Well, they managed to beat the Rams (barely) by not having to face Aaron Donald and most of the offense. Then they shit the bed against the Panthers. Geno's decision making continues to be poor at times (2 bad INTs among other things) and the run defense after showing signs of competence against the Chargers and Giants has completely fallen apart. The Rams had 171 yards rushing (their season best) with a poor OL and mediocre at best RBs. Then the Panthers trounce them for 223 rushing yards, amazingly only their 2nd best effort to 232 yards against the Falcons. Panthers were 19th in rushing yards and 17th in YPC coming into the game and the Rams were in the bottom 3 in both categories. Seattle is 31st in rushing yards against and 28th in in YPC against. They are also 28th in passing yards against, but somehow only 16th in NY/A. They are also 5th in takeaways, so that helps, as well as tied for 10th in sacks, but 21st in overall pressure stats. The pass rush is non-existent most games.
I almost wish the Hawks would make the playoffs and win their first playoff game so they could face the Eagles and see how bad the run D really is. The record for team rushing yards in a game is 423 by the Giants in 1950 against the Colts. The Super Bowl era record is 407 by the Bengals in 2000 against the Broncos. I think the Eagles could get both of those in that potential game. The playoff record is 381 by the Bears in 1940 in the NFL Championship game 73-0 against the Redskins. The Super Bowl era record is 341 in 1995 by the Bills against the Dolphins.
This team has certainly exceeded my expectations, as I expected this to be a 4-5 win team. But it's clear there's a lot of work still to be done. The jury is still out on Clint Hurtt as a DC. They still have a lot of the same problems they had in previous years under Ken Norton Jr; bad run D, not really playing together cohesively, communication issues and coverage breakdowns. There's some decent talent here, but maybe they need to ship some of it out for players that fit together better.
It's frustrating to watch them lose games they had the potential of winning, against similar or worse teams (Panthers, Raiders, Falcons, Saints, Bucs). They did also have the benefit of a gift from Denver. But as long as they can make progress with the young players, they can continue to build for next year especially with potentially the #2 and #33 draft picks next year from Denver as well as their own picks (they have all of theirs except the 7th rounder they traded, plus they have a 5th from the Steelers for Ahkello Witherspoon). If they fluke into the playoffs, so be it.
The rest of the schedule is tough (vs. red-hot SF, @ KC, vs. Jets and vs. Rams - who always give them problems), so I expect a 5 game losing streak to end the year.