The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the leagues most dominant teams ever since Russell Wilson took his first snap back in 2012. We all recognize the major issues with this team which are predominantly the injuries in the secondary and the transparent offensive line that has Russell Wilson scrambling for his life every play. As a result of this, two weeks ago Seattle was a home underdog for the first time in over three years. The Falcons were a one-point favorite at CenturyLink Field and beat the Hawks 34 – 31 covering the spread.
The Seahawks return home this Sunday as underdogs again, this time against the team with the leagues best record at (10 – 1). The Philadelphia Eagles are six-point favorites on the road in the Northwest and despite the deficiencies on Seattle’s roster, this spread is alarming for the immediate future of the reigning NFC West champs.
The NFL’s version of the “Home of the 12th Man” doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of their opponents anymore. Yes, it’s one of the loudest stadiums in football and a tough place to get a victory. Or at least it used to be as these aren’t your big brother’s Seahawks anymore! Seattle is only 3 – 2 at home this season whereas in past years they couldn’t be beaten on their worst day.
The main reason that the Eagles are so heavily favored is that the “Legion of Boom” has exploded. No more Richard Sherman or Kam Chancellor to go along with an often injured Earl Thomas, basically means if the front seven doesn’t apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks, the Hawks can’t win. That especially applies to the match-up Sunday night as the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the best passing teams in the NFL.
The second and third string cornerbacks for the Seahawks will have to deal with Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz and others who contribute on a weekly basis. Not to mention Philly’s new three-headed monster in the backfield with Blount, Ajayi, and rookie Corey Clement. The Eagles simply have too many weapons that the Seahawks can’t defend. We can expect an aerial assault in the dark of night off the Pacific coast.
Russell Wilson can only do so much to give his team a chance to win and he’s miraculous at times. But he’s taking a beating from the guys in different colored jerseys and if he goes down then it’s like us New Yorkers say “Fuhgettaboutit!” The odd thing is that Seattle has a few pretty good play-makers on offense. It appears offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has forgotten how to call successful plays. Doug Baldwin is and has been Wilson’s go-to clutch wide receiver. Baldwin has been a top 10 wideout in the NFL for the past four or five seasons and he needs to get the ball more!
Jimmy Graham started slowly in his new home but he’s become much more effective in the passing game this season as he and Wilson have finally developed that much-needed rapport. Even Paul Richardson has proven to be a reliable number two receiver. The rest of the offensive skill players are very young and new to the team and it shows on the field. About half of the Seahawks play-calls get broken down forcing Wilson to make plays with his feet and find an open receiver downfield. So it appears the Seahawks problem is more about play calling, execution, and maturity from these young men who had to learn the playbook quickly.
Even though Seattle is 7 – 4 and sitting right on the bubble of a wild card spot, I’m not sure they’ll hold on and make a run at the playoffs. They have a tough road ahead starting with the Eagles this Sunday, then flying across the country to take on the Jaguars. Week 15 will likely be the most important match-up against the division-leading Los Angeles Rams who they beat earlier this season in L.A. If they can take down the Rams high powered offense at home they may even have a shot at the NFC West division again. Easier said than done. They close out the regular season at Dallas who will have Ezekiel Elliott back by that time and finish up Week 17 at “The Link” against division rival Arizona Cardinals. Ten wins may get you in! I doubt nine will be fine.
I believe the Seahawks will be 7 – 5 after Sunday night as I’m picking the Eagles in this contest due to the simple fact that Philly throws the ball all over the field and Seattle can’t even cover half of it. Then again never count out Russell Wilson in the fourth quarter at home! Like I said, he can be miraculous and leave you wondering how in the world did Wilson make that play. It may take divine intervention because not only are the Eagles a top tier offense, but their defense is tough and nasty. They have playmakers at every level on defense causing turnovers and three & outs on the majority of possessions. Let’s see if Seattle can regain that pedigree they so rightfully earned during this decade. I won’t be shocked if the Seahawks pull out a must-win game at home. They’re capable of doing so but I’ll take depth over desire any given Sunday! Prediction: Eagles 28 – Seahawks 21
Vikings 23 – Falcons 20
Titans 30 – Texans 13
Jets 19 – Chiefs 17
Broncos 20 – Dolphins 17
Jaguars 24 – Colts 10
Packers 27 – Bucs 24
Lions 20 – Ravens 13
Patriots 33 – Bills 21
49ers 23 – Bears 16
Chargers 34 – Browns 16
Raiders 27 – Giants 6
Panthers 35 – Saints 31
Rams 24 – Cardinals 11
Eagles 28 – Seahawks 21
Steelers 23 – Bengals 20