Are the Seattle Seahawks still favorites in the NFC?
Seattle defeated the Los Angeles Rams 16-10 Sunday, and the Seahawks head into their bye week 3-2 and tied with the Rams for first place in the NFC West. With the bye here and the season about a third of the way complete, it seems a good time to reassess expectations for the Seahawks in 2017. Seattle entered the season considered joint favorites in the NFC with the Green Bay Packers. Should that still be the case?
At 3-2 Seattle is just one game out of first place in the NFC, trailing the Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers who are all 4-1, as well as the 3-1 Atlanta Falcons who had a bye this week. The Seahawks have a plus-23 point differential, which ranks fifth in the conference behind the Eagles (plus-38), Rams (plus-31), Detroit Lions (plus-26) and Packers (plus-25).
A breakdown of Seattle’s results shows a mixed bag. The Seahawks’ two losses were both on the road, against the Packers and the 2-3 Tennessee Titans. Seattle’s first two wins came at home against the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts, who have a combined two wins — with one of those coming because they played one another. Sunday’s victory over the Rams was the first that bucked the trend of the first four games as the Seahawks earned a road victory over a decent team.
Offensively the Seahawks find themselves in the middle of the pack, ranking 15th in the NFL in yards per game (337.6) and tied for 14th in the league in points per game (22.0). There have been moments when Seattle’s offense has looked explosive, such as during the second half of last week’s 46-18 victory over the Colts. However, there have been more instances of the offense stalling, and Seattle beat the Rams on Sunday in spite of its offense, not because of it.
Seattle’s defense finds itself in a somewhat surprising situations statistically. The Seahawks are just 17th in the league in yards allowed (333.0), but they’re fifth in points allowed (17.4) as they’ve adhered to their belief in bending but not breaking. The defense was particularly impressive Sunday in holding a Rams team that came into the game leading the NFL in scoring to just 10 points while forcing four turnovers.
So through five games the Seahawks have given observers plenty to think about. Do those thoughts reach the conclusion that Seattle should still be considered an NFC favorite? What do you think?