For those of you who may be reading this while your toes are dangling from a ledge of a tall building, a reminder:
These are long seasons, full of teams on winning streaks, losing streaks and injury streaks -- many of which are still to happen. The nature of NFL teams usually playing only once every seven days means there are six days in between to scrutinize and inflate the importance of the most recent game. Win or lose that last game becomes a confirmation or indictment of an entire season.
In fact, it's 1/16th of it.
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Sure, there are alarming trends that have the Seahawks (3-2) in third place in the NFC West entering Sunday's 10 a.m. Pacific Time game at St. Louis (1-4). To name the more prominent ones:
- --the lack of the consistent pass rush that allowed the secondary to be so aggressive and outstanding last season
- --the omission of Marshawn Lynch's running from the play calling for large swaths of games
- --the effect that omission has on Russell Wilson's play-action passing game and on his receivers' abilities to get open down the field
- --the infatuation with all the toys the offense has to potentially use on any given drive. This dynamic does more harm than good when it's third and long and that drive ends in three plays without Lynch running it even once
- --And injuries to at least a half dozen starters
But Seattle is 3-2. It isn't 0-5.
The last three times the Seahawks started a season 3-2 have been 2005, 2007 and 2012. The 2005 team went 13-3 in the regular season, got all-important home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and played in Seattle's first Super Bowl. The '07 team also won the NFC West, finishing the regular season 10-6 before beating Washington in the first round of the postseason then losing in that snow globe at Green Bay. The 2012 Seahawks were 3-2 entering a mid-October home game against the New England Patriots. They beat the Tom Bradys, lost the next two after that -- then won eight of the next nine before Atlanta rallied late for the stunning field goal that beat Seattle in the divisional playoffs.
That's a long way of saying the loss to Dallas didn't doom the Seahawks to anything. Not yet, though that quest for home field throughout the postseason is getting more difficult. But first things first: they have yet to play a game inside their division.
Heck, if you are really, truly bummin', if you still refuse to back away from that ledge, consider this:
In a couple weeks, they get to play the Raiders.
--Bobby Wagner missed his first 24 snaps of the season on Sunday, after playing every defensive down over the first four games and one quarter of the loss to Dallas.
The middle linebacker may be on his way to missing many more.
Wagner's turf-toe ligament injury had him in a walking boot over his lower right leg in the locker room immediately following the Cowboys game. His status for this Sunday's game at St. Louis -- and beyond -- is in doubt.
Coach Pete Carroll said Monday evaluations over the next couple days will determine how long Seattle's leading tackler and key to the defense will be out. The coach didn't rule out the possibility Wagner's injury is as severe as the turf toe that forced left tackle Russell Okung to have surgery and miss eight games last season.
Wagner's injury is the biggest of many I detailed in today's News Tribune. I know no one here wants to read it, but these pains are one of the main reasons why the NFL hasn't had a repeat Super Bowl champions since the 2003 and '04 New England Patriots.
--Columnist Dave Boling says the Seahawks need to get their minds right as well as these aching bodies. And he says that task starts with Carroll and the coaching staff.
--If you missed it (because you were out on that ledge) here is the weekly TNT day-after chat I conducted yesterday afternoon. I say again, I was wearing flame-retardant clothing as I did it, to handle all the heat. (It actually wasn't that bad).
--Here are the snap counts from the Dallas game. Note how much Steven Terrell played as the nickel back once Byron Maxwell strained his calf in the second quarter and usual nickel back Marcus Burley moved over to Maxwell's cornerback position. The Seahawks have been in nickel the majority of defensive snaps this season, which means Jeremy Lane's Nov. 9 return-to-playing date after a groin injury can't get here quickly enough for Seattle: