The Seahawks have played some bad teams so far, but now they’re in a tough 6-week stretch of their 2016 schedule.
The Seattle Seahawks are heading to Glendale this week to take on their rival, the Arizona Cardinals. This is a season altering game for Arizona, which makes it also important for the Seahawks.
Arizona (3-3) are already a 1.5 games behind Seattle (4-1). A Seahawks victory this week buries the Cardinals in the standings, making it extremely difficult for them to catch Seattle for the NFC West.
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On the flip side, a Cardinals win pulls them back to within a half-game in the standings. It would set up a battle for the division title that will likely persist throughout the season.
The Seahawks also are in a very tough stretch of their schedule. They’ve feasted on some bad teams thus far, but now they have to prove they’re ready to beat good teams.
While the Rams, Jets, and Dolphins are strong along the defensive line, they aren’t exactly good football teams. The 49ers are arguably the worst team in the NFL this season.
That is a recipe for a good start, and that is exactly what the Seahawks managed to do. Despite a flurry of injuries and a young offensive line that needed weeks to work out their issues, the Seahawks got off to the 3-1 start.
This is the point in the season when things start to get tougher. Last week’s game against Atlanta was a very tough and hard-fought win. The Seahawks were lucky the game was at home, or things might have ended quite differently.
Now they travel to Arizona to take on the resurgent Cardinals in prime time this week. After getting off to a very slow start, Arizona seems to have re-captured their mojo from last season.
The following week it is another road game, this time in New Orleans. The Saints shouldn’t be much of a threat, but those 10:am games can always be dicey.
After that comes a three week stretch of teams that have all looked like playoff contenders so far this season. That includes a trip to Foxboro against the Patriot.
That means the Seahawks have a stretch where 5 out of 6 games are against playoff contenders, with three of those games on the road. That is a really rough stretch no matter who you are.
If the Seahawks are going to continue to push for home field advantage in the playoffs, they likely need to finish this stretch no worse than 4-2. That would put them at 7-3 before the schedule eases up again.
Luckily, Seattle already took care of business against the Falcons last week. Now they need to do the same thing on the road against the Cardinals.
A win this week sets the Seahawks up nicely, not just in the NFC West, but as they compete for home field advantage in the playoffs.