Fans of the Seattle Seahawks are ready to throw in the towel following a 23-13 loss to the NFC West leading Arizona Cardinals that dropped the team to 3-7. It’s the first time the Hawks have been four games under .500 since 2011, and the gap between the Cardinals and Seattle in the standing is the further any Pete Carroll coached football team has been from first place during his tenure in the Pacific Northwest.
Thus, many have obviously turned the page on the season, written off the remainder of 2021 and have begun to wonder what assets the team might be able to sell off in order to acquire draft capital to rebuild. It’s a bit too early to start off down that road, however, as the schedule has set up for the Seahawks in such a way that they’re about to plant seeds of hope for the future.
Specifically, here’s a look at the ten opponents Seattle has faced in the opening eleven weeks of the season, along with where those opponents stand in terms of record and playoff rankings.
- Week 1: Indianapolis Colts (6-5, AFC 9 Seed) W 28-16
- Week 2: Tennessee Titans (8-3, AFC 1 Seed) L 33-30
- Week 3: Minnesota Vikings (5-5, NFC 6 Seed) L 30-17
- Week 4: San Francisco 49ers (5-5, NFC 8 Seed) W 28-21
- Week 5: Los Angeles Rams (7-3, NFC 5 Seed) L 26-17
- Week 6: Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1, AFC 8 Seed) L 23-20
- Week 7: New Orleans Saints (5-5, NFC 7 Seed) L 13-10
- Week 8: Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8, AFC 15 Seed) W 31-7
- Week 10: Green Bay Packers (8-3, NFC 2 Seed) L 17-0
- Week 11: Arizona Cardinals ( 9-2, NFC 1 Seed) L 23-13
That’s a whole lot of information in ten bullet points, so the key is to focus in on the non-playoff teams Seattle played during the first ten games. Those were:
- Colts - Win
- 49ers - Win
- Steelers - Loss
- Jaguars - Win
So, over the first ten games of the season the Seahawks are 0-6 against teams that would be in the playoffs if the postseason started today, and are 3-1 against teams that would not be in the postseason. Is that good? Absolutely not, no way, nuh uh, not at all. But it’s not as bad as many fans are making it, regardless of how inept the offense has been since Russell Wilson busted up his finger and regardless of the inability of the defense to prevent an opponent from marching down the field on a 14 play, 8 minute drive repeatedly.
The reason for that simply comes down to the schedule, which looks like this over the next six weeks:
- Week 12: Washington Football Team (4-6, NFC 11 Seed)
- Week 13: San Francisco 49ers (5-5, NFC 8 Seed)
- Week 14: Houston Texans (2-8, AFC 14 Seed
- Week 15: Los Angeles Rams (7-3, NFC 5 Seed)
- Week 16: Chicago Bears (3-7, NFC 14 Seed)
- Week 17: Detroit Lions (0-9-1, NFC 16 Seed)
And there it is. The Seahawks need to beat exactly zero teams that are currently sitting in a playoff spot in order to go 5-1 over the next six games and sit at 8-8 with a chance to finish the year with a winning record when they head on down to Phoenix for the 2021 finale.
So, are the Seahawks as bad as their 3-7 record would seem to indicate? No. Are they a good team? Absolutely not, as a good team would be better than 0-6 against playoff teams.
What it means is that the Seahawks are better than the bad teams, but worse than the good teams. Further, where in the past they’ve had Russell Wilson to push them over the hump in a couple of close games each year, that has been missing this season because surgically-repaired-finger Russ isn’t normal Russ yet, regardless of his ability to heal quickly or how many doctors sign off on the health of that middle finger.
The rest of the team is largely what it has been for the past several seasons, but without a healthy Russ to put down a rug over the cracks in the foundation, the blemishes are clearly visible.