The Seattle Seahawks have one of the loudest stadiums in the nation located in the downtown of one of the nicest cities around. While they didn’t have the greatest start to the season, the Seahawks have made a recent run and they’re now fifth overall in the NFC. They’ve won three games in a row and most experts are calling for them to make the playoffs. Not really something you would have suspected in September!
At 7-5 in the NFC West (and second only to the nearly impossible-to-defeat Los Angeles Rams), the Seahawks currently hold the top NFC Wild Card spot. On Monday night, they face a tough Minnesota Vikings team, who just happen to be the other team with an NFC Wild Card in hand. So what do we think? Will the Seattle Seahawks make the playoffs and stand a chance to go even further? Could this wind up being a memorable season for fans in the Pacific Northwest? Here’s what we think…
It’s a numbers game
Look at all the other second place division teams. Aside from the Chargers (in the AFC) who are 9-3, the Seahawks have the best record out of all of them. With identical, somewhat dismal-looking records of 6-6, the other second-place teams like the Dolphins, Colts, Eagles, and Panthers aren’t faring so well. The Ravens (also in the AFC) are tied with the Seahawks at 7-5 and their other neck-and-neck opponents are the Vikings who sit at 6-5. All of a sudden, in comparison, Seattle doesn’t look so bad overall…
As CenturyLink Field is a notoriously tough place to play, the Seahawks and the 12th Man also have an advantage in the fact that their next three games out of four are at home.
But just coming out of the regular season with a good record and making the playoffs isn’t enough for quarterback Russell Wilson, who said, “We didn’t come here just to get through the season and just play good. We came here to be the best in the world by the end of it all. We have a long ways to go, but we believe that we can do that.”
They started off the season 0-2 when talks of a rebuild were popping up everywhere, but they’ve managed to turn it around. Now, the Seahawks control their destiny.
The team doesn’t look bad at all
Russell Wilson has been phenomenal as quarterback this season, so much so that he’s in the MVP conversation. Wilson has 24 touchdowns and just two interceptions in the last 10 games. But December is when Wilson really starts to shine. Only Tom Brady has more wins in December. Wilson also has the highest passer rating since 1970 at 103.3 right now. Did we mention he plays amazingly well at home in Seattle? Wilson’s overall record at home is 41-12 and he’s got only one interception at home this season. Since 2012, only Brady has won more home games.
In fact, the whole Seahawks offense is great. They’re leading the NFL in rushing the ball at 148 average yards per game. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett is a nearly perfect receiver and he’s only getting better as the weeks go on. He’s great at making big plays and he’s got 44 catches, 713 yards, and 9 touchdowns so far. And with Seattle’s three strong running backs – Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and Mike Davis – the only problem is knowing who to start.
Here’s one position you don’t talk about much – the punter. Rookie punter Michael Dickson has more than proven his worth as a draft pick and he helps out the sometimes struggling Seattle defense in a big way. He can also make creative plays like the fake punt he turned into a first down in their game against the Detroit Lions. Dickson is even the current Pro Bowl fan favorite for NFC punter.
No, the Seattle defense isn’t great. But they’re young, they’re getting better, and Bobby Wagner is leading them in the right direction to perform well in December. They’ve started getting hot in the red zone lately, stopping teams left and right. Mychal Kendricks returns this week too, making them deeper at linebacker.
The Seahawks’ decisive 43-16 over the 49ers (even though the 49ers are awful) showed us a team with playoff potential. Let’s see if they can keep it up next week.
Against the Vikings…
These two hold the NFC Wild Card spots right now. If the Seahawks clinch this one then they’ve nearly locked in a playoff appearance. The Wild Card is the only way in for the Seahawks since they have that epic 11-1 Rams team in their division. So you’d think that would provide Seattle with extra motivation to win this one. The Vikings, on the other hand, could still make it to the playoffs by winning their division… or as a Wild Card team.
The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a loss to the Patriots while the Seahawks are riding that three-game winning streak. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins needs to play a near-perfect game to win this one. He played terribly against the Patriots and he’s thrown four interceptions in his last two road games. They’re not looking disciplined on the road and they’ve also got some injuries.
More good news for the Seahawks is that the Vikings have been one of the worst rushing teams on the road this season and they’ve given up 130 yards against the rush in their last three games. If this continues and Seattle can control the ball on the ground, things are looking good for the Seahawks. Still, when you’ve got a young defense trying to cover star players like Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, it’s a little worrisome.
There is one thing though. The Seahawks are only a three-point favorite on Monday, which is basically nothing as a home team as far as Vegas is concerned. It doesn’t seem the oddsmakers have a ton of faith in the Seahawks. Basically, the only reason they think Seattle will win is because they’re playing in Seattle. Do they know something we don’t? Either way, brace for a close game on Monday.
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