Moore: Seahawks fortunate to be 6-2 because other numbers don’t add up
Remember when the Mariners were 56-32 right after the Fourth of July during the 2018 season? They were flying high, but it seemed like they were lucky too.
Thanks in large part to closer Edwin Díaz, the Mariners won a crazy number of one-run games and had a ridiculously low run differential considering their record. It caught up to them – the Mariners went 33-41 the rest of the season and finished out of the playoffs at 89-73.
It got me to thinking about the Seahawks this year. Could they end up being the NFL’s version of the 2018 Mariners? Or could this be a terrible comparison that makes no sense at all?
In truth, I think the 6-2 Seahawks will go 4-4 in their last eight games, finish 10-6 and earn a wild-card playoff berth, just like last year. So I’m right in the middle with expectations for the second half of the season. But if you forced me to go to one extreme or the other and asked: “Hey, Jim, do you think they have a better chance of going 8-0 or 0-8 the rest of the way?” I’d go with 0-8.
Like the Mariners, the Seahawks are talented but look like they’re living on borrowed time. They were fortunate to beat the Bengals by one point. They were fortunate to beat the Steelers by two points while facing their backup quarterback in the second half. They were fortunate to beat the Rams after Greg Zeurlein missed a what turned out to be a game-losing 44-yard field goal.
They were also fortunate to play one of the NFL’s easiest schedules in the first half – the combined record of their first eight opponents is 25-34-1, and the six wins came over teams with a combined record of 13-31-1. In the second half, they’ll play the NFL’s toughest schedule – upcoming opponents have a combined record of 38-20-1.
Andy Dalton threw for 418 passing yards against the Seahawks in the first game, and he’s been so ineffective during a winless Bengals’ season that Dalton was benched this week, replaced by rookie Ryan Finley.
Jared Goff, never considered an elite quarterback, threw for 395 yards against the Seahawks, and backup 38-year-old journeyman Matt Schaub threw for 460 yards in the Falcons’ 27-20 loss to the Seahawks last Sunday.
The season-long defensive numbers are brutal – the Seahawks are allowing 6.2 yards per play, better than only the Bengals and the also-winless Dolphins. They’re allowing 4.9 rushing yards per carry, matching last year’s unacceptable average, ranking ahead of only Carolina and Cincinnati. They are 27th in the league in passing defense, allowing 273 yards a game.
Yet there are many Seahawks’ fans who think that wins are wins no matter how you get them, and I can see their point too. In their heart of hearts, they must feel like their favorite team has been a tad bit lucky too, but they hope that the defense will get a lift from a rookie (Marquise Blair) and a newcomer (Quandre Diggs) at the safety position. They no doubt also think the pass rush will improve even though the Seahawks have come up with just 13 sacks thus far.
On the other side of the ball, there are fewer concerns, but this is an offense that’s still missing one of its best receivers and blockers in tight end Will Dissly and now has to deal with the absence of another injured starter, center Justin Britt. Joey Hunt seems like a capable replacement, but he got a low grade from Pro Football Focus in the Atlanta game. Hunt has been a backup for a reason.
Russell Wilson has a history of compensating for any weaknesses on the team, but there might be too many for even an NFL MVP to overcome this year.
Besides Wilson, one of the best things the Seahawks have going for them is this – if I think they have a chance to tumble like the 2018 Mariners, they’re more apt to soar given my history of poor predictions.
We’ll soon find out. Again, I’m expecting a so-so record over the next eight games, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the wheels fell off either.