STACY ROST

Rost: Reality is Seahawks have no choice but to be a playoff team

Dec 5, 2023, 12:32 AM

Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith...

Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith calls a play against Washington on Nov. 12, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

You might read this as a sugarcoating of the Seattle Seahawks’ season, but consider it instead a dose of reality.

We need to talk about where the Seahawks are this season.

Seattle Seahawks’ third straight loss brings playoff hopes into question

Seattle is 6-6 and on a three-game losing streak. That skid doesn’t seem likely to end with an upcoming game Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, a team that just dealt a wildly lopsided loss to the NFC-leading Philadelphia Eagles.

It’s been a disappointing run so far. Few expected Seattle to topple San Franisco for the West, but they did expect improvement. And why not? Seattle was 10th in scoring on offense last year despite third-down struggles, and it added a first-round wide receiver and another running back to the mix. The defense was 30th against the run but saw the development of promising young corner Riq Woolen and an offseason that brought a complete facelift for the defensive line.

Oh, and they had the No. 5 overall pick – the highest ever under head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider – and used it to add a tough, physical cornerback (Devon Witherspoon) to a group that was going to get safety Jamal Adams back healthy.

So yes, expectations were rightfully high in and outside of the building.

As you know now, they haven’t been met.

NFL standings

Those third-down struggles have only been made worse with shuffling and injuries along the offensive line. For a good chunk of the season, Geno Smith looked less like the quarterback who won Comeback Player of the Year and more like the inconsistent version fans saw late last year. One of the better receiver tandems in football hasn’t been able to deliver, and a team that wants to run the ball hasn’t done so consistently. And that defense injected with new talent struggled mightily against the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 13 loss.

But despite all of that, the Seahawks are not and cannot be in rebuild mode.

There’s no answer at quarterback coming to save your team (mind you, Smith just threw for three touchdowns and ran for another against a tough Dallas defense). With six wins already, there’s no No. 1 overall pick in your future. You’ve traded a second-rounder for a defensive lineman who might not be with you next season (Leonard Williams). You’ve invested money in Adams, Quandre Diggs, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, and they’re only getting older as another year goes by.

I’m not telling you the Seahawks are a playoff team because I want them to be or need you to believe it; I’m telling you they’re a playoff team because they have no choice but to be one.

It’s what makes this upcoming game against the 49ers – one you may have, fairly, already written off as a loss – so hugely important. It’s what makes the primetime Eagles game to follow a huge opportunity. It’s also why it’s so vitally important that the Seahawks push to complete their plan to get to the playoffs and see just how far they can go.

They don’t look like a Super Bowl team. But they’ve won some games. And spent. And traded. So they’ve made their bed.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Bumpus: How DK Metcalf had big game for Seahawks in Dallas
Huard: Seahawks’ defense ‘on its heels’ and has ‘significant’ issues
Rost: Seattle Seahawks’ investment in defense still not paying off

Bump & Stacy Show

Stacy Rost

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Stacy Rost

Rost: The case for Seattle Seahawks keeping QB Geno Smith

The Seattle Seahawks have a decision to make this week with Geno Smith, and Stacy Rost thinks keeping him is what's best for the team.

8 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Leonard Williams...

Stacy Rost

Seahawks Breakdown: The 3 big roster decisions this offseason

Seattle Sports' Stacy Rost looks at three notable players that the Seattle Seahawks need to decide if they'll keep or move on from.

13 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald...

Stacy Rost

Questions answered, unanswered by Seahawks’ Mike Macdonald

We learned a lot about new Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald, but some key questions still remain unanswered.

20 days ago

Seattle Seahawks head coach Patrick Graham...

Stacy Rost

What stands out about two NFL DCs in mix for Seahawks coach

Reporters who cover two of the Seattle Seahawks' reported head coaching candidates joined Bump & Stacy to break down what to know.

1 month ago

NFL playoffs...

Stacy Rost

Rost: The superlatives for Divisional Round of NFL Playoffs

Ahead of this weekend's Divisional Round, Stacy Rost looks at three superlatives for the next games in the NFL Playoffs.

1 month ago

UW Huskies coach transfer target Arizona Jonah Coleman...

Stacy Rost

Arizona Reporter: Potential UW Huskies transfer target, Fisch thoughts

The Arizona Daily Star's Justin Spears, who covers Arizona Wildcats football, spoke to Bump and Stacy after the UW Huskies hired Jedd Fisch.

1 month ago

Rost: Reality is Seahawks have no choice but to be a playoff team