Three Biggest Games: Seattle Seahawks
It’s not often that a franchise can make it to two Super Bowls in as many years and still have still lingering questions hanging above its head leading into the next season, but that’s exactly the situation the Seattle Seahawks find themselves in. Contract issues at quarterback, a declining running game and a defense with a lot to live up to may dent the ‘Hawks playoff chances in 2015. What won’t hurt their odds? Big wins against these three big opponents.
Week 2 at Green Bay Packers
Much like Steelers-Raiders, 49ers-Cowboys and Ravens-Titans before them, the Seahawks and Packers have the potential to create one of the great non-divisional rivalries in the league. Their recent encounters have been punctuated by infamous losses: first, the disgraceful “Fail Mary” that signalled the return of the NFL’s full-time referees, and just last season, a dumbfounding comeback by Seattle and a monumental choke job by Green Bay in the conference championship game. Expect yet another thrilling finish in this Sunday night clash from Lambeau.
Week 7 at San Francisco 49ers
The Packers may be excellent conference rivals, but when it comes to the volatile NFC West, Seattle and San Francisco still harbor most of the hate. As if a season sweep against the Niners wasn’t enough last year, the Seahawks straight-up humiliated their rivals by feasting on a Thanksgiving turkey on the midfield logo at Levi’s Stadium, only for public enemy number one, Richard Sherman, to triumphantly carry said turkey into the visitor’s locker room. After a flood of change this offseason, there’s no way to know what kind of record San Fran will boast by season’s end, but one thing’s for sure: they will play the ‘Hawks hard.
Week 12 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
How’s this for some obscure trivia? Since the fateful events of February 5, 2006 – the Super Bowl clash many one-eyed Seattle fans are still adamant was “rigged” – the Seahawks have not scored a single point against the team that robbed them of their first championship. But playing at home and fielding a versatile offense that should cause matchup problems for Pittsburgh’s flaky defense, that record will surely change. The Steelers have struggled mightily against mobile quarterbacks in the past, and a damn near impregnable Seattle secondary at home should be enough to catapult the ‘Hawks into a late-season surge for the top seed.