Are the Seattle Seahawks True Playoff Contenders?

Truth is the basic concept upon which all human interaction is formed. Legal systems depend on it to produce justice.

But what is truth?

Pontious Pilate asked that same question thousands of years ago. Then, he washed his hands, ceremonially shifting blame and absolving himself of guilt or liability for crucifying Jesus Christ.

Humans are bad at truth, so we basically form our version of it. Fortunately, in the realm of sports, there are no dire consequences for doing so, and now this is where the fun begins.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider won the Russell Wilson trade. There’s no other way to slice this transaction. Russell Wilson has not played well, and that’s the kind way to phrase it, while Geno Smith has turned in franchise-quality quarterback play. Sure, Geno’s statistics have suffered the last two games, but he’s played at a higher level than Wilson. And…it’s not even close. By the way, add Pro Bowl Quarterback to Geno Smith’s name. Oh, and did you know that Seattle gets Denver’s first-round pick next year? Any Seahawks fan will gladly tell you this. Rave on fans, rave on.

Tariq Woolen and this year’s rookie class have already produced praiseworthy results. Woolen has six interceptions plus a Pro Bowl invite, Kenneth Walker III plays as advertised – a running back with breakaway speed, Abraham Lucas and Charles Cross solidified the tackle positions, and Coby Bryant has ball skills – check out the forced fumbles versus Detroit and Arizona.

The Seahawks have young, cheap (for now) talent with the potential to get even better, plus franchise-quality quarterback play that is also cheap for now — the competitive advantage NFL teams covet.

Ah, but that’s not the whole truth. The inconvenient truths always crash the party, and sometimes it’s impossible to throw them out.

For starters, the Seahawks’ defense surrenders too many points, 355 total points so far. That’s more points than the 1-12 Houston Texans have allowed. NFL teams usually don’t win games when the defense allows the other team to score 30 points or more. Well, the Seahawks have allowed 30+ to the Panthers (30), Raiders (40), Saints (39), and Lions (45). Note: the Seahawks beat the Lions by scoring 48 points. Still, going 1-3 for four games is not good.

NFL teams love throwing the ball these days, but why do that against the Seahawks when a simple handoff produces shattering results? The past few games are especially damning: the San Francisco 49ers rushed for 170 yards, Carolina Panthers 223 yards, LA Rams 171 yards, and Las Vegas gained 283 yards, including Josh Jacobs’ 86-yard game-ending overtime touchdown run.

Seattle’s quality win rating is low. Of the seven victories, Seattle’s best wins are against the Chargers and Giants. Both of those teams have eight wins, which is one more than Seattle. No one believes that this year’s Giants team is a real contender. The Chargers count since Justin Herbert can single-handedly wreak havoc and win games. But this win shouldn’t inspire too much confidence for playoff qualification or success.

The losses the Seahawks have taken this year are equally as disappointing as the lack of quality wins. They have lost to the 5-9 Atlanta Falcons, 5-9 Carolina Panthers, 6-8 Tampa Bay Bucs, and 6-8 Las Vegas Raiders. The most disappointing of the above list was the home loss to the Panthers. Although, the overtime loss to the Raiders should earn a few votes.

The remaining games on the Seahawks’ schedule are no picnic. Two games feature AFC opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, with the last game versus the Los Angeles Rams. Best case scenario is the Seahawks somehow claw out two wins, most likely against the Jets and Rams. But the Jets are arguably better than Carolina, so the odds are not in their favor, and anything less than two wins equals no playoff chance.

Pete Carroll and the Seahawks deserve credit for winning seven games and vying for a playoff spot. But a playoff contender doesn’t lose to the Raiders and the Panthers at home.

Watch the Seahawks – 49ers game from last week. The final score tells us that the 49ers’ margin of victory was a one-score game. But don’t get things twisted. The truth is that the Seahawks were beaten soundly by the one true playoff-contending team they’ve faced all year. Oh, and by the way, this particular contending team is down to playing its 3rd string quarterback, only the most important position on the field.



Categories: NFL

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