Back to business: Seahawks return from the bye
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Two years ago, the Seahawks came out of the bye at 2-4 and the postseason possibilities fairly sunk.
Seattle returns to work Monday at 2-3, but the glass appearing at least half full.
The records may not be all that different, but the circumstances are.
In 2009, Seattle had a favorable schedule early with four of their first six games at home. Seattle had four road games in five weeks during the month of November, a murderer's row that included Dallas and Minnesota.
When Seattle played Arizona at home in Week 6, the Seahawks very clearly needed a win to stay relevant. The Cardinals were 2-2, and proceeded to lay a 27-3 beatdown that was striking in just how completely one-sided it was. Seattle gained 14 rushing yards, which at the time was a franchise record for fewest.
The Seahawks went into the bye very clearly facing an uphill climb that turned into an avalanche of lopsided losses.
The Seahawks have the same number of victories at the bye this year as two years ago. The difference is that Seattle just came through what appeared to be the hardest stretch of its schedule with three road games in five weeks. Of the 13 opponents on Seattle's schedule this season, six won 10 or more games last season. The Seahawks played three of them in the first five weeks of the season.
Seattle returns to work this week preparing to play at Cleveland and then hosting Cincinnati in Week 8.
The Browns are 2-3 this season, but have scored more than 20 points only once this season. The Bengals are 4-2, but only one of those six games was against a playoff team last season, and even that game deserves an asterisk as it was against the Peyton Manning-less Colts.
Now there are differences in the division as well. San Francisco is 5-1, which is the best start of any team in the division since the Seahawks began 2003 with five wins in the first six games.
Are the 49ers good enough to run away with the division? Well, they've won three games in the Eastern time zone in four weeks.
But a team can't count on making the playoffs at 7-9 every year. Not even in the NFC West.
But for a team like Seattle, which is in its second season of a new regime and has undergone a thorough makeover, the most important measurement will be improvement. And if this is the group that coach Pete Carroll is in fact happy with and wants to stick with, there should be improvement over the final 11 games. After a 2-3 start, improvement could mean a compelling final two and half months of the season.
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call