As disappointing as the last two weeks have been for the Seahawks and their fans — two tough losses, lots of injuries and the shocking trade of Percy Harvin — there’s still plenty of time for the Seahawks to overcome their 3-3 start and turn into the Super Bowl team everyone expected them to be.
History apparently says the Hawks have a 38 percent chance of making the playoffs and just a 1 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl. But nobody makes the playoffs or wins the Super Bowl in October.
Among the reasons to be confident:
In St. Louis, the offense finally put together a good second half.
Sure, the first half stunk — particularly on the offensive line, which gave up three sacks and had numerous other problems.
But, the Hawks put together second-half touchdown drives of 82, 91 and 80 yards. In the four preceding games, they had scored on just three of 19 second-half drives that started in their own territory.
It also was the first time all season that Seattle scored three touchdowns in the second half.
And they did it without Harvin, who had become an anchor weighing down the offense, apparently both on and off the field. Doug Baldwin caught seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Russell Wilson distributed 23 completions to seven players as he bounced back from a bad game against Dallas to have one of the best games of his career. He threw for 313 yards and two TDs and also ran for 106 yards and a touchdown — becoming the first player in NFL history to pull off the 300/100 double.
As we keep saying, the offense is so much more dangerous when Wilson is willing to pull it down and run upon occasion.
“Everything fit together really well for two and a half quarters and we moved the ball pretty well,” coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday. “We’re hoping we can keep getting better and stay with that and take off from there.”
Injured players will be returning soon, especially in the secondary and at tight end.
Cornerback Jeremy Lane will practice this week and very likely be back in two weeks, and cornerback Byron Maxwell (calf) could be back this week after missing the St. Louis game. The ever-injured Tharold Simon left his much-delayed NFL debut with an ankle injury, but he appears likely to play again this week — until he gets hurt again.
On offense, tight end Luke Willson (groin) seems likely to return this week — he practiced Thursday. Center Max Unger (foot) and tight end Zach Miller (ankle) appear a week or two behind. Miller won’t play, but he will travel with the team to North Carolina this week so he can see a doctor in the area, Carroll said.
In the interim, the Seahawks picked up another tight end as Brett Brackett, who had played with Tennessee this season, replaces RaShaun Allen, who was sent back to the practice squad.
Linebacker Bobby Wagner (toe) and fullback Derrick Coleman (foot) will be out for an extended time, but the Hawks could have all of their other starters back in the next couple of weeks.
Takeaways will come, the Seahawks keep insisting.
The Hawks, who led the league in takeaways in 2013, are among the worst at forcing turnovers this season — their five takeaways are 10 fewer than NFL-leading Houston has, and they still don’t have any takeaways on the road.
The lack of turnovers has been one reason the defense has not been able to get off the field at times.
They have been close a lot — e.g., several fumbles in San Diego, dropped interceptions against Washington, the fumble at the end of the St. Louis game — and the Hawks continue to insist that the floodgates will open at some point.
“They do come in bunches,” cornerback Richard Sherman said, “and we’re waiting for that opportunity, because once it starts rolling, it really gets rolling fast and it continues week in and week out. I think we just have to stay after it. I think we’ll find our rhythm and we’ll be fine.”
The schedule gets easier.
The Hawks have played one of the toughest slates in the league so far, with their opponents combining for a .619 winning percentage. Football Outsiders considers Seattle’s schedule the hardest to date.
Two of the three losses have come against teams that are a combined 11-4, and the third came in St. Louis, where Seattle always struggles. If they weren’t the reigning Super Bowl champs, with huge expectations on their shoulders, a 3-3 record vs. that schedule would not be considered so terrible.
As it is, any team that has beaten both Green Bay (5-2) and Denver (6-1) can’t be that bad, right?
The next four games provide an opportunity for Seattle to get to 6-4 or even 7-3: at Carolina (3-3-1), home vs. Oakland (0-6) and the New York Giants (3-4) and at Kansas City (3-3).
The division will be decided in the final six weeks, when the Hawks play Arizona (5-1) and San Francisco (4-3) twice each.
The past two seasons, the Hawks are 9-3 over the final six games. And this season is shaping up a lot like 2012, when the Hawks started 4-4 and won seven of the final eight.
The Outsiders’ remaining season simulation gives the Hawks a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs, a 40 percent chance of winning the division. Those odds figure to increase over the next four games.
The Seahawks are not discouraged by their .500 start. They know there is plenty of football to be played and they have not even come close to their best yet.
“I think the team is still confident in what we can do, still confident in our abilities,” Sherman said. “If three losses were to ruin the season, then it would have ruined last year’s season, too, because we lost three last year then too. I think our team is fine and understands what we need to do to turn it around and we’re confident in our ability to do that.”