Seahawks' expectations rising with recent success
Seattle is coming off its first back-to-back victories of the season, while Washington, Sunday's opponent, is in the midst of a six-game losing streak. All of a sudden, this is a game Seattle is expected to win — which is a sign of progress in and of itself.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington @ Seahawks, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13
The Seahawks will face something new Sunday.
Three straight losing seasons have a way of sapping those out of a city. But when Seattle plays the Washington Redskins Sunday at CenturyLink Field, everyone will be able to see how the Seahawks handle this bit of success they've managed to find.
Seattle is coming off its first back-to-back victories of the season, while Washington is in the midst of a six-game losing streak, its longest skid in 13 years. All of a sudden, this is a game Seattle is expected to win — which is a sign of progress in and of itself.
"We want people to expect us to win," quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. "We want our guys to expect us to win instead of going to the game just thinking, 'We'll see how this plays out.' "
It wasn't all that long ago the Seahawks were being listed as viable candidates to lose so many games that they could win the chance to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Now people are wondering whether this team can get back to .500.
Seattle is beginning its longest homestand in seven years, hosting the next three games against 3-7 Washington, 4-6 Philadelphia and 2-8 St. Louis. Coach Pete Carroll is about to find out whether his young team is able to build upon its most significant momentum of this season.
"I love that we're working in that direction right now," he said. "It's the same bunch of guys that lost some games earlier in the year and we were giving things away and opportunities away. We're starting to close in on it now."
No one thinks Seattle has arrived. The Seahawks are committing penalties at an unprecedented rate, they failed to gain 300 yards of offense last week in St. Louis, and their longest pass completion in that game was thrown by wide receiver Sidney Rice.
But there certainly have been signs of progress for Seattle, which hasn't won three consecutive games since 2007. Meanwhile, Washington enters the game having seen a once-promising season skid off into a ditch.
"We were off to a 3-1 start and now we're 3-7, and I had pneumonia, and this whole thing just sucks," quarterback Rex Grossman said.
Grossman began the season as Washington's starter, but was replaced by John Beck for three games in the middle of the season. Now he's back at the helm of an offense that has scored more than 20 points only once in the past eight games.
The Seahawks are the betting favorite for the first time all season. Even when Seattle hosted Arizona in Week 3, the Cardinals were three-point favorites.
Seattle survived an early schedule that had it playing four of its first six games on the road. Now that the Seahawks have located some success, the challenge is to sustain it.
"The opportunity to capture what it takes on a week-to-week basis, and the focus and the attention to detail is at hand right now," Carroll said. "That's why each one of these weeks are so cool and exciting to go after it again. Can we do it again?"
For the first time in this year, people are expecting the Seahawks to do just that.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @dannyoneil
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