By Matthew Asher
After 11 grueling weeks, Seattle finally gets its Bye Week. As one of the last four teams in the NFL with a week off, it’s time to look ahead to the final five weeks of the regular season for the Seahawks.
It’s hard to look back at the first 11 games of the season and point out any glaring weakness in this team. They have a top scoring and consistent offense and an equally good shutdown defense. Even their special teams are having a great season. Placekicker Steven Hauschka has made 24 of his 25 field goal attempts and leads the league with 104 points.
This is one of those schedules that may not have appeared favorable to start off a season, but it’s a great way to end a season. Three out of the five games will be played at CenturyLink Field. That’s great news because with their victory over Minnesota last week, Seattle has now won 13-straight home games. With two of those games coming against teams Seattle has already beaten this season, there’s good reason to see this streak extending to 16 before the season ends.
While the great home record is always good news, the better news is that of the two final away games, only one of them is in a time zone that’s not Pacific. That game is in the Meadowlands against the very turnover-prone New York Giants. Seattle currently has the second best turnover ratio in the league at plus-11 while New York has the second worst turnover ratio at negative-11,
The final five games will be the New Orleans Saints, at the San Francisco 49ers, at the New York Giants, the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams. While all beatable teams, these are not a group of pushovers. These teams have a combined 28-22 record and three out of the five teams have a winning record with the other two teams at 4-6 each. Of the teams with a winning record, only the Saints and 49ers currently would qualify for the playoffs.
Currently the only team in the NFL with 10 victories, it seems possible that Seattle could clinch a playoff spot as early as Week 13’s game against New Orleans has concluded. Thanks in part to New Orleans overtime victory over San Francisco last week, the Seahawks currently have a three and a half game lead over the 49ers, and that’s not even taking their head-to-head record into play. Add in the 29-3 beat down San Francisco suffered early in the season and Seattle is in firm control of their division possibly needing only two more weeks before they secure a home-field playoff spot.
For more Seahawks news and updates, visit Seahawks Central.
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.