Seven games remain for the Seattle Seahawks to make their run in the NFC. They’re 5-4 on the year, and they’re coming off a solid ten-point victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Currently second place in the NFC West, the Seahawks can make a push toward the postseason with three divisional opponents left on their schedule.
These are the five ways they can leave their mark on the 2012 NFL season.
1. Expect Revenge
Going 0 for 3 in divisional play is not ideal, especially for a team trying to win their division as the Seahawks are. Fortunately, the Seahawks’ stellar 5-1 record outside the division has kept them in the race— they’re only one win behind the San Fransisco 49ers (6-2).
The 49ers, Rams, and Cardinals all took care of business against Seattle with victories of seven points or less.
The second time through will be a different story, as all three opponents will come to Seattle and leave with a loss.
2. Century Link Will Not Witness a Loss
Prediction No. 1 takes care of 75 percent of prediction No. 2, but it must be said that next week will yield a similar result.
The New York Jets are going to get stomped on by Seattle.
Expect déjà vu moments throughout Sunday’s game as the Jets attempt to run the ball—with some success as the Vikings had—but be let down by their abysmal passing game with Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow.
3. Marshawn Lynch Will Be a Top-3 NFL RB
He may not finish No. 1 in yards, but Beast Mode is in full effect. Averaging just under a hundred yards per game, this season has helped put Seahawks fans’ minds at ease over the new contract.
More often than not, running backs are not worth the big contract—we saw two exceptions on Sunday (Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch)—and Lynch will continue to reward the 12th man.
4. A Rookie of the Year Will Come From Seattle
Although I do not think it will be Russell Wilson who takes home the trophy with the numbers Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck are putting up this season, it may be difficult for voters to look past him if he leads his team to the postseason—especially if the Redskins and Colts fall short of the playoffs.
In reality, the Defensive Rookie of the Year will definitely be wearing Seahawks colors this season.
Linebacker Bobby Wagner is on pace for over 120 tackles this season, with 72 through nine games. Even with only two sacks, the Defensive Rookie of the Year does not need to be flashy, and his presence and on-the-field leadership could push him to the top.
If in fact, the voters do only look at the “flashy” stats, a teammate of Wagner’s may take votes away from him. LB Bruce Irvin only has 8 tackles, but five of them are QB sacks. If Bruce Irvin gets over 10 sacks, he might make a push for the award.
5. Seahawks will finish 11-5
This record projects a healthy 6-1 stretch to end the season, but a very late bye week and important games at home make this possible.
I see the one loss at Chicago. Russell Wilson is getting better, but that defense will teach him a few new lessons.
An 11-5 record will put the Seahawks in a very close race to win the NFC West. With the 49ers playing tough games against Chicago, at New Orleans and at New England, this could get interesting and include some fun tie-breaking scenarios to see who gets a home playoff game.