By Dayna O’Gorman @DaynaOG
The Seattle Seahawks have won the NFC West and have the third seed in the playoffs. With lots of questions surrounding the team, the biggest is can they make a deep push into the post season?
The Seahawks 2016 season has been rough on the team, the coaching staff, and the fans. Injuries to key players, including QB Russell Wilson and S Earl Thomas, have put the team in a situation they aren’t used to. Inconsistent play by both offense and defense has kept fans, usually loyal and unwavering, on edge. It causes one to wonder if the NFC West hadn’t been so bad this season, would Seattle even have made it to the playoffs?
All that aside, they did make the playoffs and next Saturday the Detroit Lions come to play at Century Link Field. The Seahawks have a 7-1 record while playing at the CLink post season, and have one of the best home field advantages in the league. However for Seattle, there will be nothing easy about this game.
The Seahawks are no strangers to starting slow in a season, yet they are known for heating up in November and December. That was not the case this year. Seattle went 3-3 in their last 6 games, winning one week by 33 pts (Carolina Panthers) then losing by 28 (Green Bay Packers) the next. The horrid play by the offensive line and the complete lack of a run game has made this team look average at best. It is this roller coaster that makes it so hard to predict how the post season will go.
There is reason for optimism for Seattle fans. The Seahawks defense is still ranked 2nd in the league in scoring, despite losing one of their best players. The passing game has gotten going in the last few weeks, including a 350-yard game from Wilson. Having made the playoffs the last 5 years also gives the Seahawks a leg-up as they know what they need to do and how to get there. Being battle tested truly does help.
Detroit has had its own problems as of late. The Lions have lost their last three games, and their QB Matt Stafford has a hand injury. Their defense ranks 22nd against the run, and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 72% of their passes. However even with the injury, Stafford has been doing well and has three good targets to throw to. Seattle will have to keep an eye on Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, and Marvin Jones, who all could present a problem to Seattle.
Seattle has not been the team fans are used to this season. That could be a good thing going into the playoffs. When the Seahawks feels like their backs are to the wall and are an underdog, this is when they are most dangerous. Fans will just have to wait to see which Seahawks team comes to play.
Featured image of QB Russell Wilson #3 courtesy: Getty Images
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