RENTON, Wash. -- K.J. Wright doesn't understand where betting lines come from.
"Who makes those point spreads?" the seventh-year linebacker asked Wednesday when informed of the rare position his Seattle Seahawks are in as six-point underdogs heading into Sunday night's home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, that's the most points an opponent has been favored by at CenturyLink Field since 2011, the year before Seattle drafted quarterback Russell Wilson, and including playoffs it's tied for the fourth most since Pete Carroll arrived in 2010. The Seahawks were also underdogs in Week 11 versus Atlanta, which snapped a streak of 41 consecutive home games in which they were favored.
Don't ask Wright how all that stuff works. But what he does know, or at least what he firmly believes, is that the Seahawks can still contend despite what seems like a popular perception that they have little chance -- both to win Sunday night versus the 10-1 Eagles and to make another deep run in the playoffs.
"Don't sleep on us, man," Wright said. "This team is really good. We're still talented. We can be the best of the best. We are the best of the best, so just because we have injuries don't mean that things will change. We're going to be good out there."
The idea of anyone sleeping on the Seahawks is a foreign one for a team that has established itself as one of the perennial NFC powerhouses, with five consecutive postseason berths, two Super Bowl appearances and one championship. But it's now a reality with the current state of affairs.
At 7-4, Seattle has the same record as the Falcons but trail them for the sixth and final NFC playoff spot by virtue of Atlanta's head-to-head victory. In all likelihood, the Seahawks will need to win at the very least three and maybe four of their remaining five games to reach the postseason. It won't be easy.
They'll have to do that without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, who joined Cliff Avril as defensive starters to have suffered season-ending injuries. And they'll have to do it against a tough slate of opponents. According to ESPN's Mike Sando, the Seahawks have the second-hardest remaining schedule based on the .636 combined winning percentage of the five teams they'll face.
Does Wright sense the doubts about the Seahawks?
"I do, man. You already know why," he said. "Because of our record, for one. We're not in the playoffs, for two. We lost some guys. So it's human nature. I'm not mad when people do that. I understand. I get it. However, in this building, we've just got to know who we are, stay true to what we do and believe in ourselves. It's all good."
Wright is one of five remaining Pro Bowlers on Seattle's defense, which has held up well the past two games without Sherman and Chancellor. That defense will be challenged over the closing stretch by opposing offenses and quarterbacks that are much better than what Seattle faced Sunday against the 49ers. But the start has been encouraging.
Another reason for optimism: Seattle tends to finish strong. Under Carroll, the Seahawks are 41-20 in November and December. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that's the best record in the NFC in that span and the third best in the NFL behind New England and Pittsburgh.
“I do think it has a lot to do with how you prepare your guys to finish and getting them ready to do it, and with a real discipline and mentality," Carroll said when asked about his teams' tendency to play well down the stretch. "I think that’s part of it, and then good fortune is another part of it, a good quarterback is another part of it, but I think it’s a commitment to the discipline that it takes to do stuff right when it comes to crunch time. It shows up in games and it shows up in seasons if you’re fortunate, and hopefully, we’re almost at the fourth-quarter turn here -- this is the last game of it -- and we’ll see.
"It’s going to be a great way to jump into the fourth quarter playing Philadelphia.”
Wright thinks the Seahawks' best football is still ahead of them.
"Yes," he said. "It's coming."