The Seattle Seahawks aren’t convincing anyone that they’re contenders

Seattle is one of those teams that is hard to believe in because, on paper, they can’t compete with the other top playoff contenders in the NFC.

In Week 9, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks had an opportunity to move ahead of the San Francisco 49ers and take sole possession of first place in the NFC West and second place in the conference, retaining the tiebreaker over Detroit. Instead, they traveled to Baltimore and sweated their pants to justify all the doubters who didn’t buy them as real NFC contenders.

Losing is always disappointing, but when you’re traveling across the country, just being trampled 37-3 by the Ravens can be demoralizing. Seattle entered Sunday’s game at a quiet 5-2 and had a chance to take control of the division. But like that Lions A few weeks earlier, the Seahawks faced one Circular saw in Baltimore. The Ravens beat two of the best players the NFC has to offer by a combined score of 75-9.

When it comes to the top teams in the conference this year, the Seahawks might be mentioned, but it usually stays at that. They are never mentioned first, second and rarely third among the NFC “contenders.” Sunday was their chance to throw it in everyone’s face, but they couldn’t even score a touchdown. Lamar Jackson even had to sit out part of the game for Baltimore, and Seattle still couldn’t get anything going.

Not the Seahawks we used to know

Geno Smith played like he was trapped in a New York flashback with the Jets while the running game was stifled by the Ravens’ defense. Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet combined for 24 yards on the ground on 13 carries. The crazy thing about this game is that neither team scored in the first quarter. Carroll’s Seahawks fared poorly in the second quarter, entering halftime trailing 17-3. And that was all she wrote.

The Seahawks have a date with the 49ers on Thanksgiving night, but have a chance to pick up a few wins before then by taking on the Commanders and Rams. Then Seattle plays the Cowboys, the Niners (again) and the Eagles. These four weeks will likely determine whether the Seahawks are a true playoff team.

Over the next few weeks, Seattle will have plenty of opportunities to prove those outside the Pacific Northwest wrong about this franchise. One thing they need to do is take back the running game. What was once a staple of Carroll’s Seahawks offense is now just an afterthought. Seattle ranks in the bottom third of the NFL in rushing.

It’s incredible that Seattle is 5-3 because they’ve been a mediocre or worst team in many offensive and defensive categories for most of the season. You’ll look great for a few games, then wet the bed and get blown out. That’s why it’s so hard to trust this team and give it the same respect as other NFC teams. The Seahawks need to find themselves before Week 12 or they could find themselves on the outside looking in through the postseason window they snuck into last year. The Seattle Seahawks aren’t convincing anyone that they’re contenders

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