattle hope that he’s about to be wrong for once, as he predicted the Cleveland Browns to win this Sunday’s matchup.

A fictitious ranking obviously doesn’t actually do anything, and if the Seahawks do something other than confidently handle the Browns they could even move down the fickle chart. But it is worth noting that it’s been a solid two years since the powers that be saw the Seahawks as a legitimate contender. Now with the second best record in the NFC and a quarterback headlining the MVP conversation, Seattle is once again in a familiar position: proving opinions wrong.