The Seattle Seahawks are notorious for finishing strong under Pete Carroll. Seattle hasn't finished with a sub .500 record in the second half of a season since 2010. During that stretch, Seattle has gone 7-1 to close the season twice (2012, 2014), 6-2 twice (2013, 2018) and 4-4 just once (2017).
This year's Seahawks own a 6-2 record at the midway point, which is nothing to sneeze at. However, the 49ers remain unbeaten at 7-0 and the Saints and Packers have just one loss each. But even in a loaded NFC, Carroll remains steadfast that his club will peak in the second half once again.
"We're going to finish," Carroll said following Sunday's win against the Falcons. "This club has finished forever, and we're going to do it again. These next eight weeks will tell the whole story for everybody in the league. The story is not written. You guys write the stories thinking that you know, but it ain't written yet, for real. So we have a chance to do our part and see if we can cause some problems for the rest of the league."
The Seahawks will be tested on a weekly basis over their final eight games. As The Athletic's Mike Sando pointed out, Seattle faces the toughest schedule in the second half of this season.
8 toughest remaining #NFL schedules by opponent win %:
Note: CLE, NYJ, CIN, PIT, TB have played the toughest so far.— Mike Sando (@SandoNFL) October 28, 2019
Seattle will play a stretch of four-straight primetime games against the 49ers (MNF), Eagles (SNF), Vikings (MNF) and Rams (SNF) in Weeks 10-14 (they have a bye in Week 11). The Seahawks will then close the season at home against the 49ers in Week 17.
It's going to take at least 10 wins to claim a wildcard spot. That makes this Sunday's contest against the Buccaneers, the Week 15 matchup versus the Panthers and the Week 16 matchup with the Cardinals must-win games. That gets Seattle to nine wins. Then the Seahawks will have to find one or two wins in their five games against the 49ers (x2), Rams, Eagles and Vikings.
That's entirely possible, but it will take a huge step forward from Seattle's defense that currently ranks 22nd in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). Beyond that, The Seahawks defense has a negative EPA (Expected Points Added) in all eight games so far this season. Add that to an inconsistent offensive line that just lost its starting center and you have several areas that provide legitimate cause for concern.
So the story may not be written yet, but that doesn't mean the writing is on the wall for a dominant second-half, either.