Well, we’ve had a few days to digest losing to the Rams in St. Louis again, and it still hasn’t gotten any less annoying. The offensive coordinator is a washout. The offensive line is in shambles. Kam Chancellor is actively costing us football games by sitting out in his idiotic quest to get more money. Going into Green Bay to play the Packers, after what we did to them in the NFC Championship Game (or, rather, what they did to themselves), couldn’t be a more nauseating proposition. And, of course, should the Seahawks go 0-2 to start the season, you’re staring at some pretty long odds – the vast majority of teams who start 0-2 fail to make the playoffs.
Is this the year that it all comes crumbling down? It can’t be! It’s too soon! I wasn’t ready!
The fact of the matter is, a lot of our problems last week can be fixed. I, for one, expect the offensive line to be much improved by the time we play St. Louis again (in week 16). I also don’t expect to see nearly as many explosive plays allowed in any single game as we did against the Rams, even if we ARE playing the vaunted Packers in Lambeau this week. Finally, I would argue that the majority of the difficult teams we’ll face happen to reside in the first half of the schedule. There are some positives to playing on the road in back-to-back weeks to start the season – like you get four straight weeks at home in November, starting with the BYE week – but you have to admit it’s a pretty rough landing having both of those road games being against the Rams and Packers (who I’m banking on being two of the better teams in the NFC this year).
If we do lose this week (which, I don’t actually think will happen, as I’ll get to tomorrow) and start 0-2, it’s not the end of the world. The 2015 Seahawks were always going to lose at least two games, and probably two or three more beyond that. What does it matter if you lose those games at the very beginning or the very end? As long as the team continues to improve as the season goes on, and we get Kam back at SOME point this season, I would expect this team to be playing its best football come December and January. Isn’t that really what’s most important?
Yes, there’s cause for concern, but a one-week sample is absolutely too small to start making rash generalizations. I would expect an 0-2 start would lead to a mass exodus of bandwagoners, and that’s fine. But, the fact of the matter is, we don’t yet know how good or bad the 2015 Seahawks will be. Just like we don’t really know how good or bad any other team will be. At this point, I’m sure 49ers fans are wearing their flashiest I Told You So pants after the ugly beatdown they put on the Vikings; I’m sure Broncos fans are scared out of their wits that Peyton Manning might be donezo; I’m sure Cardinals and Rams fans smell blood in the water with how well they played and how poor the Seahawks looked on defense; I’m sure Bills fans are thrilled at the prospects of being a real player in the AFC East for the first time in a long time; and I’m sure Titans fans are over the moon at how well Mariota played. But, we could come back a month from now and find the 49ers are who we thought they were, Manning has thrown 3 TDs per game ever since his iffy first week, the Cards & Rams might have lost to some teams they probably should’ve beaten, the Bills got a heavy dose of reality from the kings of the AFC East – the Patriots, and the Titans simply beat up on a terrible Bucs team and otherwise look pretty terrible in their own right.
You might be sitting here, a fan of the Seahawks who’s also a fan of the Mariners, and you might be remembering back in April all the calls from the know-it-alls telling everyone, “It’s too early to panic!” I know I’m having flashbacks as I write this, and it’s not pretty. But, we all have to remember that these are the Seahawks! They’re about as far from the Mariners as you can get! Yes, the 2014 Mariners were pretty good, and only missed the playoffs by a game, and it appeared they’d made the required additions to push them over the top in 2015; but the Seahawks have gone to back-to-back Super Bowls, and have made the playoffs the past three years (and four of the last five years). There’s a solid foundation and a track record with this team. And there’s NOT all of the wacky variables that you’ll find with Major League Baseball (like bullpen volatility, and random spikes and dips in offensive production from year to year and from player to player). Past Seahawks teams the last few years haven’t been particularly fortunate in close games, nor have they been deficient in point differential. I don’t really see the 2015 Seahawks as a candidate for regression to the mean, because I think they’ve been pretty close to the mean all along. Granted, a good, quality mean, but a mean nonetheless.
So, take ‘er easy, take a breath, and chill out. I’ll be back tomorrow with my rationale for why the Seahawks will be 1-1 come Monday morning.