OSN: Seattle Seahawks – The Supposedly Rebuilding Team Is Flying High At Midseason

Heading into week six, Seattle was 2-3, had not won a game by more than 3 points, and had not won back-to-back games.

Fast forward to week nine, and they have won three in a row, and each of those victories has been by at least 10 points – including their most recent win over the upstart New York Giants, which brought their record to 5-3.

Seattle has been at or above .500 for three consecutive weeks now after being at or above .500 just twice all of last season. If they win just three more games, they will pass their wins total from a year ago, and no one watching this team play right now would believe they will not win at least three more.

In the NFC, only Philadelphia is playing better than Seattle right now. The Eagles and Seahawks would only meet in the playoffs, and what a battle that would be, but we’re at least ten weeks away from that possibility. Seattle has some big tests coming up, but they should be very proud of what they have accomplished in the last eight weeks.

Seattle QB Geno Smith is having his first good season at age 32, which is an anomaly in the NFL. Most players have at least one good year before they hit 30, but Geno was playing the role of career backup before finally landing in the right system a decade after he was drafted. Alex Smith and Case Keenum are two other examples of this rare kind of career reset, as they both had their first good season six years into their careers. Alex Smith was widely considered one of the most consistent players after finally getting his career on track, while Keenum had just two good years before regressing into a backup role, so we’ll see which version Geno is closer to in the coming years.

Geno currently ranks 8th in passing yards, 1st in completion percentage, 6th in passing touchdowns, 11th fewest interceptions, third in passer rating, has been sacked the 10th most times and has the 16th most big plays over 20 yards.

Kenneth Walker III has become one of the league’s best running backs. It’s been eight years since Marshawn Lynch’s last full season in Seattle, and the team has been looking for his rightful heir since.

Walker took over as the starting running back in week 6, and since then, he is averaging 21 carries for 105 yards, nearly 5 yards per carry, and one touchdown per game. He’s not involved in the passing game much, but he is getting at least 70% of the offensive snaps. In Lynch’s first full season in Seattle, he averaged 19 carries for 80 yards at 4.2 yards per carry with one touchdown per game and got the lion’s share of the snaps at RB.

It’s a small sample size, but Walker’s future looks very bright.

This week Seattle travels to Arizona for a rematch with the Cardinals, a team they beat by two scores three weeks ago. Arizona is playing much better since getting receiver DeAndre Hopkins back in the lineup last week, but they still shoot themselves in the foot occasionally.

Arizona only has three wins so far this season, and all of them were against struggling teams. They lost to Seattle just when they hit their stride, so I wouldn’t expect the rematch to be much different, no matter how many receivers Arizona has back. The Cardinals might score a little more than last time, but I expect the same from Seattle. A double-digit win is the same whether the winning team scores 20 or 30.

The following week, Seattle travels to Munich, Germany, to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This will be Seattle’s first game overseas since playing Oakland in London in 2018. Before that, Seattle played Buffalo in Toronto in 2012. With Seattle winning both games by multiple scores, we’ll have to see if their third time on international soil is just as nice.

Tampa Bay presents an interesting challenge. In their 2012 season, Seattle hosted and defeated New England with Tom Brady at QB in the infamous “U Mad Bro” game that announced the Legion of Boom’s arrival to the NFL. Tom Brady is now the QB of the Bucs, and while he’s had an up-and-down season, he is still the standard by which other QBs are measured. If Geno can lead Seattle to a win over Brady and the Bucs, it would instill yet even more confidence in an already hungry team looking to start their climb toward the NFC’s top seeds.

After the Bucs game in Germany, the Seahawks get a well-deserved week off. Upon their return, they only have two road games in their remaining seven games, which is enormous. If they can get one of the top two seeds in the NFC, they could host at least their first two playoff games and maybe even get their first playoff victory since wild card weekend in 2020 (which feels like a lifetime ago).

There is no question this team is blowing their preseason expectations out of the water, and I see no reason they should slow down as long as their key players stay healthy. They have a young and opportunistic defense that makes just enough big plays, an offense with legitimate stars at the key positions, and they can build leads and go after opposing QBs. They may not win a Super Bowl this year, but things look very nice and neat in Seattle during what was supposed to be the first season in a very long and painful rebuild. This team was rebuilt in about two years when Pete Carroll first arrived, and it appears he has this team on the same path this time.

No matter what Seattle does from this point forward, the first eight weeks of the season have been better than any Seattle fan had hoped for. If this team wins at least six more games, it will be almost impossible to keep them out of the playoffs – and that’s a sentence none of us were saying out loud before the season began.