Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

[OPINION] NFL Update: Seahawks Stumble into Second, Hopeful for Week 10

Luca Del Carlo

Despite eking out a victory over the Cleveland Browns Oct. 29 and pulling into first in the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks have now fallen back into second in the division after a significant loss (37-3) to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon.

The Seahawks’ Week 9 game saw one of their poorest offensive games in Pete Carroll’s time as head coach, with the fewest total yards gained (151) since their 2017’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams (149). Fans and commentators have pointed fingers at quarterback Geno Smith’s performance, particularly after a ‘Geno to Geno pass’ that saw Ravens breakout safety Geno Stone intercept a ball from Smith—his league-leading sixth INT of the year. Smith also completed fewer than half of his passes in what some are calling “maybe his worst game” as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback.

In a postgame interview with Carroll, however, the coach rejected the idea that Smith is entirely to blame, asserting that their loss was a collective one. 

“We came in here to slug it out, and they did a better job than we did, all of us. When they’re rushing the passer, that’s not Geno [Smith], this is not a one guy deal,” Carroll said. “Up until this game, it took us to first place, whatever the heck we’d been doing. We didn’t play like a first-place team today.”

If past seasons—last year in particular—are any indicator of how the team will fare in the coming weeks, fans have plenty of reason to be optimistic. Despite feeling the loss of Russell Wilson as starting quarterback, the 2022 season saw Smith be awarded Comeback Player of the Year and immediately supersede Wilson’s single-season franchise passing record with a whopping 4,282 yards. Statistically, Smith was earning rankings among the top 10 quarterbacks in the league, leading the league in completion percentage and finishing top-five in passer rating.

Given the standout performance from the Seahawks in the first eight weeks of this season, Sunday’s loss—though devastating it may be—does not discount the work the team has done thus far, especially Smith. According to game simulations from The New York Times, they’re currently looking at an estimated 76% chance to make the playoffs this year.

However, the most decisive games will be when the team faces off against the San Francisco 49ers in both Weeks 12 and 14, largely determining the neck-and-neck battle for first in the NFC West. While the Seahawks lead the 49ers 30-20 in their all-time rivalry, last season’s NFC Wild Card Playoffs marked a 23-41 loss against San Francisco. Whether that sets a precedent for a post-Wilson Seahawks team has yet to be decided.

And while the 49ers currently sit in first after an initial 5-0 record in the first weeks of the season, their current three-game losing streak further indicates the upcoming matchup will be a close one. The outcome may be decided just as much by San Francisco’s ability to rally their defense, as it will be by Seattle’s success in overcoming what Carroll referred to as their offensive line’s “miscommunication” in last week’s game.

With Week 10 on the horizon, fans should remain hopeful for the latter half of the regular season. The Seahawks are now set to play against the Washington Commanders at home, and are the favored team to win. Lumen Field will once again become a sea of navy, gray and green as 12s pour into the stadium—a sight that will hopefully (and may likely) continue well into January.

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About the Contributors
Genny Sheara, Editor-in-Chief
Luca Del Carlo, Lead Designer

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