The Seattle Seahawks (6-4) sit atop the NFC West heading into their bye week. That’s better than anybody thought they’d be coming into this season – in fact most projections had them only winning five or six games all year. Their unexpected success has set them up for something that seemed unthinkable before the games began: a legitimate chance at a playoff run.
So, what do Pete Carroll, Geno Smith and the gang have to do to get there? Let’s take a look at the road ahead to find out. Here is what the rest of Seattle’s regular season schedule looks like.
Week 11: Bye Week
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If the Seahawks had won on Sunday this would seem less exciting – as you’d want to keep a five-game winning streak going rather than rest. The loss was disappointing but underscores the need for a break. When it’s over, Seattle should get back second-year cornerback Tre Brown, among others. It will also help those players who have been gritting through injuries, namely DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Week 12: Home vs. Raiders (2-7)
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After the bye Seattle’s first opponent is the most disappointing team in the NFL this season: the Raiders, who just lost to the second-most disappointing (the Colts). Vegas looks ripe for the picking for any serious team – the only potential hangup could be a fired-up team if Josh McDaniels gets fired over the next two weeks, which is starting to look like a distinct possibility.
Week 12 Projection: Win (7-4)
Week 13: Road vs. Rams (3-6)
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Next on the schedule there’s the reigning champion Rams, who have dominated the Seahawks in recent years. LA has won eight of the last 10 matchups between these teams. However, the Rams are going through a bad case of Super Bowl hangover and Matt Stafford has regressed something awful. This is a very beatable team, even if they’re better on paper.
Week 13 projection: Win (8-4)
Week 14: Home vs. Panthers (3-7)
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After LA the Seahawks return home to host Carolina, a team that has already effectively crashed and burned this season. Trading Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers was waiving the white flag. We might see any one of P.J. Walker, Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield starting in this game, none of whom inspire any real confidence.
Week 14 projection: Win (9-4)
Week 15: Home vs. 49ers (5-4)
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This is where the schedule begins to get difficult down the stretch. Back in Week 2, the Seahawks got totally dominated in all three phases by the 49ers, who are much tougher than their record indicates. San Francisco is a legitimate Super Bowl contender and are uniquely built to screw with this roster. Unless Jimmy Garoppolo goes down it’s hard to see Seattle coming out on top against this group.
Week 15 projection: Loss (9-5)
Week 16: Road vs. Chiefs (7-2)
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The last time the Niners made the Super Bowl they met the Chiefs, who went on to win and have been the team to beat in the AFC ever since. Despite losing Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins, Kansas City’s offense remains elite and Arrowhead Stadium is still one of the toughest venues to win at in football. We expect the Seahawks to make it competitive but come up short.
Week 16 projection: Loss (9-6)
Week 17: Home vs. Jets (6-3)
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This may be the hardest game to call of the remaining games on the schedule. The Jets have a vicious and talented young defense led by a coach who’s had success against the Seahawks in the past. Still, their QB situation is a mess. We’re betting that home-field advantage is just enough for a victory, here.
Week 17 projection: Win (10-6)
Week 18: Home vs. Rams (3-6)
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Sweeping the Rams would have sounded like utter insanity just a few months ago, and it’s still a bridge too far – no matter how far the champs have fallen off. It’s difficult enough to sweep any division rival, let alone one with this much talent. Bet on the Rams playing the spoiler with nothing left to lose.
Week 18 Projection: Loss (10-7)
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A 10-7 record for this team may not be enough to win the NFC West – we expect the 49ers to get hot down the stretch and take the division. However, there’s a real chance that’s good enough for a wild card spot.