uno wild

2021-06-04

It was quite the up-and-down season for the Seattle Seahawks in 2020. On one hand, they served notice that they’re still the benchmark in the NFC West after adding another division title to their resume, but that 12-4 record wound up being a moot point in the playoffs. Their victories in the final two weeks of the regular season — over the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams, respectively — gave them the crown but then pitted them against the Rams in the wild-card round, in a matchup that saw them thumped by Los Angeles and unceremoniously dismissed from the tournament. Unbeknownst to the Seahawks, that exit would make Russell Wilson’s cup of frustration runneth over.

Wilson went on to publicly voice his grievances in not having a voice in the roster-building process, and his agent turned the screws that much more by naming four teams he’d wave his no-trade clause to leave Seattle for, but no trade arrived.?

Instead, the Seahawks reportedly gave the Chicago Bears the cold shoulder in their pursuit of Wilson and instead traded for offensive lineman Gabe Jackson (and then extended his contract), extended All-Pro wide receiver Tyler Lockett (much to Wilson’s liking) and are now reportedly discussing the possibility of trading for future Hall of Fame receiver Julio Jones — whom Wilson is rumored to also be recruiting personally. Add to the fact Wilson has also now told several teammates he’s not leaving Seattle, and it appears the relationship is back on track, which means the Seahawks will again be a frontrunner to win the NFC West.?

That will be a difficult feat, however, given the massive shakeup within the division, but they enter Week 1 as 2.5-point favorites to take down the Indianapolis Colts on the road per William Hill Sportsbook, and they’ll need that win to open a gauntlet of games in 2021; and with a schedule that isn’t exactly forgiving.

Need a quick betting primer on your favorite?NFL team?for the 2021 season? Here are links to schedule breakdowns for?all 32 clubs.

Over/Under win totals for every opponent courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.

Three away games in first four weeksFive primetime games (barring flex)Only two games in 1 p.m. ET slotMidseason bye (Week 9)Week 1 through Week 6

Week 1?- Sunday, Sept. 12

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)

Time: 1 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 10

As the odds indicate, this could be a closer call than the Seahawks would like. It’s possible Carson Wentz is rejuvenated under the rekindled tutelage of head coach Frank Reich, and linebacker Darius Leonard leads a Colts defense that can be problematic. But with the stable of offensive weapons owned by the Seahawks (even without Julio Jones), more protection for Wilson and a presumably improved pass rush, they take a close one in Indy.

Prediction:?27-24, Seahawks

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Week 2?- Sunday, Sept. 19

Location:?Lumen Field (Seattle)

Time:?4:25 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 9.5

Their tour of the AFC South continues in Week 2 when they try to do the Colts a favor after having done the same for the Titans by virtue of handing Indy a loss. And while the Titans are a much more defined team than the one led by Wentz, this game being in front of what could be a packed Lumen Field audience (for the first time since the pandemic struck) will power the Seahawks to a decisive victory — the 12th man likely registering on nearby seismographs.?

Prediction:?30-17, Seahawks

Week 3?- Sunday, Sept. 26

Location:?U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)

Time:?4:25 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 8.5

Starting with a two-game win streak will help buffer what will likely happen in Week 3, when the Seahawks meet Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. Cousins had a strong year in 2020 and his offense is just as stacked Wilson’s, and he’ll go against a questionable Seattle secondary with home cooking on his side, so give this one to Minnesota and its fans; who’ve also been rabid about returning to support their team.

Prediction:?35-24, Vikings

First meeting:?Week 4 – Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara) – Sunday, Oct. 3, 4:05 pm ET

Second meeting:?Week 13 – Lumen Field (Seattle) – Sunday, Dec. 5, 8:20 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 10

Gut check numero uno, coming right up. The Vikings are a strong test of the Seahawks resolve, but not like the 49ers. In what’s evolving into an extremely challenging gauntlet of games to open the season, losing to the 49ers would dent the Seahawks armor early and leave many wondering where the NFC West shakes out in the end. Also, Seattle has no idea if Jimmy Garoppolo will start this game, or rookie third-overall pick Trey Lance, adding extra spice to each matchup — the two teams split the 2021 series.

Week 4 Prediction:?24-21, 49ers

Week 13 Prediction: 40-28, Seahawks

First meeting:?Week 5 – Lumen Field (Seattle) – Thursday, Oct. 7, 8:20 p.m. ET

Second meeting: Week 15 – SoFi Stadium (LA) – Sunday, Dec. 19, 4:25 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 10.5

From the frying pan right into the fire, the Seahawks must go from one division rival to another in consecutive weeks. This isn’t the same Rams team that dismissed them from the playoffs, which is the good news. The bad news is they’re presumably better with Matthew Stafford at the helm and some offseason tweaks, but home cooking will save the Seahawks in Week 5 — just not Week 15.

Week 5 Prediction:?31-28, Seahawks

Week 15 Prediction: 35-27, Rams

Week 6?- Sunday, Oct. 17

Location: Heinz Field (Pittsburgh)

Time: 8:20 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 9

No rest for the weary after arguably the toughest stretch of their schedule, because the Seahawks must now hop on a flight across the country to face the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger is on the decline though, which could negate any positives gained this offseason by Pittsburgh, and the Seahawks can readily take advantage of the suddenly turnover-prone and aging future Hall of Famer. They’ll simply have to avoid giving over the ball themselves to a ballhawking Pittsburgh defense.

Prediction:?28-20, Seahawks

Week 7?- Monday, Oct. 25

Location: Lumen Field (Seattle)

Time:?8:15 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 9.5

No Drew Brees? Big problem. Granted, Brees wasn’t exactly in prime form in his final season, but he was still light years better than those who sat behind him. It’s now Jameis Winston’s show in New Orleans, that is unless it’s Taysom Hill’s, that is unless it’s eventually Ian Book’s, and it’s this unrest at QB that leaves the Saints trying to figure out an identity in 2021. The Seahawks have one already, and Wilson embarrasses the visitors in Week 7 — aided by several Saints turnovers.?

Prediction:?47-20, Seahawks

Week 8?- Sunday, Oct. 31

Location: Lumen Field (Seattle)

Time: 4:05 p.m. ET?

Opponent win total:?O/U 6

There are good vibes to be felt in North Florida, but that’s not where this game is being played and the new era led by Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer is one wherein neither have experience at the NFL level. They’ll get seven weeks of it prior to their trek to Seattle, but it won’t change the outcome of this game. Pete Carroll takes Meyer to school in this one, while Wilson does the same to the rookie first-overall pick.

Prediction:?40-17, Seahawks

Week 10?- Sunday, Nov. 14

Location: Lambeau Field (Green Bay)

Time:?4:25 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?Off

To Aaron Rodgers or to not Aaron Rodgers, that is the question? As it stands, the Packers’ answer is to keep the future first-ballot Hall of Famer around and hope he honors his contract. Should he do so, this game will be an SAT for both clubs, and should go down to the wire despite the Seahawks having two weeks to prepare for it. And in a close game between two NFC contenders, it’s usually home field that tilts the scale.

Prediction:?27-21, Packers

First meeting:?Week 11 – Lumen Field (Seattle) – Sunday, Nov. 21, 4:25 p.m. ET

Second meeting:?Week 18 – State Farm Stadium (Glendale) – Sunday, Jan. 9, 4:25 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 8

Having now played both the 49ers and the Rams, it’s time for the first heavyweight bout with the Cardinals, and you can expect both teams to wear their eight-ounce gloves for this one. This series provided some of the best fireworks of the year in 2020, including a brutal overtime loss by the Seahawks in Glendale. They each take one again in 2021, and both will come down to the bounce of the ball, with neither giving up their home-field advantage in the race for the division crown.

Week 11 Prediction:?34-31, Seahawks

Week 18 Prediction: 31-30, Cardinals

Week 12?- Monday, Nov. 29

Location:?FedExField (Landover)

Time:?8:15 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 8

Anyone can eat anyone else on any given Sunday, so yes, Washington has a chance to down the Seahawks in Week 12. That said, the odds are wildly against them as — similar to but less than the Saints — they don’t have anything figured out at QB. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets harassed to the tune of three turnovers in this game and it forces too much on Chase Young and Co., with Carroll using Wilson and the offensive weapons to eventually wear Washington down before breaking them altogether.

Prediction: 38-14, Seahawks

Week 14?- Sunday, Dec. 12

Location:?NRG Stadium (Houston)

Time:?1 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 4.5

There’s a theme developing within the Seahawks schedule, as evidenced in how they’ll face yet another club with turmoil at the most important position in football. This is the stretch of games wherein they should dominate after being tested mightily earlier this season, and the Texans being in shambles as an organization only helps their odds of keeping a potential win streak alive. Even if Deshaun Watson is on the field, the mess in South Texas is simply too distracting and lacks too much talent at other key positions to overcome the high-powered Seahawks.

Prediction: 40-9, Seahawks

Week 16?- Sunday, Dec. 26

Location: Lumen Field (Seattle)

Time:?4:05 p.m. ET?

Opponent win total:?O/U 7.5

Ah, more QB concerns for an opposing club set to face the Seahawks, but this one has a clear and present solution. It’s likely the Bears have pulled back Andy Dalton from the role as starter at this point of the season, which means rookie 11th-overall pick Justin Fields gets the nod for this outing. But for as talented as Fields (and the Bears defense) is, Wilson welcomes him to Seattle by showing him why Chicago was willing to give up so much in a trade to land him before pulling the trigger on Fields in the draft.

Prediction:?38-24, Seahawks

Week 17 – Sunday, Jan. 9

Location: Lumen Field (Seattle)

Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Opponent win total:?O/U 5

If this prediction pans out to the letter (they never do, by the way), the Seahawks were teetering dangerously before rattling off a four-game win streak to silence their doubters. Jared Goff may or may not be the answer in Detroit, but he’s joining a new head coach in Dan Campbell on team with far more question marks than Pete Carroll. The Seahawks finish this two-game homestand against the NFC North by securing a fifth consecutive win — setting them up for a titanic clash with the Cardinals in the regular-season finale that might determine who wins the division (and playoff seeding as well).

Prediction: 34-21, Seahawks

Seahawks final 2021 record prediction:?12-5

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