Seahawks play five 2016 playoff teams in 2017 plus improving teams
Seattle’s schedule looks somewhat easier than some other of last year’s playoff teams. This is mostly because they play six games against the NFC West. There are several games on the schedule, though, that if the Seahawks do not play near their best they could easily lose. Here is a pre-NFL Draft look at the three games that appear to be Seattle’s toughest.
Week One, Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI
I really did not want to start with this game. Week One is great but if a team loses the game there are 15 more to play. Still, the Packers and Seahawks are of the same ilk. Both teams are attempting to get back to championship quality. Both teams look like some other NFC teams (i.e. the Atlanta Falcons) may be passing them by.
The last half of the 2016 the Packers looked very good. The Seahawks during the same period looked like the end of a dynasty. This included being absolutely destroyed at Lambeau Field in Week 14 38-10. The Seahawks had not lost that badly since before Russell Wilson became Seattle’s quarterback.
Die legendäre Fail Mary! 😱😱😱
— NFL Deutschland (@NFLDeutschland) December 8, 2016
This year the first game of the year could be a litmus test for both teams. Will Seattle use Eddie Lacy a bunch in his return to Green Bay and will Lacy be successful? Will Aaron Rodgers find that whoever the corner is opposite Richard Sherman is not good? Losing something like the score they did last season against Green Bay could be a bad sign for Seattle. Win and Seattle can be right back to being a favorite to win the Super Bowl.
Week Three, Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN
The second road game of the year features Seattle playing a team that wants to win the way the Seahawks did in their Super Bowl runs. The Titans want to run the ball. They have a mobile quarterback. Defensively they are not nearly as good as Seattle is, but they are improving. The Titans can easily be a playoff team in 2017.
The issue here is that this game is a little like the film Carlito’s Way. The Titans are Benny Blanco from the Bronx. A younger version of the Seahawks’ Carlito. Tennessee is going to want to prove it belongs in a world of crime. Er…I mean, championship football. For Seattle to lose to Tennessee could show that a younger team and league has caught up to Seattle and will soon overcome them.
Week Eleven, Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink in Seattle
This is an important game for several reasons, of course. The Falcons defeated Seattle in the playoffs last year and seemed to be younger and faster. The game is on primetime television. Lastly, the game is in the middle of the season when playoff position still hangs in the balance.
There was also speculation that if Seattle had beaten the Arizona Cardinals late in 2016, they would have hosted the Falcons and stood a decent chance of winning. The game in Atlanta was one-sided. Was this due to no Earl Thomas? Playing in Atlanta? Or just that the Falcons are now a better team?
The Seahawks can answer all these questions by beating Atlanta. If they lose in primetime at home, the questions will become amplified.
Why no Dallas Cowboys game on this list? Because the game is the next-to-last game of the year. The Seahawks have won once in Week 16 in four years. Seattle has made the playoffs each of those years. Normally, Seattle is assured of being in the playoffs before Week 16. If they are not in 2017, something bad has happened.