ST. LOUIS — The Seattle Seahawks have played 25 regular-season games under coach Pete Carroll, and only once have they won two weeks in a row.
It’s not just Carroll’s crew that has been deficient in sustaining success. The Seahawks have not won more than two games in a row since the 2007 season.
Perhaps it’s a natural part of rebuilding a program, but the Seahawks need to learn how to sustain success. It’s not just a matter of pulling off the occasional big win but validating it by whipping somebody in their own weight class, so to speak, the next week.
Last year, they scored what seemed to be a breakthrough win at Chicago, and backed up it to some degree with a win over Arizona at home at a time when the Cardinals were 3-2.
But they then lost seven of their last 10 games.
This year’s Week 5 upset of the Giants on the road also was convincing … until they lost the subsequent three games while scoring a puny 28 combined points.
So here we are again. Sunday’s 22-17 upset over Baltimore at CenturyLink Field was a win born of attitude and energy and aggressiveness.
Today’s outcome at St. Louis against the Rams will prove whether it can be sustained, whether that intensity can be repeated. If it is not, then last week will seem like another tease. And it would then be easy to suggest that the Ravens were merely uninspired last week, and suffering from an emotional hangover from their win over rival Pittsburgh the previous game.
But another physical and intense performance against the Rams today could make last week’s win look like a tipping point in this team’s reconstruction. The wins over two teams – Giants and Ravens – with six wins elevate expectations.
“I think it’s about the potential that we have,” coach Pete Carroll said of the high-end victories. “So as we learn to put together good games and play good, consistent outings, (a key) you can see (is) we didn’t turn the ball over.”
Another factor is being able to run the ball. Three of their four best rushing games this season were wins, with only the 162-yard performance against Dallas coming in a loss. But chances of winning that one were diminished by three interceptions and 10 penalties.
The win over Baltimore combined the two crucial elements: They were plus-two in turnovers and had 119 yards rushing.
“We had another really good illustration that we can win against a division-leading team when you play good, solid football with the right approach and you take care of the football,” Carroll said.
The Rams have the worst rush defense in the NFL and also have lost eight cornerbacks to injuries. In the past week, though, the Seahawks have lost their top two draft picks, rookie offensive linemen James Carpenter and John Moffitt, both sustaining knee injuries requiring surgical repair.
A factor that dims hopes for the seven remaining games is the remoteness of contending in a division now dominated by San Francisco. Carroll said that at the start of the season, the Rams were the team considered to be the NFC West front-runners. Now, it’s the 3-6 Seahawks against the 2-7 Rams, and catching the 8-1 49ers is not a practical reality.
Still, after this game, the Seahawks have three consecutive home games – Washington, Philadelphia and St. Louis again.
“To me, it’s about the potential and putting it together,” Carroll said. “There are a lot of games left for us to go out and try to win football games and our guys understand what it takes. Now we just need to come back and put together a game that gives us a chance again.”
Carroll was less expansive on the question of learning how to win two in a row.
“I don’t know … I guess … yeah, sure,” he said. “You want to win every one of them, so, yeah, I’d like to win two in a row first.”
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 email@example.com