The Seahawks started slow in Nashville last week and continued their slow start to the season. Luckily, we’ve seen this before and we know how it tends to end.
Entering the season, I told anyone who would listen that the Seahawks would play in Super Bowl 52. I was confident that, in spite of a nagging offensive line problem, Russell Wilson would play like it’s 2015 all over again, the defense would mash people as usual, and Seattle would dominate the division and their relatively soft schedule all the way to a number-one seed in the NFC and another Super Bowl appearance.
After three games, the Seahawks haven’t looked like eventual NFC champions. A frustrating loss at Green Bay, a close win at home over the now 0-3 San Francisco 49ers, and a road loss to the Tennessee Titans has thrown cold water on my and many others’ high expectations.
In a vacuum, the Seahawks performance in three games has the look of a mediocre team that could struggle to earn a Wild Card spot in the playoffs, but we as fans have seen this movie before, and we know better.
Going 1-2 to start the year never inspires confidence, nor does it enhance playoff odds. But there are reasons for optimism beyond the recent history of Pete Carroll’s team. (The 2014 Seahawks, eventual NFC Champions, started 3-3 after a 3-1 start).
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Without going over hours of game film, I can still say the offensive line is getting better. They’re still inconsistent, they still allow pressure and struggle to open running lanes consistently, but the line that played in the Nashville heat on Sunday looked better than the line that cost the Seahawks their season opener in Green Bay. One improvement has been Oday Aboushi starting at guard over the disastrous Mark Glowinski.
The defense, even after a terrible second half in Nashville, can still take over games. While allowing two 100-yard rushers in back-to-back weeks is troubling, Seattle is still loaded with talent and should get rolling again against Jacoby Brissett and the Indianapolis Colts at home this Sunday night.
The Seahawks upcoming matchup with the Colts will be their first nationally-televised game this year, a stage that usually produces their best performances, especially for the defense. There’s no doubt that the defense is angry after getting steamrolled late in last week’s game, and they’re going to take it out on the Andrew Luck-less Colts.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t panic, nor should you stop watching NFL games (more on that later) for any reason. The Seahawks will be fine. Worry if they keep dropping games like last week late in the season. Worry if injuries mount later in the year. Remember, we’ve been here before.