You know how this story will go, and it ain’t pretty.
Seattle’s hold on the NFC’s top spot is gone, and it finds itself in a tenuous three-way tie for first in the NFC West.
Things could be better!
But this is the NFL, where anything can happen with a team like the Seahawks and a star like Wilson. Hope springs eternal, particularly when an optimist like Pete Carroll is running the show. Who knows, maybe Carlos Hyde comes back Thursday against the Cardinals and the offense snaps back into place.
That’s a comforting thought, but nothing can change the last few weeks. No, those are in the books, and this week’s roundup of NFL power rankings are accordingly grim.
Here’s where national media rank the 6-3 Seahawks after 10 weeks of the NFL season (last week’s rankings here):
Bleacher Report: No. 13
For the second time in as many weeks, Russell Wilson looked like anything but an MVP candidate against the Los Angeles Rams. One week after being pummeled by the Buffalo Bills pass rush in a four-turnover effort, Wilson was sacked six times, committed three turnovers and didn’t throw a touchdown pass. … (Bleacher Report NFL analyst Brad) Gagnon is now officially concerned about Seattle’s viability as a Super Bowl contender.
“It might be time to panic if you’re a Seahawks fan,” he said. “That was Russell Wilson’s third poor performance in a four-game span, and he’s now been sacked 11 times in two weeks. That poor pass defense gives Seattle very little margin for error, and the offense is making far too many errors. If not for that extra wild-card spot, I’d be wondering if the Seahawks might miss the playoffs.”
It’s quite the fall for a team that was viewed as one of the Super Bowl favorites in the NFC a few weeks ago.
The Ringer: No. 13
It’s important to preface this section with the fact that even after losing to the Rams 23-16 on Sunday, the Seahawks remain first in the NFL in scoring (32.2 points per game) under quarterback Russell Wilson, who still leads the NFL in touchdown passes (28). Now, with that said, Seattle’s offense, uh, might be broken.
ESPN: No. 10
It was a perfectly logical move to add a Pro Bowl tight end to an offense that was going to be leaning more on Russell Wilson and its passing game. And it’s not as though Olsen has been a complete bust. But the Seahawks haven’t gotten enough bang (21 catches, 204 yards, one touchdown) for the $7 million they’re paying Olsen on his one-year deal. Now that we know their defense has been setting or threatening records for futility, that money would have been better spent on someone who could bolster a pass rush that was a big question mark heading into the season.
NFL.com: No. 13
The Seahawks don’t look like a team playing with a lot of confidence right now. That starts at the top of the food chain with Russell Wilson, who’s piled up seven turnovers in the past two weeks, a major reason why Seattle now sits in a three-way tie atop the NFC West. On Sunday in Los Angeles, Wilson threw two interceptions and lost a fumble on a low shotgun snap. He also made a costly and uncharacteristic clock-management error late in the game when he failed to get out of bounds on a scramble. Pete Carroll’s beleaguered defense finally delivered a performance that didn’t demand the quarterback be perfect to ensure a win. Wilson simply wasn’t good enough.
Sports Illustrated: No. 13
The defense has gone from a mild concern to a five-alarm fire fast.
Yahoo Sports: No. 14
Russell Wilson’s interception into the end zone was a sign of a quarterback doing too much. Instead of taking a nice gain on a run, Wilson forced a pass to the corner of the end zone looking for more. It was picked off, and that was a key turning point in the loss. It’s hard to ask Wilson to not press when he knows the defense can’t get any stops.
CBS Sports: No. 11
They have lost two straight games and have looked ordinary in doing so. Even when the defense wasn’t as bad, they couldn’t win a game against the Rams. It’s not good now with Arizona on tap Thursday.
Pro Football Talk: No. 12
Russ has burned a couple of perfectly good meals.