Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Seahawks Gearing up for Downhill Run

11 days between Seahawks games is killing me.  If you take a peak at the remaining games on their schedule-- you'd have to assume that the players are, too.

First off, let's talk personnel. Seattle has brought back two former players that were, in each's own way, fan favorites.  Fullback Michael Robinson was beloved for his work on field as special teams captain and resident hole-opener for Marshawn Lynch but he's perhaps most loved for his all-access web series "The Real Rob Report".   Having Robinson back is going to bring tremendous, vocal leadership to the offensive unit.

Another reunited former teammate is wide receiver, Ricardo Lockette.  Fans and team staff alike have been enamored with Lockette's big-play speed but he just hasn't been reliable on the field.  Lockette was scooped up by the 49ers last offseason but was later released.  It sounds as though Lockette will be tucked away on the practice squad but it makes you wonder why Seattle would add another wide out to the roster with Percy Harvin due back any game now.  Could the Seahawks be planning a trade at the deadline?  Sidney Rice, I'm looking in your direction...

The Seahawks have continued to find ways to win games on the road and at home despite key injuries and the good news is that we're going to start seeing those guys return to the lineup.  Harvin is practicing and could be back as soon as the Monday Night game. Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini aren't far from returning and Pete Carroll has said Bobby Wagner is making a remarkable recovery from his high ankle sprain.

The best news is that we don't really need to rush anyone back. Not only has the team been tremendously resilient through the first part of the season, the second half of this season keeps getting softer.

Seattle's next game is this coming Monday on the road against division rival St. Louis.  Not only have the Rams failed to live up to their preseason 'Dark Horse' expectations-- they've now lost Sam Bradford for the season.  Without two of their best players of the past 5 years (Bradford and Steven Jackson, now with Atlanta) the Rams do not stand a chance.

After that, Seattle returns home to face the hapless Buccaneers.  It sounds like their star player, running back Doug Martin, is lost for the season.  He's certain to miss the game against Seattle, even if his year isn't over. The Bucs abruptly dismissed their quarterback and started the rookie Mike Glennon, who infamously replaced  Russell Wilson at NC State. Again, no chance for the Bucs to win this one.

The Seahawks then hit the road again for a game that I thought would be one of our toughest match ups before the season started. 7 games in, Seattle's return to Atlanta for a playoff rematch now seems like a prime opportunity for Seattle to get revenge on the team that ended their season last year.  The Falcons are 2-4 and have a pair of road games against physical defenses before getting the Seahawks to come to them. The Falcons have been extremely underwhelming this season and have themselves been hit pretty hard by the injury bug.

Following that game, the Seahawks should be 9-1 coming home to play a Vikings team with no idea who their quarterback might be for that game.  Adrian Peterson is always a nightmare for defenses, but as the Giants showed last night, even an awful defense can shut him down if there's no threat of a passing game. Minnesota was a better team when they came in to the CLink last year and they still lost-- this year will only be worse for them.

Seattle should be 10-1 entering their bye week gearing up for their final 5 regular season games. This is when things get difficult.  They come off the bye hosting the Saints, who could very well have the same record, for potential NFC supremacy on Monday Night Football. After that, it's right back to the road for Seattle's toughest challenge of the season, taking on the 49ers in their house.

After that, we should know right about where Seattle's playoff seeding will be.  They get to preview the stadium that will host their first Super Bowl victory against the Giants and then come home for the final two games of the season to beat up on the Rams and Cardinals.

Absolute worst case scenario, it feels like the Seahawks will finish 13-3, but to me, it feels a lot more like we could see this team 15-1 with home field advantage in the playoffs.

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