If it’s not November, I honestly don’t think too much about the Seattle Seahawks playoff chances. In Pete Carroll’s first six seasons with the Seahawks, the team had a first half record of 26-22. Over the last four seasons, that record 20-12, with the majority of that winning record coming from a 7-1 start in 2013. And yet, Seattle has been to the playoffs in each of the last four years, without much doubt by Week 16 or 17. The reason is simple:
The Seahawks have been damn near unstoppable after the midway point, going 26-6 in the second half of the season since 2012. That’s why it’s important for them to rack up as many wins as possible in September/October knowing that in the last four years, they’ve gone 7-1, 6-2, 7-1, and 6-2 in the second half.
That’s why I’m feeling pretty good about their 5-2-1 record right now, the second-best first half record they’ve had under Carroll.
Even better is the two-game lead they have in the NFC West over the Arizona Cardinals, a team that they don’t hold the head-to-head tiebreaker (you can’t have a tieBREAKER if you tie) but do get to host the rubber game at CenturyLink. Consider their place in the standings after Week 9 under Carroll going into this season:
2010 - Tied with the Rams in first place at 4-4
2011 - Five games behind the 49ers at 2-6
2012 - One game behind the 49ers at 5-4
2013 - 1.5 game lead over the 49ers at 8-1
2014 - Two games behind the Cardinals at 5-3
2015 - Two games behind the Cardinals at 4-4
So this is the best position Seattle has been in after Week 9 in the division under Carroll.
If I can make an attempt to cutoff some of the cynical thoughts, let me do so by saying them first: This article isn’t about anything other than team record and division lead. The 2013 team may have been better than this team, but the current iteration doesn’t have to deal with the San Francisco 49ers of that season. If you want to talk about the offensive line or the running game or the third down defense or why there are actually like a dozen teams better than the Seahawks once the playoffs get here, etc., I mean, that’s your prerogative. But if we’re focusing on the positive ... there’s a lot to focus on.
Personnel-wise, Seattle has gotten to a 5-2-1 record despite a myriad of important injuries in spite of an abysmal rushing attack. I think fans should be hopeful about the development of George Fant, the return of Thomas Rawls (not next week, but hopefully the following week), the usage of C.J. Prosise moving forward, the fact that Russell Wilson is now starting to get warmed up and is the best November, December/January QB in history by a number of metrics, that Tyler Lockett is healthy, that Luke Willson should be back soon, the return of Kam Chancellor next week, the fact that Michael Bennett and Mike Morgan should be back this season — and that’s why I think that a 6-2 or 7-1 second half record is reasonable, even if a Week 10 loss to the New England Patriots is also foreseeable.
Four of the final seven games are at home and two of the three road games are against the not-so-great Buccaneers and 49ers. The other is at Lambeau, where the Packers have lost two of their last three games. It’s tough, but it’s doable.
If the Seahawks go 6-2 in the second half of the year, they’ll finish 11-4-1, same record that the 2012 San Francisco 49ers had when they went to the Super Bowl and lost to the Baltimore Ravens. Like I said before, I don’t even think about playoffs until November because of what we’ve seen Carroll do with this team once it hits.
It’s November. And the Seattle Seahawks are in a very good position.