Though their path to the postseason is still rather unlikely, the Seahawks received significant help around the league in Week 12. Now they'll cap off this week's slate of games with a Monday night bout against the Washington Football Team, searching for a win that would put them just one game out of the NFC's final wild-card spot.
Will Seattle drop its fourth and final primetime game of the year in as many tries? Or will death be defied on an expectedly chilly night in Landover, Maryland? The Seahawk Maven staff makes their picks.
Corbin Smith: Seahawks 24, Washington 20
Nothing from the past two weeks suggests the Seahawks will be able to put many points on the board against a Washington defense that has improved quite a bit in recent weeks. But this will be Russell Wilson's third game back from injury and he's beyond due for a breakout performance. Even without Damien Lewis in the trenches, Seattle should be able to provide enough protection for its star quarterback to get the ball to his receivers and tight ends against a defense that has given up 24 passing touchdowns this year, the second-most in the league. Defensively, trying to slow down Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic could be problematic, but Taylor Heinicke can be forced into poor decisions and I expect the Seahawks to be able to get some heat on him to coax a pair of interceptions by D.J. Reed and Quandre Diggs. This will be a dog fight, but with their season on the line, the 'Hawks finally come through.
Ty Dane Gonzalez: Washington 21, Seahawks 16
On paper, the Seahawks are the better team. But they're a dysfunctional mess right now, particularly on offense, and there's no evidence of a turnaround in sight. Until they prove otherwise, it's hard to put a ton of faith in their ability to win football games against any opponent, let alone a talented club like Washington. Expect time of possession to be an issue for Seattle yet again; the offense cannot be trusted to convert on third down consistently, and Washington has the personnel necessary to methodically chew up yardage and extend drives. Defensively, it all comes down to generating enough consistent pressure on Taylor Heinicke, and not letting him find ways to do damage with his legs. Offensively, one or two shining moments won't be good enough; a rhythm must finally be found. It's tough to imagine the Seahawks checking all of those boxes, so in the end, they keep things relatively close but wind up falling short after committing several avoidable mistakes over the course of the night.
Colby Patnode: Washington 20, Seahawks 13
Somehow, someway, the Seahawks are in a unique position of not being totally dead and buried. A win tonight would leave Seattle just one game back of the playoffs with six to go. However, the offense has been truly putrid for weeks, and while Washington's defense isn’t nearly as scary as last year's squad, it still presents issues to a banged-up offensive line. Taylor Heinicke is a patient game manager, exactly the type who should pick apart soft zone without trying to force the ball downfield. I’d love to say that the Seahawks figure things out tonight, but I have no confidence in Russell Wilson or Shane Waldron at the moment.
Nick Lee: Seahawks 24, Washington 20
It’s time for Russell Wilson to have his “I’m back” game. He hasn’t had it yet. Facing the 28th ranked pass defense in Washington should be the cure to what ails Seattle’s offense. Wilson will have a vintage “get on my back and let’s get to the promised land” kind of game. It will be tight with some heartburn as always. But Wilson should have his way. It’s past time for it.
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