It’s time to rethink a lot of things we held as indisputable about the current Seattle Seahawks.
It’s pretty clear they’re not who we thought they were.
It’s not just a snap judgment after the 38-10 loss to the Packers on Sunday.
Although it was convincing in its own right as the Packers hit the Seahawks so hard they were knocked back into 2010. (The last season they were defeated by a margin like this).
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But evidence has been compounding throughout this season.
“We’ve been playing for a lot of years and have not seen a game like this,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
No, but there have been recent hints and omens.
The Hawks had played four lousy games on the road this season even before Sunday’s. But the win at New England in November, and the rout of Carolina at home last week, made them look so much like those Seahawks teams that went to Super Bowls.
Carroll said that the loss to the Packers was so out-of-character. And that is true in a larger sense.
But the 14-5 abominable defeat at Tampa Bay had some of the same characteristics, and this one validated the fact that the Seahawks can’t be counted on to consistently put forth winning efforts.
When has that been the case with Carroll’s Seahawks?
Think about it.
This defense has been one of the best in the NFL for the past five seasons. But it gave up 38 points (a season-high) to the Packers. Who is this defense?
This team always cranks up the competitive fervor down the stretch, having won 17 of 20 regular-season games in December since 2012.
And during that span of winter games in the previous four seasons, quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown 38 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.
But he had five interceptions against the Packers alone. Five. That’s as many as he’d thrown in the preceding 11 games this season. Who was this quarterback?
Carroll said the Hawks had figured out the challenges of playing on the road. But tossing out the wins at New England and against the New York Jets, and they’ve scored only two touchdowns in their five other road games.
For the Seahawks, it’s always been “about the ball.” Nobody in the league focuses more on the offensive security and the defensive larceny. They were plus-6 in turnover differential before the Packers game.
They were minus-6 in this one game.
Don’t say it was because Earl Thomas (broken leg) was out. This was more systemic than the absence of one player.
Don’t talk about the weather. That had nothing to do with it.
And I don’t buy the assessment of some that this embarrassing defeat was a necessary wake-up call. This team is too veteran and too experienced to need such reminders. Especially after the Seahawks hit the snooze button after a number of earlier defeats.
Losses to the Rams and New Orleans and Tampa Bay, and the tie at Arizona, were games that other Seahawks teams would have found ways to win. At least some of them.
The injuries to Wilson early in the season were in part to blame. Fair enough. But he’s healthy now.
Of consolation to fans, this doesn’t have to be terminal.
The Seahawks will win their division and make it to the playoffs, in part because the competition is so inferior. But they’re going to have to go on the road at some point, and right now, that’s a grim, inhospitable place for the Seahawks.
And they need to open their eyes to it in a real hurry because a Rams team that upset them once already is coming to Seattle for a game Thursday.
Do they get it? Will they realize what’s going on?
After the game, an interviewer asked Michael Bennett about the Seahawks’ recent road woes, and the defensive end took off on a tangent about getting to the Super Bowl.
Bennett is tough and talented and a philosophical visionary in his own quirky way, but even mentioning a trip to the Super Bowl after the whipping they took against the Packers is somewhere between unreasonably presumptive and flat-out delusional.
There’s still time, but these guys, top to bottom, are going to have to rediscover who they were and how they once rose to the top of the league.
Because they don’t look like those guys now.