No rest for the weary blogger this week! On this, the most gluttonous of holidays, I’m here to discuss what we, as Seahawks fans, can look forward to the rest of the way.
I have to remember. MUST keep fresh in my mind, the entirety of the Seahawks’ 2012 season. I can’t let the last two games – each won handily, at home, against inferior opponents – taint my overall perception.
For instance: is Russell Wilson truly improving as the season goes on? Or, does it just APPEAR that he’s getting better as the level of competition has dropped off since the 49ers game in Week 7? I haven’t the absolute foggiest. I guess we’ll find out in a couple weeks when this team goes to Soldier Field, but that’s me getting ahead of myself again.
Also, is this truly an elite defense? Or, does it just APPEAR elite against the bunglers of the NFL? There’s no denying that this defense can be exploited. There’s also no denying that this defense plays WAY too conservatively on the road. That’ll need to change, immediately, if we expect to get anything accomplished this season.
As I’ve written, I’m fairly high on our prospects for making the playoffs this season. That’s based half on our remaining schedule and half on what appears to be a good team getting better. So, let’s take a look at the final six games and see where we’ll be come January.
November 25th, 10am – @ Miami: No doubt about it, if this game were being played in Seattle, we would run away with it. As it stands, you could say that about most every game, so let’s make that the last time I use that sentence this season. With Miami, regardless of location, you’re talking about a team that should lose to these Seahawks. Their receivers are complete jokes. Their offense as a whole is pretty conservative. They’ve got a rookie quarterback who has seemingly hit a wall of sorts. Their offense as a whole is pretty lackluster. Probably the WORST thing the Seahawks could do in this game is, as insane as it sounds, generate too much pressure on Tannehill! We all saw what happened in the Houston/Jacksonville game. Houston knocks out the rookie, the veteran backup comes in, he throws for a billion yards and nearly leads his team to a shocking upset. Well, in Miami, they have Matt Moore. Matt Moore is far and away the better quarterback of the two on their team, and I think without a doubt would win this game for Miami if he were starting. So, Seahawks, generate just enough pressure to force Tannehill into some poor decisions, but not so much that you separate his shoulder. I see this game going the Seahawks’ way, but obviously not as easily as we’d like. Maybe something along the lines of 14-10.
December 2nd, 10am – @ Chicago: It’s December, it’s likely to be cold, it’s on the road, it’s at 10am, Jay Cutler will likely be back, they’ve got a very good defense, I just can’t imagine this game goes well for the good guys. Obviously, if everything breaks right, there’s an outside chance the Seahawks steal this one, but I’m not buying it. I think this game ranges from narrow defeat to blowout defeat. Maybe something like 27-13.
December 9th, 1:25pm – vs. Arizona: At this point, if we’re 7-5, we’re in great shape. Even if we’re 6-6, we’re not in TERRIBLE shape, but let’s not go there. We HAVE to be at least 7-5 for this game. This game, mind you, should be no contest. This is a walk-over if I’ve ever seen one. Their defense isn’t the worst, so they’ll probably hold us to a lot of field goals, but this is another game where our defense should keep them out of the endzone a la the New York Jets. I’m expecting something along the lines of 23-6 Seahawks.
December 16th, 1:05pm – @ Buffalo: Here’s a HUGE game, masquerading as No Big Deal. At this point, you figure we’re 8-5 and we’re two more wins away from the playoffs. That makes this game a Must Win. Because next week’s 49ers game is no day at the beach, and because there’s a slim possibility that even 10 wins won’t be enough for this team. I don’t think that’s likely; I think 10 wins is the magic number. Either way, Must Win.
Buffalo isn’t as bad as advertised. They’ve got a solid receiver in Stevie Johnson, they’ve got a solid tight end in that Scott Chandler guy, and they’ve got some real weapons in the backfield. This team runs well and it throws screen passes well. They can also threaten you deep. Ryan Fitzpatrick can either be amazing or amazingly awful. You can’t sleep on this team and think you’re going to win with partial effort.
The game is in Toronto, which I can’t imagine is some hotbed of Buffalo Bills fans, so in that sense it’s almost like a neutral field game. It’s also in the afternoon; tip of the cap to the scheduling gods.
I want to say this game is a slam dunk, but I just have a bad feeling. How often does an NFC team go 4-0 against the AFC in a season? I feel like this is another one of those Detroit type of games, where it’s high-scoring and Buffalo’s offense catches fire in the end. My brain tells me that the Seahawks should win this game, but my gut tells me I’m an idiot. 35-31 Buffalo, as the Seahawks get caught looking ahead to next week.
December 23rd, 1:25pm – vs. San Francisco: So, now we’re 8-6. And since obviously the Buffalo game wasn’t REALLY a Must Win, now we’re in the position where we have to win out. Winning out should still get us in the playoffs. Odds are, the 49ers won’t REALLY need to win this game to win the division, though I have to imagine they’d still be in the hunt for a #2 seed in the playoffs. Nevertheless, they could have every single thing wrapped up by this week and I still think they’d go hard after us. They don’t want to see the Seahawks in the playoffs any more than we want to see them in the playoffs. I think Jim Harbaugh would get a HUGE hard-on at the thought that they knocked us out of the post-season.
The problem with the 49ers is, in years past, we could always count on getting in the quarterback’s face with regularity. But, since they beefed up their offensive line, it’s always going to be a struggle. On the plus side, we’re at home, so the defense should be extra amped up for this one.
San Francisco is the best team we will have played all year at home. But, we’ve still played some pretty damn good teams. I still stand behind my statement that this Seahawks team will go 8-0 at home. I think we find a way, someway, to get the job done. Pete Carroll will get his Jim Harbaugh monkey off his back and we will be one more win away from the playoffs. Seattle 21, San Francisco 19.
December 30th, 1:25pm – vs. St. Louis: Utter destruction. The Rams will be playing for pride and nothing else. This Seahawks team will have a playoff berth on the line. We’re going to come out and knock them on their asses. Seahawks 33, St. Louis 10.
10-6 is PROBABLY on the horizon. Of course, things never go as planned, so take this post with the grain of salt it has earned. Any way you slice it, the rest of the season will be really exciting.