Ladies and Gentleman, I have returned from my brief hiatus from 12th Man Rising. For the small-minority/no one that missed me: I’m touched. To the vast-majority/everyone that didn’t notice: Fair enough. Lastly, to anyone who thought I was gone forever and was jubilant: Sorry.
Now that the greetings are out of the way, down to business. The season is halfway done and the Seahawks sit at a respectable but uninspiring 4-4. This is probably within a game of what most of you expected. The good news in that the toughest part of the schedule is over. From here on out the Seahawks play five home games, including a chance to get revenge on all of their divisional opponents at the Clink.
Despite the fact they are almost never accurate I am a big fan of predictions and prognostications and I thought I would dust off my crystal ball and see if I can’t take a guess at how the rest of the Seahawks season might go. The best thing about making predictions halfway through the year is there is so much more information available. In that sense I should be twice as accurate as I would have been picking games at the beginning of the year. The fact that I’ve said that means I am doomed to make appalling predictions, but given that I tend to be a bit pessimistic in my picks, this is probably a good thing. Now, time to I will stop making excuses and start making predictions.
Week 9: Vikings at Seahawks
A week ago the Vikings were well on their way to becoming one of the stories of the season with a 5-2 record, a developing QB, and a star RB making a superhuman recovery. One week can make a big difference in this league. After being absolutely dismantled by the Bucs at home, a lot of luster has come off the Vikings season. My first instinct was to be concerned about the Vikings ability to stop the run but this year they have sat right in the middle of the pack giving up the 15th most rushing yards per game (107.6). I think the Seahawks will move the ball and despite the presence of Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin I think the Vikings will struggle to score points. The Seahawks defense has been lights out at home, and I see this talented unit bouncing back in a dramatic fashion after its first disappointing game of the year last week. Seahawks 27 Vikings 17
Week 10: Jets at Seahawks
I promise I’m not lazy there just is not a great deal to say here. The Jets are a mess. Whoever they start at quarterback will be absolutely eaten alive by the Seahawks defense. The Jets are allowing 141.4 yards on the ground per game, meaning that even in Cromartie and company can limit Russell Wilson the Seahawks will still get the yardage they need. I would be stunned if the Seahawks lost this game. Seahawks 24 Jets 9
Week 11: Bye
I invite you to insert your own joke about winning the bye here. No puns though. I hate puns.
Week 12: Seahawks at Dolphins
The Dolphins might be the most underrated team in the NFL this year. They sit with a 4-3 record, a healthy +24 point differential, and have won 3 in a row. There are two major issues the Seahawks face in this game. The first is a solid defense, particularly against the run (3rd in the league in terms of yardage). The advanced stats wizards at Footballoutsiders.com are saying the Dolphins have the 7th best defense in the league so far (we are 3rd). The second issue is the massive cross-country travel that sets Seattle up for a rough day. I just don’t see the Hawks scoring enough to win this game, despite the fact I’m sure the D will put up an admirable performance against a less-than-elite offense. Dolphins 21 Seahawks 13
Week 13: Seahawks at Bears
This game absolutely terrifies me. I know that the Seahawks have had some success in the Windy City recently (not in the playoffs mind you) but this game might be the toughest on the whole schedule. While Jay Cutler could implode and hand a game to a quality defense like the Seahawks at any time, I don’t see that happening here. The Bears sport the #1 defense in the league by standard and advanced measures alike, and are likely salivating at the idea of having a go at a rookie QB like Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ best chance is for a snowy December day where the team with the best ground game prevails. Even so, it’s not as if the Bears aren’t built to play those kinds of game. Unfortunately I have to chalk up a win for Da Bears. Bears 27 Seahawks 10
Week 14: Cardinals at Seahawks
The Cardinals seem be hitting a real tailspin at the moment and here’s hoping that continues, well, permanently. I would settle for the Cards to still be struggling by the time this divisional matchup comes around. The Cardinals are a far better home team than road team and we almost had them in their house. I see no reason why the Seahawks won’t be able to handle them at home. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Seahawks do a little damage here and win handily, maybe with the help of a big defensive touchdown. Nothing too scientific, just a feeling. Seahawks: 31 Cardinals: 16
Week 15: Seahawks at Bills (in Toronto)
Firstly, on a personal note, I will mention that having the Seahawks play in my home town is a dream come true. Not a dream many Torontonians share, but a dream of mine. With any luck I will be attending this game, as the games in Toronto don’t really sell out as they were expected to. I will say, having been to these games before, the crowd is very mixed and there is little to no home field advantage for the Bills. That’s one piece of good news. The other is that the Bills defense is beyond atrocious. Expect Marshawn Lynch to dominate his old team while Fred Jackson and C.J Spiller struggle against the Hawks’ tough D. I’m a bit reticent to predict a blowout on the road but I’m hoping my presence will put the team over the top for a big win. Seahawks 34 Bills 17
Week 16: 49ers at Seahawks
I think the entire season will come down to this game. If they lose this game they will have 0 hope of winning the division (a hope that is already slim given their divisional record) and according to the above predictions they would reach the 7 loss mark that could well put them out of wildcard contention. I would love to boldly call a win for the Seahawks here but the 49ers are a truly elite team and our Seahawks are not. I think that’s what it will come down to. Through 8 games the 49ers point differential sits at +86 while ours is +6. This means they are outscoring their opponents by almost 11 points per week. Although it breaks my heard to say this, I think this game proves the 49ers to be the class of the division. For now. 49ers 21 Seahawks 20
Week 17: Rams at Seahawks
Much like with the Cardinals, I think the Seahawks get their revenge here. The Rams are not as good as the Seahawks, despite having Jeff Fisher, the most mysteriously and universally praised coach I can think of. The Rams are winless on the road so far and their already unimpressive record (3-5) has been inflated by having five home games to start the season. I am not a big Sam Bradford fan and can easily envision him getting overwhelmed by this Seahawks defense. Even the Rams pass defense, which looked promising early in the year, got absolutely eviscerated by Tom Brady last week and I can’t really find a particular strength on this team. Seahawks 24 Rams 10
I have the Seahawks ending the year a 9-7 which could put them in line for a second wild card but it’s hard to say. The 49ers are fairly certain to win this division barring massive injury problems or a major slip up, but the Seahawks could flip the script by winning in Week 16. The Seahawks have put themselves in a position where the playoffs are possible, but it’s a difficult road. This is the best squad Pete Carroll has put together so far, but they might just be a year away from making some noise in the NFC.