With the NFL pre-season underway, I thought I would take a peek at the regular season schedule and check for 6 critical games for the Seahawks.
Week 2 – at LA Rams
No matter what record the Rams have, they always seem to give the Seahawks fits. This will be the home opener for the Rams at the Memorial Coliseum. Rams last played in LA in 1994 so you know they are going to be hyped up. Jeff Fisher always has a trick or two up his sleeve so Hawks need to be prepared for that. I think a heavy does of Christian Michael and Thomas Rawls will be on the menu as well as some play-action fakes to keep the Ram defense honest. As always, the game will be close and a win here is critical for both teams.
Week 3 – San Francisco 49’rs
I do believe the rivalry will be re-ignited with the presence of Chip Kelly, the new head coach for San Francisco. And I really hope the Seahawks just pound the living snot out of the 49’rs to wipe that condescending and smarmy expression off Kelly’s face. San Fran isn’t much of a threat to the Hawks but they still need to remain wary. Pretty sure (about 90% sure) this will be a win for the home team.
Week 7 – at Arizona Cardinals
A lot of mutual respect between the Hawks and the Cards. Good, hard-nosed football between 2 innovative coaches who put faith in the players to perform rather than a system. Toss up as to who will win but it won’t be by more than a field goal. Depending on the standings, this could decide the NFC West despite having eight games left in the season.
Week 10 – at New England
Seahawks need to control their emotions because if they use revenge as a motive to try and beat New England, that’s just what Bill Belichick wants them to do. Master of mind games, he will use that motivation to force the Hawks into mistakes. Hawks defensive line needs to pressure Brady as much as they can and the secondary must have an exceptional game covering those pesky receivers that Brady throws too underneath. They need to make Brady throw before he wants to. They may get one or two sacks but if they can pressure him, they can force him to make bad throws. I, as much as any Seahawk fan, would love if the Hawks can steal a victory here but they have to play smart and not get caught up in getting revenge for them stealing a Super Bowl from us.
Week 13 – Carolina Panthers
You don’t think the Seahawks watched Super Bowl 50 and took notice what the Broncos did to make Newton pout like a baby? Look for Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril to pressure and contain Newton as well as Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel to come up the gut and get in his face. I also see Frank Clark being a difference maker as he has the speed and strength to deal with Newton if he tries to take off and run. It will come down to defense vs. defense and a last second field goal.
Week 17 – at San Francisco
One can only hope the Seahawks have secured their playoff spot by the time they get to San Francisco because you know darn well that Chip Kelly will want to end the season with a win over a division rival. Regardless of where the Hawks are at by the end of the season, a sweep over the 49’rs is always sweet (it was sweetest when Harbaugh was there, right?) and would put a nice finish to the regular season.
Looking forward to hearing a lot of fireworks going off after every game. The 12’s are some of the greatest fans in the NFL.