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Monday, October 20, 2008
How low can the Seahawks go?

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The NFL season is long enough for even the worst teams to suddenly get things right. Our power rankings for Weeks 3 and 4 listed the Cowboys first and the Rams last. The Rams were the far better team when they played in Week 7.

That doesn't necessarily mean good things await the Seahawks. Bad things probably do await them. Only three teams since 2001 have finished a season at .500 or better after losing five of their first six games. That puts the Seahawks' 1-5 start in some perspective.

Twenty-nine teams since 2001 have opened 1-5. One of the 29 teams made it to 9-7. Two reached 8-8. The largest number of teams -- eight -- finished the season 4-12. Nineteen of the 29 finished no better than 5-11.

My now-laughable preseason prediction for Seattle suggested the team might win 11 games. In retrospect, I badly misjudged the roles Billy McMullen, Logan Payne, Koren Robinson, Courtney Taylor, Keary Colbert, Charlie Frye and Seneca Wallace would play in 2008. This might have been because McMullen, Payne, Robinson and Colbert weren't even on the team.

Seriously, though, I misjudged how poorly the offense would function through injuries at receiver. And I overstated the defense's ability to keep the team competitive. The Seahawks are simply underperforming.

Note: Thanks to Doug Kern of the ESPN Stats & Analysis Team for coming through with the data on how teams finished after starting 1-5.