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The Lookaround: Seahawks keep pace with first, pull away from third

Checking in with the pertinent goin' ons of the NFL as it relates to Seattle.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We all know by now what happened with the Seahawks this week -- they improved to 5-3 after beating the Raiders in a game that you would have hoped was not that close, but sometimes you're just happy to win after you realize how many backups and undrafted free agents got significant snappage. So, good, we got that covered.

But you're often only as good as what's going on around you.

In 'The Lookaround' I want to just do a quick peak around the league to give updates on things that are pertinent to Seattle, whether it's something that directly affects the team, or if it's just related to the franchise in a way that is relevant to your interests. Or, is relevant to my interests and of course everybody is just an extension of me because my solipsism is the only solipsism.

This is Week 9:

- Jim Harbaugh's magic is wearing as thin as his linebacking corps. Playing without NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith (as they have all year) and Patrick Willis, the 49ers lost 13-10 to the Rams after Colin Kaepernick fumbled away a would-be game-winning touchdown at the one-foot line, recovered by the Rams with :03 seconds on the clock. Any non-turnover would have resulted in a chipshot field goal to send it to overtime, but Kaepernick apparently doesn't need Dre in order to "beats" himself.


The prior play was a potential game-winning touchdown to Michael Crabtree, but they ruled that he did not have possession at the time that the ball was still over the goal line. Had they ruled it a touchdown, they likely would not have overturned it, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. You can make a lot of fuss over the final, but at the end of the day, St. Louis shutdown the San Francisco offense and that's plenty reason to say they earned the win.

49ers rookie linebacker Chris Borland had 18 tackles and three tackles for a loss in the loss.

San Francisco drops to 4-4, a game behind the Seahawks, and they play their next two games on the road: at New Orleans and at the New York Giants. Their old players are looking pretty old right now, including Frank Gore, but they do get Smith back against the Giants and then potentially Bowman at some point, but perhaps by then it will be too late.

The Rams hold onto a sliver of hope.

St. Louis improved to 3-5 and now hold a 2-0 2-1 record in the division, with a game at Arizona next week. Hypothetically if the Rams win that game, they'll be 4-5 and three games back of the Cardinals with a commanding 3-1 division record (they lost to SFO a couple weeks ago.)  But they still don't really "look" anything like a playoff team.

Austin Davis had just 4.4 yards per attempt in the win with two interceptions, while Tre Mason averaged 3.4 yards per carry. Tavon Austin still looks like he's miles away from being an NFL receiver, but there was good news on defense:

After being the joke of the "sacks" department for most of the year, St. Louis had eight of them against the Niners.

Has anyone nicknamed him "Callin' Sack-or-Pick" yet?

- San Francisco took a chance on Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Perhaps too big of a chance. Lattimore is reportedly contemplating retirement before his first NFL game even happens.

The Niners drafted Lattimore four picks ahead of Jaguars running back Denard Robinson, who's having quite a "run" with Jackonsville at the moment, and six picks ahead of the Seahawks taking Jesse Williams and Tharold Simon back-to-back.

- Arizona beat the Dallas Cowboys 28-17 to move to 7-1. They were down 10-0 early but railed off 28 straight points once they remembered that Brandon Weeden was the starting quarterback for Dallas. "The team to beat" has now been beaten twice in a row and all of a sudden the Cardinals have the best record in the NFL.

- They got the best record in the NFL because "the best team in the NFL," the Denver Broncos, lost 43-21 to the New England Patriots. So who is the best team? Is it the Cardinals? The Patriots? Maybe even the Seahawks? Well, the answer to that question is kind of meaningless right now, but it could be any of those teams.

When the playoffs start, it may truly be anyone's to win.

- In the world of the wild card race, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Houston Texans 31-21 to move to 6-2 but Nick Foles left the game with a shoulder injury broken collarbone meaning that Mark Sanchez is back like a poltergeist and just as likely to suck the life out of your house. Sanchez was 15-of-22 for 202 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT.

The truth is that Foles hasn't played very well this year and Sanchez could be a much better player for Chip Kelly than he was for Rex Ryan. Not good, mind you, but if he has to play for awhile, it might not be that bad. The Eagles and Seahawks play in Week 14.

- Who could forget that Seattle lost to the Chargers in Week 2 by a score of 30-21, their worst loss since 2011? Well, apparently San Diego could. They lost 37-0 to the Miami Dolphins and have sunk to 5-4 after three straight losses. Other than their win over Seattle, the Chargers really played a cake schedule (BUF, NYJ, JAX, OAK) and are now looking like a much worse team than division rivals Kansas City.

The team that made us all question if the Seahawks defense had really regressed to the point of being "average" might not even make the AFC playoffs.

- Percy Harvin had 11 catches for 129 yards, giving him 151 receiving yards with the Jets through two games. He had 150 receiving yards in his Seahawks regular season career.

He also had a 65-yard kickoff return, but whatever he does from here on out, it's not that consequential to Seattle. It wasn't working out here. It would be like imagining what Peyton Manning could have done if he signed with the Seahawks in 2012 instead of the Broncos. It's a moot point and it's fine to wish Harvin all the best. He's an exciting player to watch -- anywhere but on the 2014 Seahawks, apparently.

- The Lions defense is the best in the NFL right now and is being led by first-time DC Teryl Austin who some very obsessed fans might remember as a member of Mike Holmgren's staff from 2003-2006 as the DB coach. Austin spent three years after that on the Cardinals, one year at the University of Florida, three years with the Ravens, and now may be near the top of some lists for head coaching candidates in the near future.

- Brandon Browner intercepted Peyton Manning. It was his first interception with the Patriots and even though he didn't get to play in the Super Bowl, at least he eventually got to get in on the fun of intercepting Manning.

It was like his unofficial contribution to that historic victory. Way to go, BB.

However, technically he wasn't the first former Seahawks to get a pick on Sunday: Clinton McDonald managed an interception for the Bucs against Brian Hoyer after a deflection came his way. It was his second interception in as many years, giving him as many as Browner since the start of 2013.