A week ago, the Seattle Seahawks were flying high.
They were in sole possession of first place in the NFC West and made a trade with the New York Giants to bolster their defensive line with Leonard Williams.
Then came the crash, a 37-3 loss at Baltimore.
The Seahawks (5-3) will try to regroup Sunday when they host the Washington Commanders (4-5).
“I would like that this game was maybe a marker that this is where things shifted, and we came right back and got back on track, and we see us come back to who we are,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We’ll see. This is a big deal.”
How bad was it?
The Seahawks, who had won five of their previous six games, gave up 515 yards of total offense, including 298 rushing.
Seattle managed just six first downs, had 28 yards on the ground and quarterback Geno Smith completed just 13-of-28 passes for 157 yards and was sacked four times.
That left Carroll answering questions about whether Smith was just a one-year wonder when he set the franchise record for passing yards last season.
“I don’t think this is about Geno at all. Our football team did not answer the bell here. We couldn’t get it done,” Carroll said. “We came in here to slug it out and they did a better job than we did.”
The Commanders seemed to be in rebuilding mode when they traded their two former first-round edge rushers last week, sending Montez Sweat to Chicago and Chase Young to San Francisco for draft picks.
Instead, they responded with a 20-17 victory at New England, sealed by rookie Jartavius Martin’s late interception, to snap a two-game skid.
“You’re starting to see the growth and development,” Commanders coach Ron Rivera said. “Those young guys are coming along pretty well. If these young guys play and grow and develop, things bode well as we go further down the line.”
Second-year quarterback Sam Howell had his consecutive 300-yard game to help beat the Patriots. Howell leads the NFC with 2,471 yards passing.
“Sam Howell is our leader,” Commanders defensive lineman Jonathan Allen said. “We found our next quarterback for five, 10 years. … I’ve seen a lot of great quarterbacks in my time, played against a lot of them. He has the potential to be one of them.”
Which would be welcome in the Beltway, as the team has gone through 12 starting quarterbacks since Kirk Cousins left after the 2017 season.
“We feel we have a quarterback,” Rivera said. “This franchise has been looking for quite some time and for the first time in awhile, I think that guy might be here.”
The Commanders are healthy coming into Sunday’s game, with players missing practice this week only due to rest or personal issues. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel (toe) was a limited participant.
For the Seahawks, seven players missed practice time on Wednesday. They were running backs Kenneth Walker III (chest) and DeeJay Dallas (shoulder), tight end Colby Parkinson (bicep), wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (hip), nose tackle Jarran Reed (tooth), linebacker Jordyn Brooks (hamstring) and safety Jamal Adams (rest/knee).
–Field Level Media