NFC West Power Rankings: Week Five

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3 – Seattle Seahawks, 2-3 (Last week: 3)

Oct 11, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) celebrates against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) in overtime at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated Seattle 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of a two-game winning streak to put them back at .500, the Seahawks locked horns (or talons) with the unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals. The Seahawks were in prime position to get back to a winning record, and knock the Bengals from their zero-loss record. Seattle entered the fourth quarter with a 24-7 lead, and seemingly had things in the bag.

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But the Bengals deviated from Seattle’s script, as they scored 17 unanswered points in the final quarter to tie the game. Dalton threw a touchdown pass, ran for another, and led the final drive that finished with a Mike Nugent field goal to tie things up as time expired. Nugent would end things in overtime with a 42-yard kick on the fourth drive of the extra period.

The Seahawks were missing their former All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch again, but his replacement, Thomas Rawls didn’t miss a beat. On 23 carries, Rawls racked up 169 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough.

The defense was picked apart by Dalton, who completed 30 of his 44 attempts for 331 yards and a pair of scores. In total, the defense allowed 419 yards, and while they sacked Dalton four times, they only forced one turnover, an interception in the second quarter.

Seattle’s defense, once the most vaunted in the NFL, has not inspired that same fear this season. Until they figure out how to get back to that level, it’ll be a struggle to keep pace in the division. With a tough matchup against the undefeated Carolina Panthers, who are coming off a bye week, that struggle seems likely to continue for at least another week.

Next: The Runner Up