Of the Seahawks undefeated record, quarterback Russell Wilson pointed out that the team still has a long way to go, but we control our own destiny.
Ignoring the larger existential implications of how much anyone controls destiny, Wilson is once again on point. The only consideration, he said, is to go 1-0 each week.
Heres how thats working out: Three games into the season, the Seattle Seahawks already own a two-game lead in the NFC West Division.
And of the other five NFC teams that joined the Seahawks in the playoffs after last season, three (Green Bay, San Francisco, Atlanta) are 1-2 and two (Washington, Minnesota) are 0-3.
With the 45-17 win over Jacksonville on Sunday, the Seahawks are 3-0, and although much of the conference is crumbling around them, they say its premature to look around at the standings or make grand presumptions.
Then Ill do it for them. The biggest challenge the Seahawks will face this season is the two consecutive road trips, at Houston and Indianapolis, that are next on the schedule.
If they can even split the next two, theyre a threat to run the table and easily earn home-field advantage through the playoffs.
No, its not making too big a deal out of a win over Jacksonville, the worst team in the NFL. Its an assessment based on a collection of cumulative factors.
1: The team has now outscored opponents by an average of 36-10 over its past seven regular-season games. The Seahawks have won 10 straight at home and have six more on this seasons docket.
2: The conference opposition is not as daunting as might have been expected. Chicago and New Orleans are the conferences only other 3-0 teams, and the Saints have to play at CenturyLink on Dec. 2.
And after the Houston-Indy swing, the remaining five road games are against teams that now are a combined 4-11.
3: When the Hawks get to the second half of the season, theyre expecting the return of Pro Bowl receiver Percy Harvin (hip) and tackle Russell Okung (toe). And after Week 4, theyll bring back suspended linebacker Bruce Irvin.
4: Getting off to a strong start while missing guys has the benefit of improving depth and reducing vulnerability to late injuries. This week, rush-end Chris Clemons and cornerback Brandon Browner returned from injuries.
In the absence of Clemons and Irvin, pass rushers such as Cliff Avril, OBrien Schofield and Michael Bennett had the chance to develop. On Sunday, the Hawks capitalized in nickel situations by using all those guys to shape an effective pass rush.
Of the young Seahawks getting the chance to showcase their talents, rookie tight end Luke Willson (five catches 76 yards) said the key to quick advancement is to try to follow the lead of the vets. You do what they do, then theres no letdown when you get in there. Its still Seahawks football, if you will.
Rookie back Christine Michael left his first footsteps on an NFL field, and picked up 37 yards on nine carries. Even veteran quarterback Tarvaris Jackson showed his readiness, completing seven of eight passes for a touchdown and a 158.3 passer rating.
The show of depth was an example of how the roster has been constructed and then upgraded along the way. The best illustration? Wilsons four-touchdown performance took him to the top of the NFC rankings in passer rating (109.6).
Across the field, the Jaguars got a nice effort from punter Bryan Anger. But remember that Jacksonville picked Anger five spots ahead of Wilson in the 2012 draft.
Those are the kind of decisions that change the course of franchises. Up or down. Thats really how a team controls its own future.
This is where we want to be, center Max Unger said of the 3-0 record. We dont go into the season thinking were going to win them all, but were in the position we wanted to be at the start of the season.
While also offering the its early disclaimer, cornerback Richard Sherman said of the divisional lead: Were going to make it more. Its never enough.