Seahawks: Breaking down the next 4 games on the schedule after the bye week

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Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters a few days ago that he considers this the mid-point of the 2021 season. Seattle’s bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. Russell Wilson and Chris Carson are both on the injured reserve list and could benefit from the extra week of rest. Wilson is throwing again after having the pin removed from his surgically-repaired finger and Carson apparently wants to return to practice next week.

Let’s break down the next four games on the schedule after the bye and project where the Seahawks might be heading into the stretch run.

Week 10: at Green Bay Packers (7-1)

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Winning at Lambeau Field is never easy and Green Bay is clearly one of the league’s most dangerous teams this year after knocking off the previously-undefeated Cardinals last week. However, Seattle might have caught a huge break thanks to the Aaron Rodgers situation.

The reigning league MVP has been placed on the COVID-19 list after a positive test and because he’s unvaccinated he won’t be eligible to return to the active roster until one day before the Seahawks visit. If Rodgers is unable to play, the Packers will play Jordan Love for what will be the second start of his career.

Anything can happen between now and then but obviously this matchup is much more winnable if it’s Russell Wilson vs. Jordan Love as opposed to Geno Smith vs. Aaron Rodgers. Throw in the extra week of rest and a defense that’s finally found its footing and we expect the Seahawks to come out on top, improving their record to 4-5.

Week 11: vs. Arizona Cardinals (7-1)

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The Seahawks might catch another break the following week due to an injury for Arizona’s star QB Kyler Murray, who should be among the frontrunners to supplant Rodgers as MVP this year. Murray suffered a sprained ankle late against Green Bay and his status is currently up in the air. He hasn’t practiced this week but he might still start against the 49ers.

Even if Murray plays Week 10, there’s a distinct possibility that he won’t be 100% and mobility is an important part of his game. The Cardinals also lost a key defensive piece in J.J. Watt, who’s undergone surgery on his shoulder. If the Seahawks can copy some of what the Packers did successfully against the Cardinals, this one is also very-much winnable. That said, Seattle’s home-field advantage isn’t what it used to be and we’re expecting a loss against what looks a more talented team – dropping their record to 4-6.

Week 12: at Washington (2-6)

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Washington had one of the meanest defenses in football last season, but this year the unit has dropped off a cliff. Heading into Week 9, the WFT ranks No. 29 in DVOA on defense and No. 27 in points allowed per game.

On the other side of the ball, Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury Week 1 and Washington has been starting Taylor Heinicke since – another reason why they’re falling well short of expectations this season. Heinicke is a decent backup but not a true starter. Even if Fitzpatrick is back in the lineup by this time, the Seahawks should be able to take care of business, improving their record to 5-6 on the year.

Week 13: vs. San Francisco 49ers (3-4)

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This game seems like the ideal time to finally get this ship righted. It’s a reasonable goal, assuming Russell Wilson is healthy and the team has suffered no other major injuries to foundational pieces like Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Bobby Wagner or Jamal Adams.

Seattle has already beaten the 49ers this year on their home field. Jimmy Garoppolo is still having the same issues he’s had his entire career and Trey Lance remains raw and relatively limited on film. Unless he makes huge strides over the next month and replaces Garoppolo as QB1, this game should be another winnable matchup at home.

If the Seahawks follow through, that will give them a 6-6 record with five games to go on the schedule – more than enough to secure a wild-card spot in what appears to be a weak NFC field at the bottom of the playoff picture.

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