That’s right, I am going out on a limb, but I’m confident that I’m right. You can bank on it. Clear your schedule for the first couple of weekends in January because you will likely need them for playoff football.
The so called experts said that there was no way that Seattle could improve to an 8-8 record. Even with the evidence of what Seattle has done and how Seattle has done it, Peter King, noted editor at Sports Illustrated still ranks a terrible 2-4 Minnesota Vikings teams over the current 4-2 Seattle Seahawks. May I also point out that Peter King was resistant to get on the bandwagon with the Seahawks in their Super Bowl season in 2005 as well.
So you might be asking yourself, how in the heck does this guy have the gall to say such a thing? You would be fair to ask. How did I come to this conclusion? Well, lets take a look at where the Seahawks are right now. They are in the division lead with six games played. They only have ten games remaining, and three of those look to be VERY winnable in the division. One against the Rams in Seattle, One against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, and one against the Arizona Cardinals in Arizona. The Seahawks lost against the Rams in St. Louis earlier this year, but that was before Russell Okung, the rookie left tackle ever made it into a game, and also before Seattle had a power running back like Marshawn Lynch, and a rookie safety in Earl Thomas that is playing like a pro-bowler.
Now it goes without saying that to pull this off the Seahawks will have to avoid any serious injuries to key players, or the kind of mounting multiple injuries that have plagued them team wide in recent years, but it should be noted that this roster is much younger than the previous two seasons. With the exception of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and safety Lawyer Milloy, we have a bunch of young guys at the key skill positions on the both sides of the ball. It is a fact that young legs and bodies heal faster than older and more experienced football players. That is why it is so exciting to see Head Coach Pete Carroll and his staff getting so many of these young players experience in key moments of football games early in the season. That investment in the youth will pay off as the season winds toward a close.
My only concern with the young guys whether or not they are prepared to hit that rookie wall in about six more weeks? With the team depending on such key contributions by rookies Earl Thomas and Russell Okung, I have to wonder if they can make it mentally and physically past that twelfth and thirteenth game when most college football seasons would wrap and be ready to play competitive ball in those last four weeks.
It is with that in mind that we now take a look at the rest of the Seahawks remaining schedule. Here is what I see, the Seahawks look to face some big challenges during the remaining seven games to be played against teams that are outside of the NFC West division. The biggest challenge looks to be against the 5-2 Atlanta Falcons who lead the NFC South, the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints who are 4-3, and currently struggling, but should have Reggie Bush back by the time the Seahawks see them on Nov. 21 in week 11, and they will definitely be in push-for-the-playoffs mode by then, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs who at 4-2 have shown that they are certainly the real deal.
With the exception of those three, I think the Seahawks should be able to pick up wins at home against the New York Giants, and the abysmal Carolina Panthers, and steal wins on the road against the perennially terrible Oakland Raiders, as well the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Add those three wins in the division that I mentioned earlier, and that means that I predict that the Seattle Seahawks will finish the 2010-2011 regular season with a respectable record of 10 -6, which should be more than enough to make the playoffs!