The Seahawks have a daunting task this week to stop Patrick Mahomes and the high-flying Chiefs. Seattle comes into this game losing four of their last five games and will be without star wide receiver Tyler Lockett. After an amazing 6-3 start, the Seahawks have been brought back to earth this past month and will likely need to win out or get some help to make the playoffs.
An upset over the Chiefs would be just the spark the Seahawks are looking for to turn their season around. With the Chiefs’ struggles in recent weeks, there is a chance Seattle could give 12s an early Christmas present. Here are three keys for a Seahawks Christmas miracle.
1. Seahawks must win the turnover battle
The Chiefs’ biggest problem this year has been their tendency to fail to take care of the football. They are -6 in turnover ratio this season, with 11 INT and 10 lost fumbles on the year for a total of 21 giveaways, tied for fourth worst in the league. The Seahawks are not much better though as they have given the ball away 20 times this season which is the seventh-worst giveaway margin in the league. They have taken the ball away 21 times from their opponents for a +1 turnover ratio which is 13th in the league. For the Seahawks to win they are going to need to take care of the football and force lots of turnovers.
2. Seahawks must force the Chiefs to throw the ball
This may sound crazy, but the more the Chiefs throw the ball this week the better for the Seahawks. Seattle is better against the pass than they are versus the run, they rank 17th against the pass and 31st against the run. The biggest concern will be stopping Travis Kelce but given how the Chiefs use him more as a third WR rather than in a big package, the Seahawks DBs could have more chances to cover him than the LBs.
Mahomes has put up amazing numbers this season with 4,496 yards passing and 35 TD (both first in the league). But he also has 11 INT (tied for third-most in the league). This means he can get wild with the football despite his outstanding passing statistics.
3. Seahawks offense scores with a balanced attack
The Seahawks have been too pass-happy lately given injuries to RBs DeeJay Dallas and Kenneth Walker III. However, that needs to change this week if they are going to beat the Chiefs. They need to score early and take the lead, then move the chains with ball control.
Also, the Seahawks are without Tyler Lockett due to a wrist injury which means other playmakers will need to step up on offense. The Chiefs‘ secondary is young, inexperienced, and the weakest unit on their team. Seattle will need to keep the pressure off Geno, so he can exploit the Chiefs’ secondary, as Kansas City boasts the fourth-best pass rush in the league. This is why it will be crucial for Seattle to neutralize the Chiefs’ pass rush with a good run game.
The Seahawks are big underdogs going into this game against the Chiefs in Week 16 (the Chiefs’ are currently favored by 10 points). This means it would take a miracle for Seattle to find a way to win this one. If Seattle can find a way to win though, it would do wonders for their playoff chances. Executing these three keys to victory will be critical for them to pull off a shocker. Come on Seattle, the time is now to spark a late-season rally!