Originally published Monday, November 14, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Victory shows Seahawks' potential

Are the Seahawks as good as they looked against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday? They could be, said coach Pete Carroll.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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RENTON — A psychologist would have a tough time diagnosing these Seahawks.

They didn't hold a halftime lead in the first half of the season, they had more penalties than points during a three-game losing streak, and they were widely considered one of the worst teams in the league.

Then Sunday, all Seattle did was go out and beat a division-leading team for the second time this year. The Seahawks have gone entire games without scoring a touchdown, yet for the final 5 minutes, 52 seconds against Baltimore, they could not be stopped by one of the league's top defenses.

So are the Seahawks — who beat the NFC East-leading New York Giants in October — as good as they looked against the Ravens? They could be, said their coach.

"It's about the potential that we have," Pete Carroll said.

It's certainly not about the consistency. This team can look like one of the worst in the league one week, then beat a league heavyweight the next.

Seattle is the antithesis of this season's Washington Huskies, who'll prevail over the Pac-12 palookas they're supposed to beat, like Colorado or Arizona, then turn JV performances whenever the opponents bears a ranking. Nebraska, Stanford, Oregon and USC have beaten Washington by a combined score of 190-93 this season.

Meanwhile, two of the Seahawks' victories have come in games when the team was considered significantly outclassed.

There are 10 NFL teams with six victories or more. The Seahawks are one of five teams to have beaten two of those teams that are 6-3 or better. None of the four other teams to accomplish the feat has fewer than six wins, let alone the 3-6 record Seattle holds.

So what do the Seahawks take from Sunday's victory?

"We had another really good illustration that we can win against a division-leading team," Carroll said. "You play good, solid football with the right approach and you take care of the football."

If the Seahawks really are as good as they looked against the Ravens and Giants, then maybe they've underachieved their way to 3-6. If those games were aberrations, then what's keeping the Seahawks from playing like that consistently?

"You can see we did things (Sunday) that can put you in trouble to win a football game," Carroll said. "Those things have got in the way in the past."

Seattle was called for 13 penalties, a total that does not include three Baltimore declined.

The Seahawks had the ball at or inside the Baltimore 20 six times. They kicked four field goals and scored one touchdown.

But Seattle forced three turnovers and committed none, and when it had a chance to put the game away, it did just that.

On Sunday, the potential that Carroll has talked about was the reality. The next step is mixing some consistency into that formula.

"We just need to come back and put together a game that gives us a chance again," he said.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or On Twitter: @dannyoneil.

Beating the best
The Seahawks are one of five NFL clubs with victories over at least two teams with six or more victories:
Team Who they've beaten
Packers (8-0) New Orleans (7-3), Chicago (6-3)
Ravens (6-3) Pittsburgh* (7-2), Houston (7-3)
49ers (8-1) Cincinnati (6-3), Detroit (6-3), N.Y. Giants (6-3)
Saints (7-3) Chicago (6-3), Houston (7-3)
Seahawks (3-6) N.Y. Giants (6-3), Baltimore (6-3)
*Beat Steelers twice

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