RENTON — The answer to the biggest question of any Seahawks season — can they make the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl — seems to have an unhappy answer.

True, the Seahawks are not officially out of the playoff hunt. According to fivethirtyeight.com, they still have a 2% chance entering the weekend. Those odds improve to 4% with a win in Sunday’s 1:25 p.m. game against the 49ers at Lumen Field. They decrease to <0.1% with a loss.

So yes, as Lloyd Christmas famously said — and as Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been known to quote — there’s still a chance.

Until there isn’t one, that’s what the Seahawks will play for, also hoping to snap a skid of six losses in seven games. They enters the game — which originally had been slated for prime time before being flexed back to the afternoon slot in favor of Kansas City-Denver — as a 3.5-point underdog even though the 49ers have a few injury issues of their own with receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) and starting linebacker Dre Greenlaw (groin) out and star middle linebacker Fred Warner (hamstring) doubtful).

But if playoff chances aren’t worth thinking much about Sunday, there are other Seahawks-related questions worth pondering.

Can the Seahawks avoid giving the Jets a top-five pick for Jamal Adams?

Advertising

When they gave up first-round picks in 2021 and 2022 for Adams, they hoped both picks would be in the 20s, if not lower.

That worked out last year as the pick the Jets got from the Seahawks was the 23rd overall (which the Jets traded to the Vikings, who selected Christian Darrisaw, who has become the Vikings’ starting left tackle.)

But if the season ended today, the pick the Jets would get from the Seahawks would be fourth overall, which was most emphatically not in the plans (and if you’re wondering, the Seahawks have twice had the No. 4 pick, selecting Hall of Famer Kenny Easley in 1981, and linebacker Aaron Curry in 2009 and have only picked higher than that five times).

“Play to not make the trade look bad,” isn’t much of a rallying cry, and nothing the players have much reason to care about. But it’s probably on the minds of a few people in Renton.

Can the Seahawks get DK Metcalf the ball more?

Metcalf’s numbers of late have mirrored those of the offense as a whole. While he is averaging 4.3 catches and 59.1 receiving yards per game this season, he has just eight catches for 70 in the last three games since Russell Wilson returned from injury, and no touchdowns.

Against Washington on Monday, Metcalf was only targeted four times and didn’t have a target until 4:31 left in the third quarter and his only catch, for 13 yards, was on the final drive.

Advertising

Wilson said this week said “we called about eight or nine passes for him,’’ but that it just didn’t work out to get him the ball every time.

And interestingly, the numbers don’t really bear out that the Seahawks are forgetting about Metcalf. Last year, when he had 83 receptions for a team record 1,303 yards, Metcalf was targeted on 129 of the team’s 563 pass attempts, 22.91%. This year he has been targeted on 76 of 317, 23.97%. And he has 20 targets in Wilson’s 97 pass attempts in the last three games, a similar 20.62%

So as with much of the offense this year, the main issue may be more about how well the Seahawks are doing something more than their intentions.

“We’re doing what we can do, and we’ve got to get the guy the ball,’’ offensive coordinator Shane Waldron said this week. “We know he’s one of the top receivers in the league. He’s been great as far as his attitude and his work ethic goes. He’s right back at it again this week, coming out of a game where we have to do a better job as a staff at getting him the ball throughout the course of the game early and often. We’re going to keep working to get that done, not making any of the excuses about different things that happen throughout the course of the game. It’s just something we have to get done.”

Will Carlos Dunlap play more?

Dunlap’s sudden disappearance from the defense is one of the more mystifying aspects of a season filled with them.

Dunlap’s arrival at midseason a year ago was credited with sparking a second-half turnaround by the defense as he had five sacks in eight games. While the Seahawks cut Dunlap to avoid a $14 million cap hit for 2021, the Seahawks re-signed him to a reworked two-year deal in which he got a fully guaranteed $8.5 million (and a $6.5 million cap hit in 2022, sixth-highest of any Seahawk under contract for next year).

Advertising

So far for that money, they have gotten eight tackles, four quarterback hits and half a sack.

Last week, Dunlap played just four snaps out of a whopping 84 that were available, the fewest in his career dating to 2012 (when Pro Football Reference began tracking snap counts). Continuing a recent trend in which his snap counts have gone from 31 on Nov. 14 against Green Bay (a game in which he got a costly penalty for throwing a shoe in the fourth quarter) to 17 against the Cardinals and four against WFT.

Health is apparently not a factor as Dunlap has not been on the injury report the last three weeks other than as a resting veteran.

So what’s the reason?

Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said this week it’s just the way the defensive-line rotations worked out.

“He didn’t get as much playing time with the way we were substituting and rolling guys through there,’’ Carroll said. “I know he wants to play more, and we would like to see him have a bigger effect, but last week it just didn’t happen. It gets like that sometimes, we are trying to see guys or we are moving guys around with the way they are playing. They ran the ball a lot, and we like him there in the passing situations as much as possible.”

Said Norton: “Everybody is trying to get other players in and when one player goes in, another player has to come out. … There are only four guys that we can rush at one time.”

Sponsored

No doubt. But Dunlap has the highest cap hit and guaranteed money of any pass rusher on the team, and it’s not as if the Seahawks who have just 16 sacks — tied for 29th at 1.6 per game — hasn’t been searching for all the pass rush it can get.

Notes

Seahawks elevate Peterson 

The Seahawks made it official that Adrian Peterson will be available Sunday by elevating the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer off the practice squad Saturday.

That gives them 54 players for the game and they will have to make six inactive.

Seattle listed running backs Alex Collins (abdomen), Travis Homer (calf) and Rashaad Penny (hamstring) all as questionable for the game. But Collins may be the most questionable since he practiced only on a limited basis all three days this week while Penny and Homer were listed as full participants on Thursday and Friday.

Samuel, Greenlaw out for 49ers 

The 49ers declared receiver Deebo Samuel out with a groin injury Friday, meaning the Seahawks will not face SF’s leading receiver — he has 56 catches for 1,006 yards this season.

The 49ers also declared starting linebacker Dre Greenlaw out with a groin injury and starting middle linebacker Fred Warner doubtful with a hamstring injury. Greenlaw plays the team’s weakside linebacker spot and Warner in the middle.