What a difference a month makes.
After knocking off the Cleveland Browns 24-20 at Lumen Field in Seattle on Oct. 29, the Seattle Seahawks improved their record to 5-2 and sat atop the NFC West.
Fast forward to late November and it’s a totally different story.
In a divisional showdown versus the San Francisco 49ers in Seattle on Thursday, the Seahawks were a no-show losing 31-13 to the 49ers in the process.
The loss was the third in the last four games for the Seahawks and basically eliminated any shot of the them winning the NFC West.
With their record now sitting at 6-5, the talk has gone from winning the division to just qualifying for the Super Bowl tournament.
The Seahawks are one game up on the Green Bay Packers (5-6) for the final wildcard spot but looking at the remaining schedule for both teams reveals that the Seahawks are in big trouble.
Seattle travels to Dallas next Thursday, visits San Francisco the following week before returning home to face the Philadelphia Eagles. The remainder of the Seahawks schedule sees them play in Tennessee, return home for a game versus Pittsburgh and then finish off the campaign with a visit to their very own personal “House of Horrors” in Arizona.
Add it all up and it’s the seventh toughest remaining schedule according to Tankathon.com.
Then there’s the Packers schedule, which according to the same website, is the second easiest schedule remaining. Yes, there are games against Kansas City and Minnesota, but there’s also a smorgasbord to feast on featuring the likes of Chicago, Carolina, Tampa Bay and the Giants.
If the Seahawks are to qualify for the post-season, they will need to get their offense back on track.
Geno Smith and company have been rather ineffective lately, having managed to produce only three touchdowns in their last four games – and one of those was a 64-yard pass to Kenneth Walker III.
That type of production is not going to get it done.
“We’re not feeling it. You can see it. We’re just not moving the ball steadily and we have to find our way to do that. It’s mixing the stuff that we have and using the guys that we have better than we have so far,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll told the media after Thursday’s game.
Despite the disappointing performance against San Francisco, Smith believes the Seahawks need to stay the course.
“There is no excuse for it. There are no words that I can say that will make it better. What needs to be done is we need to work hard. We need to find a way. We’ve got a lot of talent. We’ve got a lot of good players on this offense and we’ve got the right coaches. We’ve got to believe. We’ve got to continue to stay consistent in our work,” added Smith.
While most of the focus right now is on the Seahawks offense and what it needs to do to put points on the board, there are bigger picture questions that will need to be answered in the last six games.
A year after winning the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, it appears that Smith has come back to reality which is the level of a journeyman NFL quarterback.
If Smith can’t turn things around in the last third of the season, Carroll and company will be faced with the reality of finding a replacement for Smith moving forward and that could be a problem.
The draft would be the best bet as nine of the 14 teams currently above the playoff bar have drafted and developed their own starting quarterback. The Seahawks do own a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft but it will probably be in the high teens or even further down should they qualify for the post-season which isn’t exactly conducive to finding a franchise signal-caller.
Free agency is rarely the answer and is usually just a stop-gap measure while trades in the NFL occur with the same frequency of a lunar eclipse.
Smith’s performance in the last six games of the regular season will determine whether or not the Seahawks stay the course with the 33-year-old or start exploring other alternatives.
The problem for Smith and company is that the schedule isn’t going to do them any favors.
Next week’s matchup against the Cowboys isn’t going to make life easier for the Seahawks offense.
San Francisco’s defensive front is an impressive group but a solid argument can be made that Dallas group – led by Micah Parsons – is even better.
The Seahawks need answers and they need them fast.
Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media.