Thursday, October 29, 2020

Seattle Seahawks (H) Preview

Well well well, those ten days went slow didn’t they, eh? That’s the downside of playing a TNF game, the upside? The extra preparation, but also rest off of a physically demanding short week game. Boy are we going to need those extra three days as well, as current MVP favourite Russell Wilson brings his Seattle Seahawks to Hard Rock Stadium.

Last Thursday night the Dolphins traveled to TIAA Bank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars as massive underdogs, but boy did they prove the doubters wrong. All four NFL Network analysts and presenters (Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, Steve Smith, and Colleen Wolfe) picked the Jags to win pre-game after Gardner Minshew’s impressive start to the year.

Our writers on the other hand actually picked a clean sweep of Dolphins wins for the first time this year. Scoreline wise, Andy and Gareth were close but still quite far with their predicted scoreline of 27-24, whilst me and Shane opted for low scoring games. Not many of us expected the offense to come out all guns blazing as they did.

The Dolphins defense also stepped up, limiting the Jaguars to 13 points and little yardage before garbage time.

OPPONENT PROFILE – SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Head Coach – Pete Carroll
Offensive Playcaller – Brian Schottenheimer
Defensive Playcaller – Ken Norton Jr.
Offensive Captain – Russell Wilson
Defensive Captain – Bobby Wagner
Special Teams Captain – Neiko Thorpe
2019 Record – 11-5 (Lost in Div Round to GB)
Key Acquisition – Jamal Adams

The Seattle Seahawks are a very good team, probably the second or third most talented team that we play this year behind Kansas City. Year in, year out Pete Carroll’s side are always in the playoff mix, which is an impressive feat with the quality of the NFC West the past 10 years. All four teams have reached a Conference Championship in that period, and three have been to a Super Bowl.

Seattle are the only team to have won one however, as San Francisco and the Rams both have fallen short the past two years. The Niners also lost to Baltimore in 2012. Time after time the Seattle Seahawks perform better than expected and produce quality prime time games. Heck, last year they were one play away from the number one seed.

All in all, the Hawks are good, very good. And that’s down to two things, their franchise QB Russell Wilson and the superb coaching staff Pete Carroll puts together every year. The roster barely changes, and the front office knows when to move on from players. We all thought they were done when the ‘Legion of Boom’ was broken up a few seasons ago.

So far this season, Seattle are one of the league’s seven 3-0 teams after winning at Atlanta, at home to New England on SNF, and at Dallas. Those three aren’t pushovers, I’d expect the latter two to be in the wildcard mix.

Russell Wilson was an early MVP favourite last year before Lamar Jackson took the league by storm, and this year is looking even stronger. His QB rating of 139.0 is leading the league. He also tops the charts in touchdowns, throwing fourteen in the Seattle Seahawks first three games. I’m honestly shocked Russ has never had a single vote for MVP in his nine seasons, as he’s been a Top 5 QB for most of that period and won a Super Bowl.

DK Metcalf (middle) of the Seattle Seahawks tosses a football into the air after scoring a TD.

At wideout there’s an interesting group, Tyler Lockett remains his primary target after catching 24 balls in three weeks for four touchdowns, whilst DK Metcalf leads the team in yards. David Moore and Seattle’s Tight End, Greg Olsen, also contribute in the passing game.

Chris Carson is having a great year both on the ground, and in fantasy terms. He’s currently the 9th best back in PPR leagues, and 12th in standard. He’s gone for 250 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. Carlos Hyde is likely to be out with a shoulder injury, so Travis Homer a second-year back out of the University of Miami will likely act as RB2.

Now, our offense should be able to get at the Seahawks secondary as it is plagued with injuries. Jamal Adams, their big offseason acquisition on a trade with the Jets is out with a groin injury. It doesn’t stop there, Quinton Dunbar is also out, and Lano Hill and Neiko Thorpe are likely to be. Luckily for them, Shaquill Griffin should be good to go.

At linebacker, first-round pick Jordyn Brooks is also out with a knee issue. Finally, one linebacker the Seattle Seahawks certainly wouldn’t be the same without is Bobby Wagner. The defensive captain has achieved first-team all-pro status 5 times and has been voted to six pro bowls since coming into the league in 2012. He leads the team in tackles, pass breakups, and hurries.

LAST TIME WE MET – SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The last time the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks met was Week 1 of the 2016 season, the last season we made the playoffs. This game to be completely honest with you was a complete snore-fest for the first 3 periods, like the one I went back to with Jacksonville.

The 2016 Fins traveled to CenturyLink Field under a new head coach in Adam Gase. Mario Williams was the highest-profile free agency signing, and Laremy Tunsil and Xavien Howard were the new regime’s first two draft picks.

Gase started his tenure on a sour note after a disagreement with Jay Ajayi that resulted in the second-year back unactive and left in Miami for this game. That meant that Arian Foster had the majority of carries in what was planned to be a shared backfield.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin pulls in a touchdown pass to give the Seahawks the lead with less than a minute to play in the fourth quarter. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

The game finished 10-12 to Seattle after Russell Wilson lead the Seattle Seahawks on a 75-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter to seal the game, after exiting it for a drive with an ankle injury. That injury was suffered after taking a sack from Ndamukong Suh.

Foster lead the team in both rushing and receiving, although just like this matchup, his 2.9 yards per carry was pathetic. He did however have one massive 50-yard reception in the first quarter.

Miami’s only touchdown was a QB draw from Ryan Tannehill with five minutes to go, whilst Russell Wilson completed a two-yard TD pass to Doug Baldwin with only 31 seconds remaining to give the Seattle Seahawks the win.

NOW FOR OUR DOLPHINS V SEAHAWKS PREDICTIONS

Andy – I think this one is nothing more than a free hit. I think that this will be one of our toughest games of the season with only the Chiefs being a stronger opponent. If we can somehow stop Wilson and the running game then we have a chance but we cannot sit here and expect a Miami win as Seattle are simply top good and are in too much hot form. I am predicting a Seattle 35-10 win.

Jay – If we can keep it close I think we have an outside chance of sneaking this one. The Seattle Seahawks have some big names out and if Fitzpatrick and the offence can continue to improve as they have done week on week then anything is possible. Our big receivers (Parker, Williams and Gesicki) need good games.

On the other side of the ball keeping Wilson and Metcalf quiet and ideally off the field is going to be critical, so I’m hoping for some big plays from Van Noy, Van Ginkel, and Ogbah putting pressure on the QB! A lot needs to happen for us to win this and because Seattle is a top 3 NFC team my heads telling me at the moment it’s too much of a stretch so I’ll say 31-23 to Seattle, but my heart says don’t be shocked if we can pull everything together!

Gareth – Their defense raises questions and hope. On one hand, they’ve given up a lot of yards but on another hand, they are always playing in front. The Cowboys couldn’t run on them. They could, however, pass on them. That being said they’ve played two wild card teams in the Cowboys and Patriots IMO.

We might have a chance to make their offense one dimensional. Which would be a huge win for us, even if it doesn’t affect the score. However, Russell Wilson has played at an MVP level. If Byron Jones is fully healthy we might have a chance to slow them down. Howard needs to step up. If we can control the line of scrimmage we’ll have a chance.

I think our best chance is that they underestimate us, suffer from a long journey, Byron Jones plays and we see a fully healthy DeVante Parker. I think it’ll be close 35 – 25 Seahawks.

Shane – I see a high scoring game with both defenses under pressure. Russell Wilson is in great form and I see him just edging it for the Seattle Seahawks. 31-24 Seahawks.

Rich – I’m going with a Dolphins win! Why not, as I’ll be predicting us losing loads of other ones this season! Seahawks have a ton of injuries, plus there’s the east coast and temperature/humidity ‘advantage’, even if Seattle apparently do well on the east coast. Our offense has been looking better and defense too in the last game so I’m going to say a very close game but the Dolphins win 34-30.

Me – This game has the potential to be a shootout, two secondaries that have started the season poorly, against two offenses that move the ball in the air pretty well. It’s going to be highscoring, and anyone could win it. I can’t pick against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. I’m going 30-34.

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