I’m torn this week. On the one hand, I feel committed to this bit I started where I’m picking against the Seahawks until they prove to me they’re capable of actually winning a football game. On the other hand, the Seahawks are at home, and I feel like they actually match up pretty well against the Cowboys this Sunday.
There’s a lot of toxicity around the Seahawks and their fanbase this week after a pretty embarrassing road defeat to the Bears on Monday Night. We’re not used to this. Not since Russell Wilson joined the team, anyway. The Seahawks have been consistent winners! This is uncharted territory, albeit probably not totally unexpected given all of our pre-season reservations. 8-8 teams lose on the road to other 8-8 teams. By the same token, they usually win at home against other 8-8 teams. Dallas is an 8-8 type team.
But, I’ve gotta say, if I pick the Seahawks and they lose, I’ll be FURIOUS with myself for going against my stated pledge!
Make no mistake, while I’ve picked against the Seahawks in the first two weeks, I was absolutely rooting for them. It’s one of those no-lose situations where either my pick comes through, or it doesn’t but my team is happy. But, at some point, you gotta stop riding the fence, you know? Either you hop on the bandwagon or you run away screaming; but just walking beside the bandwagon isn’t a viable long-term solution.
The Reasons Why The Cowboys Will Win On Sunday
Because even with the likes of Bobby Wagner and Tre Flowers back in the fold, this defense isn’t anything special. The Cowboys might not dominate with their rushing attack, but they’ll be able to do a little bit; the Seahawks won’t totally shut Zeke down. They’ll be the more disciplined team – avoiding offensive penalties that put them behind the chains – and Dak is fully capable of dinking and dunking his way down the field.
Furthermore, there won’t be enough big plays to keep the 12th Man in it. The 12th Man just isn’t as formidable as they once were. Sure, it’ll be loud to start the game – it is the Seahawks’ home opener after all – but that’ll dissipate as the Cowboys rack up the first downs and move the ball at will. By the second half, I’m sure Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be wondering where all that vaunted crowd noise went.
And, let’s face it, the Seahawks’ weapons just aren’t there to help out Russell. With no Doug, we’re over-dependant upon guys trying to get open, and those guys just aren’t up to the task. With Wilson holding the ball longer and longer, that gives ANY defensive line – even one that’s as mediocre as the one I’m assuming Dallas has – time to get home. The book is out: nothing fancy, just constrict the pocket, wall Wilson in, and wait for him to make a mistake. As long as you don’t let Wilson escape – and as long as the Seahawks’ coaching staff is willfully preventing any movement of the pocket – then it’s only a matter of time before we run into a sack, a fumble, or a penalty.
Speaking of the coaching staff, their unwillingness to stick to the running game – and stick to a specific running back (COUGH COUGH CHRIS CARSON) within that running game – is sinking this season. I don’t expect anything here to change. Penny is still going to get his shots; he’s going to continue looking just okay (but far from a first round talent). Carson is going to look amazing, but left on the bench for long, unforgivable stretches. C.J. Prosise is going to be healthy, but never in there when he’s most valuable (in 3rd downs and 2-minute offenses). And, most importantly, the team is going to continue to slow down the pace of the offense, making it so it takes an entire half of football or more before Wilson gets comfortable and in the flow of the game.
It’s the same garbage fucking offense we had under Bevell, with a fresh coat of stupid slapped on there by way of Brian Schottenheimer’s play-calling (or Pete Carroll’s hormonal instincts, take your pick, depending on what you believe is actually going on).
The Reasons Why The Seahawks Will Win On Sunday
For what it’s worth, this is probably closer to what I actually believe, so spoiler alert.
This was never going to be an overnight fix. What am I talking about? Well, take your pick.
The offensive line was always going to need time to gel. D.J. Fluker might be back this week, though it now looks like Britt is going to miss some time. I think, in the grand scheme of things, it’s more important to gain Fluker’s mass than it is losing Britt’s … whatever he brought to the table. Leadership, I guess. I just think any sap can be a center. The quarterback can always assist in line reads and pointing out blitzes and whatnot. From strictly a talent standpoint, I don’t think there will be much of a difference between Hunt and Britt. The dropoff from Fluker to Sweezy is much more significant, so getting our starter back would be HUGE.
Even though I don’t think the running back rotation will be any different, I think as time goes on, this O-Line will continue to improve. Furthermore, the coaches have had 2 weeks to figure out what’s working and what’s not. I HAVE to believe they’re going to work some fixes into the offensive play-calling to get this thing going. It won’t be perfect, but it should be significantly better than it was the first two weeks. Being in our temperate climate, without the significant crowd noise we had to endure on the road, should only assist in making sure plays are called timely and correctly.
As always, it’s going to be entirely dependant upon the offense to win this game. I think the defense will be fine. Sometimes, the Cowboys will drive the ball with ease; sometimes we’ll be able to stop them. They’ll probably score in the low-to-mid 20’s; so it’s a matter of the Seahawks scoring in the mid-to-high 20’s to win it.
I think we can do that, because I don’t think the Cowboys are nearly as formidable in their pass rush as the Bears or Broncos. If I had to point to one reason why the Seahawks will win this game, it’s that the Cowboys don’t have a Von Miller or a Khalil Mack. That’s it! That’s good for probably a Seahawks win by 3 points.
Where it could all go haywire is: what if it doesn’t matter?
What if the Cowboys are just sort of average as a pass rushing unit, but they get home and make Russell Wilson’s life miserable anyway? I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m dreading next week if that’s the case. The last thing I need in my life is more consternation about Wilson and the offensive line.
Anyway, I’m picking the Seahawks, but I’m not thrilled about it. In fact, an overwhelming sense of dread and panic just set in as I typed out those words. Visions of Wilson crawling around on the turf trying to collect the football he just had ripped out of his hands, combined with various Cowboys slicing and dicing through our Swiss cheese defense.
I CAN’T DO IT! I’m picking the Cowboys. As I’m usually wrong about most things, what’s really going to happen isn’t a 27-24 Seahawks victory, or a 24-16 Cowboys victory, but probably a 38-13 Cowboys victory, where the whole city just melts down. Wilson will have multiple turnovers, Janikowski will miss a field goal and an extra point, the defense will give up a bevy of long plays, Elliott will run for 170 yards, and our punter will dislocate a shoulder trying to make a tackle.
Just the worst case scenario, all across the board. And the calls to blow the whole thing up will only intensify.