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Commentary: The 5-0 Seahawks have become the NFL’s must-watch team

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 13, 2020

Seattle Seahawks’ DK Metcalf (14) celebrates his touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings late in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Seattle.  (John Froschauer)
Seattle Seahawks’ DK Metcalf (14) celebrates his touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings late in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Seattle. (John Froschauer)
By Matt Calkins Seattle Times

SEATTLE – They have had rosters stacked with so many future Hall of Famers that the game almost seemed rigged. They have had squads so imposing that if there were a stat for Sleep Lost by Upcoming Opponent, they would have led the league year after year.

In the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era, the Seahawks have produced some of the most talented teams to come through the NFL. But they’ve never produced one as entertaining as the one we’re seeing now.

Seattle’s 27-26 win over Minnesota on Sunday night was the latest hit song on this heart-palpitating album. That one-point victory was just another example of why the Seahawks have become the NFL’s must-watch team.

NBC announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth noted on the broadcast that the Sunday night games they call in Seattle seem to always produce crazy games. But it’s become apparent that these games aren’t crazy for these Seahawks – they’re typical.

“It’s so much freakin’ fun,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of these close wins. “We’re making memories. These are memorable situations.”

Seattle is 5-0, and it easily could be 1-4. The only truly convincing victory of the season came in a 38-25 win over Atlanta in Week 1, and even that game was 14-12 at halftime.

Yes, part of the NFL’s appeal is the parity designed to produce close outcomes. But the Seahawks are taking that design to the extreme.

Their Week 2 victory over the Patriots came down to the last play, when Seattle stopped New England quarterback Cam Newton on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Their Week 3 win over Dallas ended on an interception of a Dak Prescott pass in the end zone, where a completion would have won the game for Dallas.

The Seahawks forced five consecutive field goals against the Dolphins in Week 4, where just one touchdown in the red zone would have given Miami the lead. And then there was Sunday night, when Seattle: a) stopped the Vikings on fourth-and-1 when down by five points with less than 2 minutes left; b) converted on a fourth-and-10 to keep its final drive alive; and c) scored the go-ahead touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 6 with 15 seconds left.

If the 12s had been able to attend the contest, the cheers would have been heard from Vancouver. Still, even those who watched from home probably had a year or two taken off their lives.

“My family always tells me that, ‘You guys are always stressing me out,’ but to have games like that, that’s what you live for,” said Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright, whose one-handed interception in the third quarter set up a touchdown Sunday. “We just all played really good team ball. We have to keep it going. 5-0 is beautiful, but we have a long ways to go.”

True statement. That record is a sight to admire, but this is far from a finished product. Seattle’s defense again showed how vulnerable it was against Minnesota, as the Vikings had possession for 39 minutes and 28 seconds. Their running game couldn’t be stopped, as they posted 201 yards on 41 carries and had five drives of at least 10 plays.

Seattle is still last in the league in total defense, giving up 471.2 yards per game. No team should be able to win five out of 16 games with a stat like that, let alone five out of five. But behind Wilson, who staged his 23rd fourth-quarter comeback and 30th game-winning drive Sunday, Seattle has made the extraordinary commonplace.

“I think it’s been so evident over the past few years of just how collectively we are together as a team,” Wilson said. “Everybody is sticking together. Everybody is believing in one another. Everybody is helping one another. It doesn’t matter who makes the play. It’s us. It’s about us and doing it together.”

If you want to ask yourself, “Are the Seahawks really this good?” you’ll have come up with a fair question.

In just about every game they’ve played, they’ve exhibited serious flaws that make one wonder if they can really contend come the postseason.

If you’re a die-hard – if your mood is dictated by the success of this team, most of these games have been incredibly difficult to watch. But they’ve never been this fun.

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