Speed bump or sign of reality? That's what Seahawks fans are wondering after Sunday's dud against the Buccaneers Sunday. Here's a look at what local and national media have to say about it.
The Seattle Times' Larry Stone says what we're all thinking. Was this loss just a fluke or something to worry about?
"I lean toward the former conclusion, with the realization that the Seahawks were playing without several key players who should be back in the near future. And they were facing a Tampa Bay team on the rise and making a strong playoff push," wrote Stone.
Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports can't figure out which Seahawks team is which.
"Their win at the New England Patriots might be the best win for any NFL team this season. They also have losses to the Rams and Buccaneers in which they didn’t score a touchdown," wrote Schwab. "Seattle still has perhaps the most talent in the NFC, or maybe even the entire NFL. At its best, it can reach a championship level. But which Seahawks team is going to show up from week to week?"
Bucs receiver Mike Evans caught eight balls for 104 yards and two touchdowns. And while the one that caught everyone's attention the most was the 23-yard touchdown against Richard Sherman, The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta points this out about Evans' day.
"While the Seahawks did try to put Sherman in position to shadow Evans as often as possible, they didn’t do it every play. Evans’ first three receptions all appeared to come against zone defenses and not directly on Sherman, including his first touchdown on a 3-yard pass from Jameis Winston," wrote Condotta.
Condotta also looks into what the heck happened to the offensive line after those great performances of the past couple of weeks.
MMQB's Peter King also looks at the O-line after Russell Wilson was sacked six times and hit another seven times by what he calls "not one of the best defensive fronts in football."
"This offseason, the Seattle Seahawks simply must make Job One protecting Russell Wilson long term or else he is never going to be the all-time great quarterback that I think he has the potential to be," said King.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune? What say you?
"But it was another example of how risky is the approach of going with bargain-basement offensive linemen, wrote Boling. (Seattle spends the least on the offensive line of any NFL team at $6.2 million, according to OverTheCap.com) "And maybe a longer-term question is whether it has and will continue to jeopardize the health of the team’s most valuable commodity, quarterback Russell Wilson."
But for as bad as the offense was, the Seahawks' defense was still amazing -- holding the Bucs scoreless after those two early touchdowns despite missing Michael Bennett, Earl Thomas, and DeShawn Shead.
"The Seahawks’ NFL-leading average in points allowed went down, from 17.3 to 17. And they still lost," wrote Gregg Bell of The News Tribune.
Props to Richard Sherman, who convinced Pete Carroll to throw the challenge flag on a holding call in the end zone in the first half. Because it was a potential scoring play, it was reviewable. The refs awarded the Seahawks a safety.
How about that? Richard Sherman’s football IQ/awareness on full display. He convinced Carroll to challenge — Seattle gets safety out of it.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) November 27, 2016
The Seahawks still have plenty of breathing room in the NFC West and will likely win the division.
"But much of the conversation about the NFC hierarchy has centered around the Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys took care of business on Thanksgiving Day and have a defined identity," wrote ESPN's Sheil Kapadia. "The Seahawks' clunker in Tampa served as a reminder they still have work to do in the final five weeks."
And ESPN's Dan Graziano says the Seahawks need to concern themselves less with the team in front of them in the playoff standings.
"At this point, Seattle needs to worry about the two NFC division leaders that sit a half-game behind it in the conference standings -- and worry more about protecting its first-round bye than securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs," wrote Graziano.
All that said, the number crunchers at FiveThirtyEight.com still give Seattle a 68% chance to clinch that No. 2 seed and a 14% chance to win the Super Bowl. The only team in the NFC with a better shot? The Dallas Cowboys.
We'll leave the last word for ESPN's Darren Rovell, who says some people probably lost a lot of money on this one.
Worst NFL Bet Of The Day: 93% of the $ at the 108 William Hill sportsbooks in Nevada was on the Seahawks to cover (-6). Lost game by 9.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 28, 2016