Considering how the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks Week 3 game ended, Seattle could very well be 3-5 at this point in the season. Of course, in all but one of their losses this year, a touchdown would have turned the decision into a win and given the Seahawks a 7-1 record at the midway point.
For now, the Seahawks can settle for 4-4.
The Seahawks game against the Minnesota Vikings (5-3) on Sunday carries riveting playoff implications. Seattle ranks third in the NFC West and eighth in the NFC. A loss this week potentially drops the Seahawks to 12th in the NFC and three games behind division leader San Francisco with only seven games remaining.
After eight games, Seattle’s defense has proven solid against any offense, limiting teams to fewer than 17 points per game. While Minnesota ranks around the middle of the league in offense and defense based on points, the Vikings have scored enough points with quick passes and a short-play offensive scheme.
Green Bay, San Francisco, and Detroit, all exposed a weakness in the Seahawks defense after altering offensive strategies in the second half. In Week 8, Detroit used quick-drop sets and forced the Seahawks to play up.
While the change in tactics didn’t reduce the Seattle defense to a porous version of its former self, it did exploit enough open space for a game-winning drive.
Christian Ponder has connected with Percy Harvin for 60 receptions in eight games – tied for first in the league. Add Adrian Peterson to the combination and the Vikings’ offense could exploit Seattle’s deep coverage.
Even with all of that to contend with, Seattle needs to score more. The Seahawks have welcomed Russell Wilson’s offensive improvement, especially with two 24-point games in the last three weeks. However, Marshawn Lynch’s 757 rushing yards – second only to Peterson (775) – has helped.
While Minnesota probably won’t threaten to score as much as Detroit did last week, Seattle will probably need at least three touchdowns for a victory.
Make no mistakes – Seattle needs a victory. After Minnesota, Seattle welcomes the Jets for a game, then takes to the road for two-game trip against Miami and Chicago after its Week 11 bye.
After that, they play three of their final four games at home – all against divisional rivals.
If the Seahawks want to push for the playoffs this is the week to make a statement. The offense needs to step up and display the same intensity the defense brings weekly. Otherwise, fans, like the Seahawks, will take a more defensive strategy.