SEATTLE — The young Los Angeles Rams toyed with the aging, injured Seattle Seahawks while handing Seahawks coach Pete Carroll the most lopsided defeat of his eight-year tenure. The Rams’ 42-7 victory at CenturyLink Field felt like an NFC West power transfer.
The fallout for Seattle could be extensive, especially if the 8-6 Seahawks fail to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2011, Carroll’s second as head coach.
It’s why Seattle ranks No. 1 on my list of most intriguing teams in line for offseason overhauls. These teams aren’t rebuilding the way the Cleveland Browns are rebuilding. They have been competitive this season (or recently), and all six carried high expectations into 2017. Each is now arriving at a crossroads, and how these teams finish could determine which direction they head from here.

1. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks’ loss Sunday all but assures that 2017 will mark the second time in three seasons that a team other than Seattle will win the NFC West. Arizona won it in 2015, and the Rams will almost surely win the current race. The odds are now stacked against Seattle even reaching the playoffs — not good for a team that went all-in to maximize its championship window by trading prime draft choices for defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and tackle Duane Brown.

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