WEEK 1: @ CAROLINA
Although it will be a tough task to take down the Panthers who will be backed by a Carolina crowd brimming with optimism, the Seahawks, fresh off a trip to the divisional round of the playoffs, will be favored to win.
After escaping Carolina with a narrow victory in 2012, Pete Carroll’s squad will be familiar with their opponent and ready to put this game away earlier than the 16-12 win last year. Expect both teams to try and establish the run in this game, especially the Panthers who will need to get the staunch Seattle secondary to start biting on the run to have any success through the air.
Unfortunately the third year of the Cam Newton era will begin in defeat, as the Seahawks will refuse to look ahead to the coming Sunday night showdown with the Niners and take care of business in Carolina pretty handedly.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, Panthers 13
WEEK 2: SAN FRANCISCO (SUN NITE)
These two divisional foes split the bill last year as the home team won both games; San Fran pulled out a tough 13-6 victory in week 7, and then Seattle blew their doors off in week 17 at CenturyLink.
A fierce rivalry is budding between these two squads that goes back to Harbaugh and Carroll at Stanford and USC. Look for this to be a highly contested matchup as I’m sure both coaches have been strategizing with the other in mind all off season. Both teams have improved through the draft, trades, and free agency, which should translate into even more excitement when these two lock horns.
The decibels will decide this deadlock as the Seahawks edge the Niners in front of a Sunday night crowd that will be extra fired up for the home opener.
Prediction: Seahawks 23, 49ers 20
WEEK 3: JACKSONVILLE
The Seahawk defense will have to prove they can excel under the tutelage of someone other than Gus Bradley, their defensive coordinator for the previous three seasons. Bradley will be on the opposing sideline when the Jags come to town in week 3.
The first time Head Coach may have some inside knowledge of how this Seahawk regime operates, but I don’t see the Jaguars winning in Seattle without a legit QB.
Prediction: Seahawks 28, Jaguars 6
WEEK 4: @ HOUSTON
A tough AFC battle awaits Seattle in week 4. Houston has been a power running team with a stout defense for a few years now, similar to the Seahawks. Bobby Wagner and the rest of the front seven will be very active in this game as they try to slow down Arian Foster. Provocative corner Richard Sherman will also put his elite status to the test, as he will be asked to corral Andre Johnson all day.
This will be a tough matchup for Wilson facing reigning defensive player of the year ‘J.J. Swat’ who will rattle the young QB. Seattle’s first loss comes here.
Prediction: Texans 24, Seahawks 12
WEEK 5: @ INDIANAPOLIS
Draft class rivals clash in this week 5 matchup. Russell Wilson enters the house of Luck to try and come away with the bragging rights and return Seattle to the win column.
New acquisition Percy Harvin will have his breakout performance as a Seahawk back on that dome turf he is familiar with from Minnesota. A weak Indy secondary is exploited by Wilson, however Luck holds serve, reminding the 2012 Rookie of the Year that he has aspirations of greatness as well. Seahawks defense fends off a short Luck rally in the fourth.
Prediction: Seahawks 38, Colts 35
WEEK 6: TENNESSEE
Mike Munchak’s Titans head to Seattle to test out their young QB Jake Locker’s ability to move the ball in a hostile environment against a stingy defense. It will be like leading a lamb to slaughter.
Drafting Alabama’s Chance Warmack was a wise move for the Titans to give Chris Johnson some more room to operate, however Tennessee is far from ready for primetime. Seahawks roll to 5-1.
Prediction: Seahawks 41, Titans 17
WEEK 7: @ ARIZONA (THURS NITE)
Carson Palmer will attempt a career resurrection with Arizona in 2013 and will soon realize he has two major roadblocks to the playoffs in the Seahawks and Niners in the NFC West.
This Thursday nighter should be competitive. Arizona’s new Head Coach Bruce Arians will be able to generate some offense with Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald working in tandem. Patrick Peterson picks off Wilson a few times, yet Seattle is the better team and plays well enough to win.
Prediction: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 21
WEEK 8: @ ST. LOUIS (MON NITE)
The ‘Percy Prototype’ a.k.a Tavon Austin will be on full display on Monday Night Football in week 8. Sam Bradford finally has some weapons at his disposal as St. Louis drafted him a Mountaineer tandem of Austin and Stedman Bailey.
St. Louis will make a statement that they are not an afterthought in the division, rather a team on the rise. Jeff Fisher’s upstart Rams show their toughness and notch a victory.
Prediction: Rams 13, Seahawks 10
WEEK 9: TAMPA BAY
The twitter sparring cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis will be on the Seattle stage in week 9. The Bucs have an improved secondary with the additions of Revis and Dashon Goldson, to go along with a solid offense led by Josh Freeman and Doug Martin.
Seattle should be able to get their new backfield trio rolling in this contest, sprinkling in a little action for rookie Christine Michael to go with Robert Turbin and Marshawn Lynch. The Tampa talent lives up to the hype this week and Sherman gets burned a few times by the bigger Vincent Jackson. Greg Schiano’s Bucs hand Seattle their second straight defeat.
Prediction: Buccaneers 19, Seahawks 14
WEEK 10: @ ATLANTA
A return to the Georgia Dome, the site where Seattle’s dream season of 2012 ended, would not be the Seahawk’s first choice to end their two game skid. The Falcons have high expectations for 2013, and they believe the additions of Stephen Jackson and Osi Umenyiora may be enough to vault them to the big one at MetLife in February.
The Seahawks, sitting at 6-3, will be desperate to steal a win and keep hope alive for the division title. Russell Wilson will channel his performance from last year’s loss to the Falcons when he put up 28 points in the second half. Seahawks win a barn burner on the road.
Prediction: Seahawks 31, Falcons 27
WEEK 11: MINNESOTA
‘All Day’ Adrian Peterson comes to town in week 11 sporting his MVP credentials to take on 7-3 Seattle. Peterson will look to match his performance at CenturyLink in 2012 when he ran over the Seahawks for 182 yards in a loss.
Major focus will be placed on newcomer Percy Harvin, as he will be amped to face the team that traded him away in the off-season. Look for Harvin to get multiple touches, as the Seahawks will give the ultra talented wideout his opportunity to make his mark on this game.
AP rushes for over 100 again, but also loses as Christian Ponder struggles to get the chains moving against Seattle’s defense. Seattle heads into the bye at 8-3.
Prediction: Seahawks 20, Vikings 10
WEEK 12: BYE
WEEK 13: NEW ORLEANS (MON NITE)
Seattle will be well rested and prepared for their Monday Night showdown with the Saints coming off the bye. Sean Payton’s return to the New Orleans’ sideline should translate into more stability and a better Saint team in 2013, but the Seahawks will still be favored in this game, especially at home.
The Payton-Drew Brees combination is always dangerous and will have some success against Seattle’s defense. However, the Seahawks will resort to their bread and butter and attack New Orleans weak defensive line as the ESPN cameras frequently pan to a flustered Rob Ryan. Seattle completes the third quarter of the season at 9-3.
Prediction: Seahawks 29, Saints 21
WEEK 14: @ SAN FRANCISCO
These two teams will be neck and neck for the division at this point of the season and another entertaining game should ensue. After edging the Niners at home back in week 2, the Seahawks will have to play a flawless game to sweep the season series at Candlestick.
Expect another chess match to develop and the game to be decided by special teams and turnovers. The presence of a healthy Justin Smith will be felt by Seattle and moving the ball will be a chore. San Francisco evens the series as Seattle heads into the home stretch at 9-4.
Prediction: 49ers 13, Seahawks 7
WEEK 15: @ NY GIANTS
The last time Seattle trekked cross country for some Gotham City football they stole a win with Charlie Whitehurst and Tavaris Jackson at the helm. Two years later they will visit as an immensely better team with a wunderkind slinging passes and scampering for yardage.
Seattle will unleash the pass rush in this one hopeful that Cliff Avril and the gang can force Eli Manning to throw some picks to swing the momentum to the road team. Seattle will wreak some havoc for Eli, but the combination of Jason Pierre-Paul and cold weather causes Russell Wilson and young back Christine Michael to fumble away crucial possessions. Manning adds to his illustrious fourth quarter resume as he leads the G-Men to the home win.
Prediction: Giants 17, Seahawks 14
WEEK 16: ARIZONA
After a treacherous two game road stretch against San Francisco and New York that failed to produce a win, the Seahawks look to finish the season strong with two divisional games at home.
First up are the Cards, who Seattle beat back in week 7 on a Thursday night. Arizona, who will be improved under Bruce Arians, will be eliminated from playoff contention at this juncture. This may result in Arians playing backup Ryan Lindley for significant minutes to gauge his talent for the future. Seattle will take care of business and gain their 10th win of 2013.
Prediction: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 10
WEEK 17: ST. LOUIS
Divisional foe St. Louis will also be eliminated from the playoffs at this time, however Jeff Fisher and the Rams will look to put a damper on Seattle’s playoff plans. After losing to St. Louis earlier in the season Seattle will have to fight hard for their 11th victory.
Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner will again have to deal with the shifty rookies Austin and Bailey to prevent big scoring plays. Seattle’s defense steps up when they have to and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell leans heavily on his lynchpin Marshawn to keep possession of the ball. Seattle splits the season series with improved St. Louis and marches into the playoffs.
Prediction: Seahawks 24, Rams 17
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS PROJECTED 2013 RECORD: 11 – 5