A look ahead
Pre-season looms and the regular season follows. It’s going to be an interesting 2013 season for the Seahawks to say the least.
I’ve gone through the schedule and there are 5 games that interest me the most in this year’s 16 game marathon.
Wins or losses in these games will ultimately decide the Seahawks post-season fate. Here is what to expect, or what not to expect, in the 5 key matchups of the year for the Hawks.
Week 1 @: Carolina
Alright, I can hear you screaming already. How can a game be a “key matchup” when it’s opening week? Two sets of two words… eastern time zone, and road game.
To put it bluntly, the Seahawks have been awful in road games in the eastern time zone over the past few years. This is an area where they need to improve this year.
A win in week 1 on the road in the eastern time zone should make a lot of sports writers shut up early about the “eastern time zone” factor.
This is going to be no easy win though as some guy named Cam Newton is their QB and he’s going to be looking to make a few statements of his own following a letdown 2nd year as an NFL‘er.
Seattle’s secondary lead by Richard Sherman should have no problem keeping track of the Carolina wide outs including the seemingly ageless Steve Smith.
Newton and company will most likely try the read option against Seattle’s new look D-line. This is the key game within the game.
If Seattle’s D-line can contain Newton, it’s going to be a long day for the Panthers.
Prediction: Seahawks win 24-10.
Week 5: @ Indianapolis
This game is going to be billed in the media as Russell Wilson vs. Andrew Luck. Why not? People are going to be looking for a shoot out between those two young guns and I expect exactly that.
Luck has the ability to pick apart a secondary, even the Legion of Boom, and make it look easy unless you are constantly in his face. Seattle’s host of new pass rushers are going to be put to the test in this one.
Will Chris Clemons play, and play effectively in this game? That is a huge question.
Prediction: With Matt Hasselbeck whispering in Luck’s ear, Indy edges Seattle, 35-31.
Week 8: @ St. Louis
Ok, don’t laugh. I am worried about this game.
If you still don’t think that Jeff Fisher has this St. Louis team headed in the right direction just ask 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh about that little tie game they had last year.
Sam Bradford is going to have continuity in his coaching staff for the first time in forever and this guy has game.
His game does not rely on a running attack, so once again, a Seattle defensive pass rush ability question enters into my brain. Can Seattle get to Bradford before he gets that pass off?
I don’t expect much out of the run game from St. Louis unless one of their three unproven runners in Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and rookie Zac Stacy can find a way to effectively replace the departed Steven Jackson.
Seahawks put down the Rams, 31-17.
Week 10: @ Atlanta
The rematch of the game that sent Seattle home, and gave Atlanta QB Matt Ryan 103 million reasons to celebrate, is going to be a definite can’t miss game.
What we did not fear in St. Louis 2 weeks earlier we now have to fear in Atlanta. Steven Jackson has been a nightmare for the Seahawks defense the past few years.
He’s older now and wearing different colors but this guys is dangerous. Teamed up with Jacquizz Rodgers, Jackson gives the Falcons a nice 1-2 punch out of the backfield.
If the Seahawks can contain that running game and force Matt Ryan to beat them on 3rd and long, I like their chances. Ultimately though the echoes of the 2012 playoffs will haunt the Seahawks.
Prediction: Seahawks lose 31-24.
Week 13: New Orleans
The only home game in my key 5, and it marks the return of the New Orleans Saints since the run that shook the world by none other than beasty, skittles lovin’ running back, Marshawn Lynch.
Not many teams have proven they can handle coming into the house of the 12th Man and play effectively but Sean Payton’s Saints have done it, lead by the guy that many compare Russell Wilson to, Drew Brees.
Brees is the X factor in this game. Yes, the saints have a good defense, decent wide outs, and an ok running game, but it’s Brees’s ability make things happen with an arm that make this team go.
Can the Seahawks contain that?
The pass rush is going to have to be dominate and consistent. The Legion of Boom is going to have to be on their game but this time it’s going to be New Orleans who comes away smiling.
Prediction: Seahawks lose in a shootout, 42-38.
My season prediction? 12-4 with the only other loss coming at San Francisco in week 14. Hang on tight folks. This is going to be a wild, wild ride this season!