Could the Seahawks Miss the Playoffs?
A year ago the Seattle Seahawks were starting to show signs that they were the best team in football. Their defense wouldn’t allow more than 17 points in any game in December, January, or February. With the same core roster back in 2014, the expectations could not have been higher for the defending Super Bowl Champions. After a 19-3 beat-down of division rival San Francisco this past weekend, Seattle sits 1 game out of 1st place in the NFC West, and is currently tied with the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card chase. While the Seahawks look to be playing their best football of the year, there may be major disappointment riding on the horizon for Seattle fans. Our way too early prediction? The Seahawks miss the playoffs in 2014. Here’s why:
Much of the spotlight on the Seahawks success has rightfully been on Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Cam Chancellor, and the rest of Seattle’s daunting defense. Russell Wilson has progressed into one of the hottest names at the quarterback position in the NFL, and is the darling of the entire city. While the defense and Wilson deserve much of the praise they have received over the last season and a half, the Seahawks win games running the ball. They have been a rushing team since head Coach Pete Carroll arrived in Seattle, and punish teams on the ground. Looking at the Seahawks rushing numbers for 2014 they look to be in good shape. Seattle has averaged more than 5 yards a carry, and Marshawn Lynch has already eclipsed 950 yards on the season. So what about this should be concerning for Seahawks fans? Lynch has been an enigma the entire season. There were reports that the star would retire if the Seahawks won the Super Bowl last season, and there are even more reports that the will retire at seasons end. Lynch has dissapeared in Seattle’s losses this season. The running back rushed for 53, 61, and 36 yards respectively in losses to the St. Louis Rams, Dallas Cowboys, and Kansas City Chiefs. Marshawn Lynch is one of the best running backs in the game today, but if Seattle gets less than 80 yards a game out of their best offensive player down the stretch, retirement come sooner than later for the Seahawks 2014 season.
While the rushing game should be concerning for the Seahawks, the biggest reason that Seattle will have trouble making the playoffs this season is their remaining schedule, and the schedules of the teams they need to beat out to make the playoffs. The Seahawks have 4 games left to play in 2014, with 2 games on the road, and 2 games at home. Seattle is a significantly better team at home than they are on the road. The Seahawks are currently 5-1 at home with wins over elite NFL teams like Arizona, Green Bay, and Denver. On the road the Seahawks are 3-3, including a loss to the 5-7 St. Louis Rams. The 2 remaining road games for Seattle are against the Arizona Cardinals, and Philadelphia Eagles, 2 of the top 3 teams in the NFC. Their home games include a rematch with an always dangerous 49ers team, and the season finale against the St. Louis Rams. Seattle’s competition on the other hand have much easier routes to the playoffs. The Detroit Lions next 3 games are against teams that are a combined 14 games under .500. With a final game at Green Bay, it is likely that the Lions go 3-1 over their final 4 games. The Dallas Cowboys play 2 of their 4 games against teams with losing records and play 3 of their next 4 on the road. While playing road games doesn’t seem like an advantage, the Cowboys are undefeated on the road this season and could easily win 3 or all 4 of their remaining games. With that in mind, it is possible that Seattle would have to win all 4 of their remaining games to not require a wild-card or division tie breaker to make the playoffs. Will Seattle be able to beat Arizona, and Philadelphia on the road?
Here are the Seattle Seahawks remaining games with average ticket prices:
December 7th, at Philadelphia Eagles – $187
December 14th, vs. San Francisco 49ers – $380
December 21st, at Arizona Cardinals – $178!
December 28th, vs. St. Louis Rams – $198