Seahawks record masks dismal performance versus playoff teams

Seattle might not even have been as good at their 9-8 record implies.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

Don't let the Seahawks 9-8 record fool you. Seattle went just 3-7 versus this year's playoff teams, and they weren't even that good. Only one of those three wins was truly over a quality opponent. It matters when you play a team as much as who you play. Read on, and I'll explain.

Yes, yes, it's better to have a winning record than a losing record. I'm not complaining that the Seahawks went 9-8. Well, not complaining too much. The simple fact is that this just wasn't a very good year and that 9-8 record goes a long way to disguise it. Even a cursory look at the schedule reveals just how soft many of those wins were.

I know, you can only play the games you're scheduled to play. And a few of those nine wins were pretty solid. Some 12s were less than impressed with Seattle's win in Detroit. But as I reminded a few naysayers, the Lions were a team on the rise last season. Their first division title in 30 years - yikes! - is further proof that the Hawks beat a fine team that day, even if it did take overtime.

Detroit was at full strength for that game. The same can't be said for the Browns. By Week 8, the Browns were on their third starting quarterback of the season. P.J. Walker wasn't terrible, exactly, but he wasn't exactly good, either. It was Walker's second start of the season and would be his last as well. It still took a last-minute drive by Geno Smith to steal the win from Cleveland. The Seahawks were 5-2 at this point and flying as high as they would ever get this year.

The Seattle Seahawks couldn't handle the good teams

So the Hawks played a solid game to wrangle a win over the Lions, then lucked out - at least to some extent - to beat the Browns when they started an overmatched quarterback. The Eagles are the third playoff team they beat. They were in the middle of an absolute death spiral when they came to Seattle. Philadelphia had been completely dominated in back-to-back losses to the 49ers and Cowboys, outscored by a combined score of 75-32.

The Seahawks weren't in any better shape as they were coming off their fourth straight loss. Yes, it was a huge win for the Hawks, but it was truly misleading. Philadelphia had become a very bad team at this point in the season. Winning one of your final six games is no way to head to the playoffs.

So now let's look at those seven losses. All those losses - yikes. As painful as it is to admit, the 49ers are simply a better team at this time. I love Pete Carroll, but he gets outcoached every time these teams match up. The 49ers are ranked second in the final power rankings by thescore.com. They already obliterated both the Cowboys and the Eagles, so it seems pretty accurate to rate them as the best of the NFC. Unfortunately, the Seahawks had no answer for them in either game. As bad as the run defense got, maybe we're supposed to look at the fact the Niners "only" ran for 169 and 173 yards in the two losses as a moral victory.

The one team ranked ahead of San Francisco is Baltimore. Seems fair, considering they dominated the Niners in the second half to win 33-19. The Seahawks didn't play quite that well, as I'm sure you remember. Or like many 12s, you've probably erased the 37-3 loss from your brain. As hard as it is to believe, the game was much worse than the 34-point win would indicate. Bob Condotta's grades for the Hawks are telling, as he dropped more F's than Samuel L. Jackson. Well, not quite the same kind of F's, but they had the same kind of sentiment.

You might be tempted to say the loss to the Cowboys was a good loss, but - just don't. No loss to that organization is good. The Hawks had their chances, but just couldn't deliver. The loss that stung far more was the Week 17 game versus the Steelers. The playoffs and their season were in their hands, and they let it slip away. They literally let it slip away, as they put on the worst display of tackling this side of Pop Warner football. I think we've written about 37 articles about that game at this point. Considering how it so neatly sums up the Hawks season, you can probably expect 37 more.

To me, the worst of all were the two losses to the Rams. Yes, they're in the playoff, but if the Seahawks had just split the series with them, they'd be on the couch watching Seattle in the postseason. Los Angeles only got to 10-7 because San Francisco played random people from the stands in Week 18, resting their starters for the playoffs.

Yes, the Lambs are on a four-game win streak, but before that final game, they beat the Commanders, Saints, and Giants. That isn't exactly Murderers' Row. Before random Rams guy says that's just sour grapes, I have no doubt that the Seahawks would have found a way to lose at least one of those games, as poorly as they closed out the season. Clint Hurtt's defense bottomed out, whether he'll accept the blame or not.

As I said at the beginning, that 9-8 record looks alright, until you take a closer look at those nine wins and the eight losses. The only game that stands out as a quality win for the Seahawks was the overtime victory over the Lions. Seattle was outscored 282-200 in their 10 games against playoff teams. an average score of 28-20 is not exactly a sign of a successful season, or a team heading in the right direction.

Read more from 12th Man Rising

manual