Midseason roster report: Can the defense improve?

Midway through the season, the Seahawks are a game better than we expected — despite a horrendous pass defense that might be the thing that keeps them out of the Super Bowl.

The Seahawks are off to one of their best starts under Pete Carroll, 6-2 (or better) for the third time. With the easiest finishing slate in the NFL, they look destined for at least 11 wins. The question, as it has been all season, is whether their defense will improve enough to help them get to the Super Bowl.

They have been 6-2 or better just two other times under Carroll. In 2013, they started 7-1 and finished 13-3 on the way to a Super Bowl title. Last season, they started 6-2 and finished 11-5 (knocked out of the playoffs by Green Bay).

They look good for 11-5 this season, too. The second-half schedule is the easiest in the league. The tough part will be the division games: They play the Rams twice, starting this week, and Arizona in Week 11. But they also face three NFC Least clubs, plus the Jets and the decimated 49ers. The very worst they should do in the final eight is 5-3, which would net 11 wins.

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