Forget about Sunday’s 38-10 loss to the Packers for a second. Awesome teams can have awful games. Those shellackings can even be healthy sometimes. This, however, is about more than just one score. This is about a group that can’t score.
This is not a question based on one game. And asking it isn’t an overreaction to that fiasco at Lambeau Field. This query is the result of a pattern that suggests this team simply may not be what we once thought it was.
So — and let’s be honest in answering this — are the Seahawks legitimate Super Bowl contenders? Because it really doesn’t look like it right now.
Forget about Sunday’s 38-10 loss to the Packers for a second. Despite that being Seattle’s worst game in the Russell Wilson era, it isn’t a damning defeat when viewed in isolation.
The 2014 Patriots suffered a 27-point loss in Kansas City before winning their fourth Super Bowl a few months later, and the 2012 Ravens lost to the Texans by 30 before hoisting their second Lombardi trophy.
Awesome teams can have awful games. Those shellackings can even be healthy sometimes.
This, however, is about more than just one score. This is about a group that can’t score.
Normally, this is the time of year when the Seahawks have sewn up all the rips in their game. A 3-3 start in 2014 turned into a 12-4 season, and a 2-4 start last year morphed into 10 wins.
But even though its record is slightly better than it was at this point last season, Seattle hasn’t improved in the areas it needs to shore up. And it kind of makes you wonder: Will it ever?
The Seahawks’ offense has reached the end zone one time or fewer in six games this season. That’s more than the previous two seasons combined.
They have failed to reach the end zone entirely in three games this season. Before this season, they had scored a touchdown in every game for three consecutive years.
This isn’t a case of an aberration here and a fluke there. This is sufficient evidence suggesting this year’s team has a fundamental problem moving the ball.
Well … at least it does every other game.
I can’t help but wonder if the Seahawks have been downgraded from perennial power to “the team nobody wants to play.” There are teams such as the Chiefs, Lions, Raiders and Giants that have better records than Seattle’s, but I doubt any of them strike the same level of fear into opponents’ hearts.
It’s kind of like a boxer that, despite having one-punch power, is out of shape and has terrible footwork. He can beat anyone — but it’s unlikely he’s going to reel off three or four wins in a row.
And at this point, the Seahawks may have to win three in a row just to get back to the Super Bowl. Even though they have the easiest schedule in the league from here on in, they must win out and have Detroit lose one of its final three games to secure a first-round playoff bye.
So if the Seahawks have to play a wild-card game, is it realistic to think a team that hasn’t gone a month without a touchdown-less game can win four in a row against the best in the league?
Doesn’t seem so. But you never know with these guys.
The Seahawks didn’t use Thomas Rawls much because they were playing from behind for most of the game, but the running back had another productive outing, racking up 67 yards on 12 carries. He is averaging more than six yards per carry over his past two games, and the running attack again has been legitimized.
But other than him, there really isn’t a player on this team you can point to and say, “This is why we’re going to be better moving forward.”
The truth is, the Seahawks’ defense hasn’t been as dominant as in previous years and is without Earl Thomas the rest of the season. The Seahawks’ offense, meanwhile, is having its most inconsistent season since Wilson was drafted.
Before the season began, the general feeling was that there was no reason Seattle couldn’t win it all. But 13 games in, there are fewer reasons to think they can.