For the Seahawks, three of those five games will be played at CenturyLink Field where they haven't lost since #3 took the reins. When the Saints come marching in next Monday night-- they'll be looking to leapfrog the NFC-leading Seahawks in the standings.
Seattle will do battle with two Wild Card threats, both division rivals, when they take on Arizona (at home) and San Francisco (on the road). With the Rams playing well in the absence of Sam Bradford and the Giants technically still in contention for the NFC East-- Seattle has its work cut out for them.
Don't forget-- Seattle has the best record in the NFL. The Seahawks are number one for a reason. They've repeatedly demonstrated that they can beat their opponents by any means necessary. But just as Seattle was beginning to gel and get everyone back from injury-- things went down.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Walter Thurmond is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. It wasn't a performance enhancing substance and Thurmond was appealing the ban but has since dropped the appeal in hopes of serving out his punishment in time to return for the playoffs.
Not long after that news made the rounds, Michael Silver reported that Brandon Browner is facing a one-year suspension for violating the league's P.E.D. policy, as well. Although Browner denied the allegations on Twitter, Silver reported that he's facing a year suspension and went as far as to say the Seahawks were ready to move on without him. Let's hold out hope that Browner is being sincere.
I'm not facing suspension for PEDs, it's sad that the NFL is reporting this...Silver also said that Seattle is in negotiations to bring back Antoine Winfield and mentioned that Marcus Trufant worked out for the team today. Perrish Cox may be brought back as well, but I'd like to see what we have in Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell, DeShawn Shead and Tharold Simon first.
— Brandon Browner (@bbrowner27) November 25, 2013
You might remember, it was right about this time last year when Seattle faced an eerily similar situation involving their secondary and suspensions. Seattle managed to hold it together with what they had left on the roster before their lack of pass rush put an end to their post season run.
Seattle is a more complete team this year and I don't expect these distractions to have any dramatic affect on the momentum they have going. If Winfield returns, it's gravy. If the allegations against Browner are true, then it might be the end of his time in Seattle. No matter what happens-- Seattle will overcome.