The Seahawks have little margin for error when it comes to making the playoffs

I wrote last week that success can elicit regret, using the Huskies football team as an exhibition A.I. Despite an improbable nine wins so far—including one on the road against then-No. 6 Oregon—the winning streak has some players lamenting past losses. , particularly the 10-point defeat against Arizona State that cost them any shot at a College Football Playoff berth.

Well, success can also lead to pressure — and in this case, that applies to the Seahawks. Anxiety centered around this team’s Week 12 outcome seemed unlikely when this — supposedly rebuilding — season began, but it will pick up this Sunday.

In the end, this is a good thing. Always be relevant in the NFL. However, this storybook season in which all the victories were supposed to have changed the narrative. It went from one where the Seahawks didn’t have a chance to one where the Seahawks had no margin for error.

The good news: At 6-4, the Seahawks have already surpassed the win total that most sportsbooks predicted they would accumulate before the start of the year. No-miss nine-time Pro Bowler in Russell Wilson, replace him with a seven-year backup in Geno Smith and expect to stack the winning pole. This is even truer when you miss Pro Bowl safety Jamaal Adams early in the season, who seemed to contribute significantly to the Seahawks’ worst defense in the league over the first five games of 2022.

Perhaps as some kind of drunk would dare to run through the sky, the football gods suddenly blessed the Seahawks on both sides of the ball and shot them to the top of the NFC West with four straight wins after losing in Week 5 to the Saints. Smith went from undeclared player of the year running back to NFC Offensive Player of the Month in October. He’d probably be in the MVP conversation if Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes didn’t distance himself from everyone else in the running.

The defense went from disastrous to dominant – allowing just 16.5 points per contest during the four-game winning streak. The rookies – from offensive linemen Charles Cross and Abe Lucas, to fullbacks Tariq Wolin and Kobe Bryant to linebacker Kenneth Walker III – were among the most dynamic in the league. In fact, Woolen Walker may be the NFL’s best first-year players on both sides of the ball.

He was a huge asset on par with the 2012 Seahawks in terms of finding success where no one saw it coming. The only drawback is that now you’re concerned that fans might get away with it all.

If the playoffs were scheduled to start today, the Seahawks would hardly slip up with the seven seeds. The 49ers (6-4) – past triple-winners – officially captured the top spot in the NFC West due to their September win over Seattle. And the reason for the Seahawks’ decline was because of the 21-16 loss to Tampa Bay in Munich two days earlier – all of the fears people had about this team suddenly came to light.

Smith put up respectable numbers – completing 23 of 33 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns – but most of the productivity came in the fourth quarter, which the Seahawks entered after a 21-3 lead. The rest of the game featured an ineffective signal caller who struggled to carry out basic tasks. And what about Seattle’s defense? Matador 101. Tampa Bay (5-5) entered the game with one of the worst rushing attacks in the league in recent history, but managed 161 yards on the ground.

When asked how he assessed the Pirates’ running game, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll replied, “It was a very short assessment. We didn’t start.”

More than anything, Carroll realized the missed opportunity to improve to 7-3 and inch closer to solidifying a playoff spot.

“It was disappointing not to get a win last week and to be in a position to finish off a huge game. It would have been great to take that opportunity, but we didn’t,” Carroll said.

No, they didn’t. Now more needs to be done to ensure they enter the tournament.

Sunday’s game against the Raiders 3-7 may look like a should win over the Seahawks, but there’s a reason the odds-makers only have a 3.5-point home favorite. People are still not convinced. People still think the first half of the season was lucky and reality will catch up.

“You must win” is one of the most tired cliches in sports.

Seattle’s season isn’t over if it’s cut short by Vegas. But if the Raiders get the victory, the Seahawks’ odds of making the postseason would likely drop to less than 50%. Fans didn’t mind that a few months ago. They were sure they would mind now.

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