The Seahawks haven't been in this position often over the past decade, stumbling out of the gate to start a season and putting themselves in position from which making the playoffs will be a considerable challenge.
This 2-4 start is not, however, completely unprecedented in recent years, and for those looking for a little bit of positive news, the last Seahawks team to start 2-4 was the 2015 squad that rallied to finish 10-6 and make the playoffs.
While there are plenty of differences between that 2015 team and this one, that team also struggled on defense early in the year, giving up 27 or more points in all four losses, and that team also lost some close game early, including two in overtime, then turned things around dramatically to the point that they were one of the hottest teams in the league heading into the postseason.
And to Bobby Wagner, one of three current Seahawks who were on that 2015 team along with Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett, this year's slow start feels similar to the 2015 one in a lot of ways.
"I remember being 2-4," Wagner said. "I remember everybody on the outside saying our season was over and saying that we had no chance of being good. I remember us just locking in and focusing. It's a very similar feeling. I feel like when you watch the games and you watch the things we've done, we're very close. I feel like it's not like we're not getting better. I'm very confident in the guys that we have. I'm confident that we're just a couple plays away, a couple minor tweaks away from being the team that I know we can be. We've just got to lock in. There's no more room for error for us to figure these things out. We have to apply the things that we've learned over these six games and do what we need to do to get this season turned in the right direction, I feel like we're very confident we can do that."
And if the week of preparation for Monday's game against the Saints is any indication, the Seahawks are in a good place, mentally, despite the rough start to the season.
"We had an excellent week, we really did," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "Our guys jumped right back at it. There's a sense of urgency—what it feels like when you are playing in huge games, that's what it felt like this week. I've got no complaints about the way we poured ourselves into it."
For Carroll a big message since Sunday night's overtime loss to the Steelers has been to emphasize that nothing has been determined at this early stage of the season. Yes, it's hardly ideal to be 2-4 in a division that features teams with 6-0 and 5-1 records, but there are still 11 games to be played and a lot can happen, both for the Seahawks and the rest of the NFC playoff hopefuls, that can dramatically change things between now and January.
"We don't know what's going to happen," Carroll said. "There are over two months left in this football season, so we have to go play the games and everybody else has to play the games too. Nobody knows what the story is… You never know, so with that thought, what we have to do is make sure that we get our focus right back to what is at hand and not let concerns of other things that we can't control affect us. We are trying to master that. I've talked to you about that all of the time, we are trying to learn how to focus on what is within our control and in front of us right now. That is a great challenge, and most teams can't do it. It's hard to play consistently week after week after week. We are still trying to get to that spot, and this is a great challenge for us. We have a great team coming in, which happens to be a Monday nighter as well. All the rest of it goes on. This will be an important weekend for us."
And even though the Seahawks came up short in overtime last week, there is some sense of optimism coming out of last week's game, most notably because of how the team fought back from a 14-0 halftime deficit to force overtime while playing without Russell Wilson, but also because of the progress made by the defense.
"What really stood out was last game; it's crazy to say even though we lost," said safety Jamal Adams. "You saw the fight, you saw what type of team we have. We believe in ourselves and we believe in one another. It doesn't matter, it comes all the way down to the end, you never know. So we're going to continue to fight. Yeah, it's not the best record so far, but teams are still in it. It's still early in the season. To me there's no panic. We're going to continue to go to work, continue to go to practice each and every day flying around getting better, because that's what it's about, because this thing can turn. It can always turn, and eventually will.
"We're good. I don't know how else to say it. When you believe in something and you work so hard at it, and you've got a group of men who come in here each and every day, and they bust their tails and sacrifice so much and you understand the type of team you have and the type of teammates you have, we're going to be fine. We're just putting it tighter. Obviously, it hasn't rolled our way, and obviously they haven't been used to losing out here like that, and people are hitting the panic button, but there's no need to do that. We're just going to keep our head down, keep fighting, then we'll look up at the end of the season."
As for the defensive improvements, Wagner said Sunday's game was a step in the right direction, but that his defense still has room to grow.
"I think it was a combination of everything," he said. "I think there was definitely some changes that we made, definitely more of an awareness to overcommunicate on a lot of our behalf's. It all matched up with that moment. We had some big moments in that game, and in order for us to make those plays we have to be on the same page and communicate. It was a step in the right direction, but it has to become consistent. There's still areas to improve with it."
At 2-4, the Seahawks are in a tough spot, but if the defense can build off of last week's improvements, and if Geno Smith continues to play well until Wilson returns, the Seahawks are confident there's time to turn this season around, starting with Monday's game against the Saints.
"You definitely want to win this game," Wagner said. "Like I said, there's not much room for error. The more you lose, the more you put yourself in a bigger and bigger hole to try to get out from it. You can be as positive as you want, but no one really wants to go into a ditch. They try to avoid it as much as they can. I definitely feel like, even after one and two (losses), there is still that focus. I definitely feel like we understand what's at stake. I think it's important for guys like myself, Russell (Wilson), to make sure the young guys understand that we have been in this position before. Just because we started 2-4, that doesn't mean that has to defined our season. The season is very long. I'm confident after these two games and bye week, we'll be sitting in a very good position."
The Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints will meet this Monday in Seattle at Lumen Field for Week 7 of the 2021 season. Take a look back at photos from the past games between the two teams.