Seahawks 5 easiest games in 2016
By Dan Viens
Last week we looked at the 5 toughest games on the Seahawks schedule. This week, we flesh out the 5 that should give them the least resistance.
In 2015, the NFL schedule makers did the Seattle Seahawks no favors. In fact, there were those who felt it was an intentional challenge added to the team’s plate to try and even out the playing field; a difficult hand dealt by a league that doesn’t like dynasties.
There were the two straight tough road games to open the season, followed by a run of games against teams who seemingly every week were coming at the Hawks from a position of strength; either coming off a bye week or a comfortable stretch at home.
This year’s schedule not only looks more favorable and balanced at first glance, but offers Seattle an opportunity to do something it didn’t accomplish last year…….get off to a good start.
So here’s one view of what appear to be the Seahawks 5 easiest games in 2016:
Week #1: Miami Dolphins @ CenturyLink Field – Sunday, Sept. 11th
RIght out of the gate the Seahawks get a gift. While the Dolphins do have talent on both sides of the ball, there are a number of reasons this matchup plays into the Seahawks favor:
- It’ll be the first game under new head coach Adam Gase. This means new system, new reads for Ryan Tannehill, new players in new positions. Not an ideal place for a “soft landing” after a regime change.
- First time out of the gate for Seattle’s new-and-improved defense. Not only will this year’s squad be on more solid footing than the starting 11 who faced St. Louis in the opener last year (Jeremy Lane over Cary Williams is a huge upgrade at CB) but there are scheme changes Pete Carroll has hinted at this off season. Most notable, in how the Hawks go about matching up in the passing game and particularly in how they cover tight ends. The Dolphins won’t have much tape to try and prepare for this.
- Tannehill himself. This is a make-or-break year for him, and he’ll be under a lot of pressure to perform. I’m sure he would prefer a better way to kicking off 2016 than facing Seattle’s defense on the road.
Next: The new-look 49ers