RENTON — No Seahawks player has been here before.
Well, not with the Seahawks, anyway.
They fell to 3-6, with last Sunday’s desultory 17-0 loss at Green Bay, for the first time since 2011, the year before quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner arrived.
The Seahawks were 2-6 that season before beating the Baltimore Ravens — a team that would win the Super Bowl the next year.
It was a win that kicked off a string of five victories in eight games the rest of the way and is often cited as a turning point for the Seahawks, who would win the Super Bowl two years later.
Now, 10 years later, the question is if coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks have a similar run in them.
As you’d expect, Carroll and players who spoke to the media this week expressed confidence that the team can rip off a bunch of wins and reach the postseason. They also acknowledged that they pretty much need to win Sunday against Arizona — 8-2 and tied for the lead in the NFC West and second in the NFC playoff seedings — for that to happen.
Kickoff is 1:25 p.m. at Lumen Field, and the game will be televised on Fox.
“We can do it,” Wilson said. “We really believe that. We know what we’re capable of. Now we’ve got to show it and make it happen. We can’t hope and wish, we’ve got to do it. I think that’s the thing we’re looking forward to.”
It starts with Wilson, who returned last week after missing three games due to a right middle finger injury. He turned in one of the worst games of his career statistically, 20 of 40 passing for 161 yards and two interceptions, both on throws into the end zone in the second half.
Though all involved tried to downplay that Wilson’s finger was still an issue, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t. And the obvious hope is that his play will improve with a game under his belt.
Complicating matters is the news that running back Chris Carson won’t return this season because of a neck injury, and starting safety Jamal Adams (groin) and cornerback D.J. Reed (hip/knee) are considered game-time decisions.
Reed and Adams helped key a defense that was the lone bright spot last week, holding the Packers to three points until the fourth quarter and allowing them to score touchdowns on just two of five drives inside the 20-yard line (though a pessimist might point out that Green Bay gained 393 yards, its second-highest total of the season).
The loss dropped Seattle’s playoff chances to 16%, according to FiveThirtyEight.com’s playoff calculator. With a win this week those odds would increase to 27%. With a loss they would decrease to 6 percent.
Wagner said the Seahawks don’t need to be told the odds have decreased with each week, as Seattle has lost four of its past five.
“I think we’re understanding that we don’t have much more margin for error,” Wagner said.
And errors, oddly, are one thing giving the Seahawks hope.
Though the Seahawks are three games under .500, they have a point differential of just minus-five, having lost two overtime games and another by three points.
And though the score of the Green Bay game appeared decisive, the Seahawks felt if they hadn’t committed a few untimely penalties and seen a few calls go the other way that they would have had a chance.
“We can’t keep giving games away,” Wagner said. “We can’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot. A lot of the messaging is getting out of our way. There were some penalties that we had that could have been avoided. Especially when you’re playing great teams like Green Bay or Arizona or whoever we have coming up, there’s already enough against us. We can’t get in our own way.”
Could Seattle’s break this week be an Arizona team with an uncertain quarterback situation?
Cardinals starter Kyler Murray has missed the past two games because of a sprained ankle and is a game-time decision, and backup Colt McCoy is questionable because of a pectoral muscle injury. However, a report Saturday night ESPN’s Adam Schefter Saturday night stated that “signs point” to McCoy starting.
McCoy has recent experience starting — and winning — at Lumen Field, having been the QB for the New York Giants when they beat the Seahawks in Seattle last December, 17-12.
All the Seahawks know is that some wins better come soon or hope could soon be lost.
“Obviously there’s some frustration, because you have a lot of guys that want to win, a lot of guys who are hungry to win,” Wagner said. “The tradition here is winning. Obviously, it’s not going the way we want it to go, but at the end of the day everybody just wants to win and do their part to turn this thing around. I think that’s the gist of the locker room. What can we do right now to start to chip away at this hole we put ourselves in?”