Hawks lose margin for error, but goals still within reach

At Los Angeles logoEverything was set up for the Seahawks to take command of the NFC, but the offense failed to score and a 28-12 loss to the Rams means Seattle probably needs to win its final three to claim the division title.

This game was not imperative for any of the Hawks’ goals, but losing it just means they have little to no room for error to claim the spot they want for the postseason.

The Hawks still can win the NFC West by winning out — at Carolina, vs. Arizona and in a big home finale against San Francisco. A 13-3 record also would net them a bye. And they still could get the No. 1 seed if the Packers are involved in a 13-win tie with Seattle and New Orleans.

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Three more wins should net bye, possibly top seed

Week 14 playoff pictureThe Seahawks are nearly a lock for the playoffs, but they have their sights set on bigger goals — and those might be easier to attain than you think.

The Hawks can clinch a playoff spot Sunday night by beating the Rams, but — believe it or not — that game is not nearly as crucial as it once seemed.

Sure, it would be great for Seattle to run the table against Los Angeles, Carolina, Arizona and San Francisco. But the Hawks probably won’t — and they probably don’t need to.

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Sick and tired, Hawks take control of No. 2 seed

Minnesota logoThe Seahawks are a sickly, battered bunch who still can’t win by more than one score. But they’re also 10-2 and in total control of the No. 2 seed in the NFC — with sights set on No. 1.

The Hawks did it as they usually do — getting behind, then looking like they might pull away, only to win in a nail-biter.

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Roster review ahead of big Monday game

Minnesota logoThe Seahawks are hoping to accomplish three things Monday against Minnesota: (1) Get their 10th win; (2) take over first place in the NFC West; and (3) play a complete game for the first time all season.

That’s right: The Hawks are 9-2 — the fourth time they have at least nine wins in the first 11 games — and they still have not put together a total team game. The offense carried them in most of their first seven wins, and the defense has led the way (with eight takeaways) the past two games.

Monday, against surging Minnesota, with some major playoff positioning possibly on the line, would be a good time for both Seattle sides to show up.

As we wait for that big matchup, here’s how each position has done so far — and what it might mean for the future of the roster:

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NFC West lead is in Seahawks’ sights

Logo -- At PhiladelphiaBy the time the Seahawks host the Vikings on Monday night, they will know whether they are playing for first place in the NFC West and a spot among the conference’s top two.

And there’s a very good chance they will be — since the 49ers go to Baltimore in Week 13 to face MVP favorite Lamar Jackson and the juggernaut Ravens, who just blew out the Rams on Monday night.

If the 49ers lose and the Hawks can get enough offense to handle the surging Vikings, Seattle would move up to the second seed (or even top seed, if the Saints lose in Atlanta).

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Schneider’s veteran trades paying off

Logo -- At San FranciscoTo beat the 49ers, the Seahawks merely had to give up Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo and a couple of 2020 mid-round draft picks. That was the cheap price for keeping the Hawks in the hunt for the NFC’s top seed.

Of John Schneider’s 11 trades this year, three were for veteran players — Jadeveon Clowney, Quandre Diggs and Jacob Hollister. And all three played major roles in the big win over the 49ers and are set to continue their impact as the season marches on after the Week 11 bye.

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A little lucky, a little good, a little 8-2 record

Logo -- At San FranciscoThe Seahawks had been doubted after building a 7-2 record on the backs of a bunch of also-rans, but who is questioning them now after knocking off the 49ers, the NFL’s last unbeaten team?

Sure, the Hawks got a little lucky again — a missed overtime field goal saving them from another self-inflicted loss.

Some might say “It’s better to be lucky than good,” but you also could say, “Good teams win the close games.” And that is what the Seahawks have done on the way to an 8-2 record. The Seahawks are now 5-0 in games decided by four points or less and they have rallied from 10 down to win three times, most in the NFL.

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Catching up ahead of huge Monday night game

Logo -- At San FranciscoBack from South Africa and Paris, a rare two-week vacation during football season, let’s catch up with some thoughts after the Seahawks improved to 7-2 while we were gone …

While we were watching lions (not the Detroit guys) devour baby buffalo (not the Bills) in the South Africa bush, the Seahawks held off Atlanta and beat Tampa Bay in overtime (we followed that one on Twitter from Nelspruit, S.A., which was fun).

Seattle also put Tedric Thompson and Justin Britt on IR, reportedly dangled Rashaad Penny, once again considered signing Antonio Brown and claimed Josh Gordon. And Quandre Diggs still has not played for them.

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Hawks will use (start?) ‘playmaker’ Diggs immediately

Seahawks bandagesIf you believe Pete Carroll, Quandre Diggs is not coming to replace struggling Tedric Thompson.

“No, it’s the guys that are banged up and not knowing when they’ll get back,” Carroll told reporters, referring to Bradley McDougald (back spasms) and Lano Hill (elbow).

But Diggs might indeed start alongside rookie Marquise Blair on Sunday at Atlanta. Carroll mentioned free safety as Diggs’ initial spot, but also said he could play strong safety or nickel.

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