After a concerning 2-4 start, the Seattle Seahawks were finally able to come away with a stress-free win in Week 7.
The Seahawks dominated the rival San Francisco 49ers in every facet in a 20-3 win on Thursday Night Football. The 49ers have lost most of the team that met the Seahawks in the epic NFC Championship Game two seasons ago, but it was still refreshing to see Seattle take care of business after some shaky performances against lesser teams earlier in the year.
Seattle still has the talent to make a deep playoff run, as it was leading both the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter. However, blowing both of those games late has left the Seahawks with a lot of work to do to make the postseason.
The schedule gets a bit easier now, so the Seahawks are poised to make a run in the coming weeks.
Week 8 at Dallas Cowboys: Win
Seattle gets a couple of extra days to prepare for the reeling Cowboys and opens as a six-point favorite in what looks like a must-win game at this point.
With arguably the best offensive line in football, an improved defense and plenty of talent at the skill positions, Dallas had a place among the NFC favorites entering the season. However, early injuries to Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have left the Cowboys in a four-game tailspin.
There are some concerns for Seattle in this game, particularly Greg Hardy and the Dallas pass rush. Still, it’s hard to see Matt Cassel moving the ball on the Seahawks defense, even if Bryant is able to play.
Week 10 vs. Arizona Cardinals: Win
Following a bye week, the Seahawks will host the NFC West leading Cardinals in what very well could be the most hotly contested game left in the regular season.
Arizona is a tough team to figure at this point in the season. The Cardinals have put up some impressive numbers in their 5-2 start against some bad teams, while also losing a pair of games they probably shouldn’t have.
Still, Arizona doesn’t have any major weaknesses and will test the Seahawks on both sides of the ball. Seattle will be the best team the Cardinals will have faced to that point in the season and home field advantage should be enough for the Seahawks to come away with a narrow win.
Week 11 vs. San Francisco 49ers: Win
The Seahawks just dominated San Francisco on the road, so there’s little reason to think they shouldn’t win the matchup at CenturyLink Field. San Francisco will have to figure out a way to generate some offense against Seattle to have a chance, as Colin Kaepernick and the offensive line were terrible on Thursday.
Week 12 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Loss
Losing a top tier quarterback is usually a death sentence for teams, but the Steelers have managed to go 2-2 without Ben Roethlisberger and hang in the playoff race. Roethlisberger will almost certainly be back and at full speed by Week 12, which could mean trouble for the Seahawks.
The Steelers have yet to have a full game with both Le’Veon Bell and Roethlisberger, so they haven’t had much of a chance to show off their high-powered offense. However, with a number of weapons led by Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh will present a challenge to even the best defenses.
That could be a problem for a Seattle secondary that has had some issues this season. Unless the secondary, particularly Cary Williams, shows some improvement before Week 12, the Steelers offense might be too much.
Week 13 at Minnesota Vikings: Loss
The way the NFC playoff race is shaping up, the Seahawks will likely have to chase down the Vikings for the second wild card, barring an Arizona collapse. That means this difficult Week 13 road matchup will be absolutely crucial for both teams.
Minnesota was expected to challenge for a playoff spot this year before opening the season with an ugly loss in San Francisco. Week 1 is looking more and more like an aberration for both teams, as the Vikings have gone 4-1 with only a narrow road loss to the undefeated Denver Broncos.
The Vikings have a lot of talent and match up pretty well with the Seahawks. Teddy Bridgewater to Stefon Diggs looks like a lethal connection, while Minnesota’s defense could cause all sorts of trouble for the Seattle offense.
Week 14 at Baltimore Ravens: Win
The Ravens aren’t nearly as bad as their 1-6 start would indicate, as every game has been decided by eight points or less. Still, the Seahawks should be comfortable favorites in this game, even in a tough stadium to win in.
Baltimore has given up more splash plays of 15 yards or more than any other team in the NFL. Seattle thrives on such plays, and will hopefully be generating more by this point in the season with Tyler Lockett and a fully healthy Paul Richardson on the field at the same time.
Week 15 vs. Cleveland Browns: Win
The 2-5 Browns have yet to show much this season, and will be a heavy underdog when they travel to CenturyLink Field. Barring some significant injury, the Seahawks don’t have much of an excuse for not winning this game comfortably.
Cleveland has the worst rush defense in the NFL and was torched by Todd Gurley on Sunday. With Marshawn Lynch bouncing back to his normal form last Thursday and Thomas Rawls still showing promise, the Seahawks should put plenty of points on the board in this win.
Week 16 vs. St. Louis Rams: Win
Things are always tough for Seattle against the Rams, no matter the record of the two teams. This season, St. Louis may finally be reaching its full potential and will seriously test the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
St. Louis’ offense ran all over the Seahawks in Week 1 and has since added Gurley. Still, the Seahawks defense has improved since that point and should be able to force enough mistakes out of Nick Foles to win at home.
Lynch will need to be at his most effective, as Seattle’s offensive line has little chance against the Rams’ pass rush.
Week 17 at Arizona Cardinals: Loss
If both teams continue playing at their current level, its hard to see the Seahawks going into Arizona and winning. This game could decide the division, so an emotional crowd may be enough for the Cardinals to get an edge in another close divisional matchup.
That puts the Seahawks at 9-7, which probably won’t be good enough to make the playoffs. The Week 13 game against Minnesota could be the deciding factor in the race.
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