It is said that all empires eventually fall as they have risen. It’s like life. There are flows to it with all the ups and all the downs. One moment you are on a high and the next you are crashing to earth.

Or as Gorman Thomas once said in the late stages of his own falling baseball arc as he sat in front of his cubicle in the Kingdome still wearing his Seattle Mariners’ uniform post-game, puffing on a cigarette and taking a swig from a beer after hitting two home runs that night, that he never gets too high or two low because, “One day you are in the castle and the next you are in the outhouse.”

Seattle Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll tries to maintain some of Thomas’ philosophy and through a positive outlook building a high-level of consistency that until last Sunday produced more ups then downs, betraying the normal flow of empires and life – lots of highs very few lows.

But like the Romans, one of the greatest empires in recorded history, what goes up must come down. So it was that the Seahawks good run of football came to a crashing end with a horrible drubbing 42-7 at home to the new bully in the NFC West, the Los Angeles Rams.

Under Carroll, the Seahawks have made the playoffs five straight years and six of his seven years in Seattle. They still can make the playoff this season but at 8-6 with two games left, Sunday at Dallas and the following week at home against Arizona, things must fall their way to achieve it.

First, Atlanta (9-5) must lose its last two games – at the New Orleans Saints this Sunday and at home the following week with Carolina. An Atlanta win in either game ends the playoffs for the Seahawks.

On top of Atlanta losing twice, the Seahawks must also have Detroit (8-6) and Dallas (8-6) lose one game each. A Seahawk win at Dallas takes care of part of that scenario. Detroit losing at home this Sunday against Cincinnati or the following week at Green Bay solves that problem for the Seahawks.

That is a lot of things to ask for the Seahawks to make the playoffs. But even if they do, how far can they do knowing they will have to play all their games on the road?

So it goes.

What went wrong this season for the Seahawks? Well, first Carroll believes that to win in the NFL you must have a well-established running game and a solid defense. He had that with Marshawn Lynch and the Legion of Boom, but Lynch is gone and the Legion of Boom has not been able to stay healthy. Cornerback Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor are both out for the season with injuries, and they were key LOBs.

Now stellar linebackers Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright have been either slowed by injury or been out. Both appear to be healthy enough to play this week, but Wagner (hamstring) was hampered last Sunday against the Rams and Wright was out with a concussion and the Rams ran roughshod over the Seahawks with Todd Gurley going for 152 rushing yards and four touchdowns even though he played just over two quarters, departing with the Rams ahead 40-0.

It’s strange that the Seahawks have not been able to replace Lynch with somebody that could give Carroll the second half of his football philosophy. Eddie Lacey has been a huge disappointment as has been Thomas Rawls, who looked like he could be Lynch’s replacement but has been often-injured and now has just disappeared for some weird reason. I don’t know the back story on Rawls, but there is something going on there.

  1. J. Prosise has the talent, but is injury-prone. He’s probably gone in the off-season. And how do you explain Mike Davis being on the practice squad and in a last resort being called up and performing pretty well? If Davis is this good, why was he on the practice squad?

Then there is J.D. McKissic, a little squirt at 194 pounds who has provided some relief because he’s pretty good as pass catcher. But still, of that group nobody has stood out and stood out long enough to have an impact.

So the question is why is it that the so-called good scouting and player evaluations of general manager John Schneider and Carroll have been so wrong on so many running backs?

They gave up on Alex Collins, who is having a good year with Baltimore, having rushed for 844 yards, which is 10th among running backs in the NFL. So what is up with that?

It’s possible that Collins is having a good year because he’s finally running behind a line that can block. The ineffective offensive line has been the problem all year with the Seahawks. Quarterback Russell Wilson has run for his life all season, and was sacked seven times against the Rams. When your QB is under attack like that you have little chance to execute a game plan because he is always making things up as he runs for his life. And Wilson has been good at that. He’s a high percentage of the Seahawks offense.

But you can’t have your quarterback running for his life every week and expect him to perform miracles and pull games out with his make-up plays. So as good as Wilson is, the offensive line problem has to be solved for this team to move forward in the near future.

As it is, the Seahawks are still in the playoff race, but only by the skin of their teeth. They have to be smarting from such an embarrassing defeat to the Rams and should be emotionally ready to perform at the high level we have come to expect from them when they play at Dallas. But they are playing a Dallas team that also has playoff plans and will have sensational running back Ezekiel Elliott back from a six-game suspension. If Gurley can gash the Seahawks like he did, what will Elliott do?

One more takeaway from the Seahawks is that they don’t really have a great receiving corps. Yeah, Doug Baldwin is good,  so is Paul Richardson, at least on occasion, but  there has been too many games lately where the defense has really shut off the Seahawk receivers. And part of that may be that Wilson doesn’t have time to find his guys or throw deep. But good receivers find a way to get open.

What seems imperative for the future is an overhaul of a team that is showing some age and needs to find salary camp by releasing from good players to get room to add some talented youth, especially at running back and a receiving corps.

Then it also had to build an offensive line that can save Wilson’s life and restack a defense that seems certain to lose some of the LOB, maybe even Sherman.

One final thought: Will Carroll return for another year? He is the oldest head coach in the league and will be 67 at the beginning of next season. Yes, he is in a good situation here with billionaire Paul Allen as owner, but at what point does his brand of coaching get old?

We’ll see.

On a different topic, what has happened to Bremerton High School boys basketball? Wow, I’m been around writing sports for almost 50 years and I have never seen scores like I have seen with Bremerton.

The Knights through their first eight games, all losses, have been outscored by an average of 35 points (69.5-34.5) and lost their opening game to Central Kitsap 74-15. Yes, 15 points. They were outscored 21-0 in the final quarter.

One coach said that the Knights don’t have any guards, any height and no one that can shoot.

How do you sink so low so fast? Coach Miah Davis was an incredible player when he played at Bremerton and for two seasons at Pacific and then played overseas before taking the coaching job at Bremerton.

Davis knows the game and has worked well with local kids with clinics, so that can’t be it. Maybe it’s just the normal high school cycle of athletes. Some years there is plenty of good talent and some years it’s lean.

It just is so unusual for a local boys high school team to not be able to put up a good fight. Hopefully, the Knights will fare much better as the season progresses.

That’s it for today. Have a great Christmas.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.