Sunday marks the final game of the 2014-15 NFL regular season and it might as well be a playoff game for the Seattle Seahawks if they want to play at CenturyLink Field during the postseason.
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A win against the St. Louis (6-9) would bring the NFC West title to Seattle for the seventh time in 11 years.
And, as long as the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions game doesn’t end in a draw, a Seahawks win will also clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC, a first round bye and homefield advantage in the postseason.
I don’t see the Seahawks losing this one, in front of their home crowd, with so much on the line.
Here are some predictions for the game:
1. Russell Wilson accounts for 300 all-purpose yards.
We’ve seen this season that there is very little Wilson can’t do and very few teams who have any clue how to stop him.
He posted more than 400 total yards all by himself the last time these teams met in October. The Seahawks lost that game, 28-26, but Wilson was unstoppable with his arm and his legs.
He has done much of the same the past few weeks, using the read-option set-up to perfection and succeeding even more knowing that defenses are spying on Marshawn Lynch.
The Rams limited Lynch to 53 yards the last time these teams played, putting a lot of focus into stopping him, but that could be counter-productive and open Wilson up to a big game, again.
2. Doug Baldwin leads Seahawks receivers with six catches, 95 yards.
Last week I thought Jermaine Kearse was going to be the one with a big game, but Angry Doug Baldwin proved me wrong and solidified his spot as the team’s No. 1 receiver once again.
He had his second 100+ yards receiving game on Sunday against the Cardinals. His first century-mark game of the season was against the Rams, where he caught seven passes for 123 and tied a season-high with 11 targets.
With Kearse listed as “out” for this Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, Baldwin is going to be Wilson’t go-to man again, and you better believe he is up to the challenge.
The team’s leading tacklers have paced the defensive dominance of the Seahawks in the past few weeks.
Mason had 85 yards on 18 carries in October’s game against the Seahawks, but I think Seattle is playing too well right now to allow another big game like that.
With Wagner and Wright in the middle of the defense, running the ball is going to be much easier said than done for the Rams.
4. Seahawks get called for fewer than 10 penalties.
Some would consider this a bold prediction, others would call me crazy.
OK, it really shouldn’t be that hard to ask the Seahawks not to get called for yellow tissue every time they run a play. Last week they were docked 11 times, the fourth time this season they have been called for more than 10 penalties.
Consider this: Seattle’s opponents have not been called for more than 10 penalties yet this season.
Seattle has only had one game with fewer than seven penalties.
Instead of blaming the referees, let’s just hope Pete Carroll has lit into his team about discipline. Seattle has been here before, playing for a division title, so inexperience is not an excuse.
Penalties make it hard to win games, so doing without them will make this a much less difficult win for Seattle.
5. Seahawks win, 24-10.
Everything is clicking for the Seahawks right now — the offense, the defense and the special… er, well not really the special teams (sorry Steven Hauschka).
Hauschka’s offense helped him out last week after he missed three field goals, but if he can find his groove again, then everything truly will be clicking for the Seahawks.
Seattle is hot right now and playing for everything. I don’t see them losing this one.