A weekly examination of the Seahawks' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 1 | Last Week: 4 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
It’s difficult to judge the Seahawks this week. Do you reward them for earning the biggest comeback win in franchise history, overcoming a 21-0 deficit and defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24 in overtime?
Or do you penalize them for falling behind by three touchdowns at home to a winless team when they were a 16-point favorite?
In the end, our ESPN.com voters decided it was a wash, keeping the Seahawks at No. 4 in the weekly Power Rankings. But Seattle does remain No. 1 in the NFC. The loss by the New Orleans Saints dropped them to sixth and NFC West rival San Francisco moved to No. 5.
The 8-1 Seahawks have some problems to fix if they’re going to stay in the top four. Run defense tops the list. Seattle has allowed at least 200 yards rushing in each of the last two games.
“We were sloppy,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Monday about the run defense. “I had said afterwards that I thought we were trying to go after the football a little bit more than we should have. That wasn’t really an issue. That was wrong.
“We missed reads, and by that I mean the fits aren’t really the way that we wanted them to be. In a couple of defenses, we were trying to pressure and we got hit while we were pressuring them and we didn’t execute the run part of it well. So we’re just off a little bit and we have not fixed it in these two weeks. We have a lot of work to do.”
Along with the missed reads, the Seahawks also missed a lot of tackles, allowing ball carriers to gain additional yards after initial contact on most running plays. So Carroll was asked if the problem was more mental or physical.
“I think the mental part of it is more physical," Carroll said, smiling. “That’s a really respectable question and I didn’t respect it very much with my answer. But I don’t know. I don’t have that answer.”