Breaking Down the Road to NFL Playoffs for the Seattle Seahawks
After going on a nice stretch of two wins before their bye week, the Seahawks look poised to make a run for the playoffs.
This is the second time I've written this kind of article. I'm on a hot streak after going 4-0 since my last picks. If I can continue to get my picks right, the Seahawks will continue their spectacular season.
Here is a look at the rest of the season, with predictions for the Seattle Seahawks as they look to go to the playoffs where anything is possible.
Look at http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1368008-updated-game-by-game-outlook-for-the-seattle-seahawks for previous picks.
Week 12: Seahawks at Dolphins
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Seahawks: 17, Dolphins: 13
Playing a team that the Seahawks haven't faced since 2009, they come in fresh off of a bye and are ready to get their seventh win. But the Dolphins don't give in easily. A tough game comes down to a Dolphins drive with a four-point deficit and time running down. But a fourth-down drop by Brian Hartline adds to the late-game woes that plagued the Dolphins earlier in the year.
Both running backs manage the game, with each getting over 100 yards. Neither team has any notable stats, as a hard-nosed game goes back and forth, with Leon Washington's solid returns becoming key in the field position game. A big Seahawks win gets them to 7-4 with a playoff spot in sight.
Week 13: Seahawks at Bears
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Seahawks: 7, Bears: 27
The Seahawks' three-game winning streak comes to a screeching halt as the Bears show why they are on track to win the NFC North. The Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall connection comes alive as they combine for 13 completions for 154 yards. Forte adds to the mix with 92 yards and a touchdown as everything goes right for the Bears.
Wilson plays shaky and doesn't take any shots down field, even when they fall behind. Lynch has an average game with 81 yards and 32 receiving yards. The defense plays slow and doesn't make the plays were used to from them. The 7-5 record hurts the Seahawks' chances, but the playoff hopes are still alive and well with a decent schedule left.
Week 14: Cardinals at Seahawks
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Arizona: 7, Seahawks: 16
A rematch of the first game of the season, this divisional game has playoff implications as the Seahawks and the struggling Cardinals square off in hostile Century Link field for an epic showdown. Arizona never really gets anything going with Kevin Kolb and John Skeleton struggling in a time-share for the entire game, taking Larry Fitzgerald completely out of the game.
Seattle gets a great run game, with Lynch getting 103 first-half yards before leaving at halftime with back spasms. But Turbin picks up where Lynch left off with 107 yards of his own, including a 33-yard touchdown scamper. As the Seahawks move to 8-5, the playoffs are clearly in sight.
Week 15: Seahawks at Bills
Yes, that is Marshawn Lynch!
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Seahawks 9, Bills 6
And the award for the most boring game of the year goes to...Seahawks at Bills! Every year the Seahawks have one of these games. But regardless of how little excitement this game has, a win is a win. Marshawn Lynch doesn't make too big a splash in his return to Buffalo for the first time since he left. No noticeable stats, though, so I'll keep this short. Defense plays great, Steve Hauschka does his job and hits three field goals including a career-high 55-yarder, and the Seahawks move to 9-5. And with several tie-breakers over key wild-card hopefuls, the Hawks go from a few wins away from the playoffs to a chance for the division in a showdown with the 9-4-1 San Francisco 49ers, who are coming off a loss to the Patriots.
Week 16: 49ers at Seahawks
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49ers: 14, Seahawks: 17 in overtime
In possibly the best game of the year, the Seahawks need extra time to take down the 49ers in Seattle as the Seahawks take control of their destiny in the division while moving to a whopping 7-0 at home. Alex Smith has decent game, but Richard Sherman's interception on the 49ers' first play of overtime clinches the game, and more importantly, control of their chances to win the division.
Seattle's win puts them in position for the 3-seed, and even the 2-seed with a little help from the Bears. Although it is very unlikely, Seattle could possibly get a home stand all the way to the conference championship. A win at home against the Rams is first on the agenda, though.
Week 17: Rams at Seahawks
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Rams: 13, Seahawks: 19
And a home playoff game is in the Seahawks' future as they take down the Rams in a thriller that sees four lead changes. A Hail Mary on the last play is knocked down by Earl Thomas as the Seattle faithful celebrate the win and the division title. Richard Sherman's pick-six is the only touchdown for the Seahawks in a defensive struggle.
As the season comes to a close, the Seahawks' 11-5 record is enough to get the 3-seed. Their 8-0 home record leaves them cruising to a home playoff win. The plot thickens when that Wild Card game is against the Packers in a rematch of the most controversial game in NFL history.
Unfortunately, a close loss to the NFC North Champion Bears in the Divisional round ends a great season for the Seahawks, but leaves optimism for the future as Russell Wilson gets the record for most wins by a rookie quarterback. Sherman also gets consideration for NFC Defensive Player of the year as he and Charles "Peanut" Tillman are the finalists..