To the rest of the NFC:
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The Seattle Seahawks are back.
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In an impressive 19-3 victory, the Seattle Seahawks finally showed that they are returning to the form that they were in last season. As Pete Carroll put it, the Seahawks are back to “playing for each other.”
I wrote two weeks ago following an embarrassing loss to the Chiefs that the Seattle Seahawks were falling apart at exactly the wrong time. At that point, I was right.
The offense looked miserable. The defense looked porous. It was a team that I couldn’t see making the playoffs.
I don’t know how the Seahawks did it, but they’ve turned it around real quick.
Russell Wilson is turning into one of the league’s premier escape artists, avoiding several sacks and turning them into positive gains on Thursday. The Seattle Seahawks offense finally put together an excellent performance, outgaining the San Francisco 49ers 379 to 164.
Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor again proved their worth in a key divisional matchup as two of the leaders of the Seattle Seahawks’ defense held its opponent to only three points for the second consecutive week.
Even more significant is that the Seahawks forced three turnovers (two of the them Richard Sherman picks) and held the 49ers to below 200 yards of total offense. The Seahawks nearly had more penalty yards (105) than Colin Kaepernick had passing yards (121).
This was the best the Seahawks have played since their week three win over the Denver Broncos (who look a bit shaky themselves).
“I don’t know how the Seahawks did it, but they’ve turned it around real quick.” -Thomas Oide
The Seahawks enter the final four weeks of the season playing some of their best football. It can’t come at a better time. The Seahawks take on the Eagles, 49ers, Cardinals and Rams to finish the season. Although it isn’t the easiest schedule, every single game the Seahawks play is very winnable.
The Philadelphia game will be the X-factor. LeSean McCoy, with his healthy offensive line, is returning to his 2013 form and that should scare the Seahawks run defense. And — I can’t believe I’m saying this — Mark Sanchez actually looks like a starting quarterback. Chip Kelly has truly revived his career.
If the Seattle Seahawks can win that game in Philly, I think Seattle has an excellent chance to win out and take the division title.
The Arizona Cardinals take on the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta this week. That game, to me, is a trap game as Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense can explode at a moment’s notice. After that the Arizona Cardinals have to play Kansas City, another difficult game, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers.
With Drew Stanton as the quarterback, the Cardinals are a completely different team.
Although Carson Palmer has been far from a superstar, he is much farther along than Stanton. Bruce Arians says that the dropoff from Palmer to Stanton isn’t a huge margin, but I would say otherwise. Stanton’s lack of arm strength and his unwillingness to push the ball vertically lowers the Cardinals offensive ceiling greatly. To me, there’s a strong possibility that the Cardinals lose out, or at the very least go 1-4.
The 49ers, who seem to be out of the playoff picture after their loss to the Seahawks, take on the Raiders, Seahawks, Chargers, and Cardinals in the next four weeks. Expect the 49ers to go 3-1 in their next four games. Yes, that means I am picking them to beat the Cardinals at home.
If all goes right, the Seahawks will win the NFC West. Of course, I’m talking about sports here so everything I’ve predicted probably won’t happen.
But there’s a chance.
And, hopefully, that’s all the Seahawks need.