NFC Divisional Playoff Looks To Be A Wild One
It’s full steam ahead for the Seattle Seahawks after an amazingly fortunate win in the NFC Wild Card game last week. There will be no extreme cold to deal with this week as the Seattle’s win propelled them to the divisional round where they’ll face the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks have to be hungry for a win over the Panthers for a variety reasons.
First and foremost a win advances the Hawks to the NFC Championship game. Revenge for the Panthers’ first victory over Seattle has to weigh into the equation, as well as just wanting to play a better game than they did in frigid Minneapolis last week.
Here’s what I’ll be watching for on Sunday as the Seahawks hope to advance in the NFL playoffs.
All signs say that Marshawn Lynch is going to be playing this week. This has to be welcome news to Seahawks fans. Beast Mode has been dealing with a hernia surgery recovery for what seems like forever. The lingering injury and long recovery has even led to speculation about Lynch’s mental health, effort, and integrity.
The idea that a guy like Lynch, who has never quit on a single rushing attempt let alone anything else, could somehow be quitting on his team because he didn’t want to play in the cold, isn’t mentally tough after his first ever surgery, or any other reason, is just ludicrous.
Show me the last thing Lynch has ever quit on. Show me his track record of quitting on anything. As soon as you provide that, then you can sing about how Lynch is a quitter or unmotivated. Until then, you’re just a fool shouting into the wind.
Lynch doesn’t quit. That’s the genesis of his nickname Beast Mode. It’s not in his character and seriously doubt it ever will be. Lynch is playing for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and he’s going to get 100 yards rushing before the day is over.
In Lynch’s absence Russell Wilson has proved that he can do the one thing on a football team that he had yet to prove to his doubters. Wilson proved he could be “the guy” and lead the team on his own, without a back like Lynch.
Make no mistake about it– the Seahawks are in the position they are today, playing the NFL playoffs because of what Wilson can and has done throwing the ball.
This should be a very scary revelation for the rest of the NFL.
If Lynch is running the ball like a healthy Beast Mode can, and Wilson is also capable of beating you entirely on his own, how do you defend that if you are Carolina? I’m really glad I don’t have to answer that question because I don’t think there is one. It can’t be done.
One thing you have to accept, even as a Seahawks fan, is that Cam Newton is playing at a higher level this season than he has ever before. Something has clicked in his mind. There’s a reason why he’s likely to be the MVP this year.
The Seahawks defense really did a remarkable job containing Newton and the rest of the Panther’s offense for almost a complete game. Of course we know the defense melted down in the 4th quarter giving victory to the Panthers.
The defense has to spy Newton. I look for them to do that, perhaps with Bobby Wagner. They can also take solace in the fact that they don’t have someone named Cary Williams playing in the secondary.
The key for the defense, however, will be for the Seahawks to do a much better job in coverage on Greg Olsen. He tortured the Seahawks secondary for much of the game during the week six match up. Kam Chancellor needs to use his previous performance as motivation to not let a repeat of it happen.
The Seahawks had never lost to the Panthers prior this season under Pete Carroll. I find it impossible to believe, with all of the momentum they have right now that they will somehow fall to the Panthers in back to back contests.
The Seahawks will win in resounding fashion in Carolina by a final score of, 33-13.