These Are The 3 Biggest Games For The Seattle Seahawks In 2020

As they announce the start of the NFL season for players to report in late July, the schedule becomes something worth looking at. The closer to the season we get the more my eyes wander to games in November and sometimes the gravity of the matchups isn’t fully realized until December.  However, with everyone over-analyzing what little we know about the coming season, there has to be some way to hype up a few matchups.

Let’s start with the Seahawks’ strength of schedule. It  is a fascinating tale of statistics.

First, a lag measurement based on the winning percentage of their opponents’ 2019 season. Then, this newfound projected number is pitted against the schedule again to built an over/under win total of the 2020 season. This can be considered a lead measurement for the Hawks.

The lag measurement has the Hawks tied for 13th with the easiest schedule and the lead measurement has the Hawks tied for the 11th-hardest schedule. This dichotomy of rankings has a lot to do with the improvement in the NFC West and also screams at how much year-over-year change occurs in the NFL.  With the season right around the corner, many teams have made their big moves for the offseason and are ready to let the games begin.

1. Week 5 – @ Home vs Vikings Sunday Night Football – October 11th

Talk about a hard-hitting game right before bye week. Vikings are the black sheep of the NFC North. It’s a game early in the year that could domino its way into having playoff implications for both the NFC North and West in January.

The Vikings are going to be competitive and vying with a Green Bay team that is more assuredly going to regress from their overachieving 2019 season. With this in mind, the Vikings will be a great early-season test for the Seahawks to refine their offensive packages against a grizzled Mike Zimmer defense that always comes to play. The Vikings running back Delvin Cook will be a problem, but it’s the backup Mike Boone you don’t want to sleep on. Boone has more explosive plays per carry than Cook, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Hawks will jump on the Vikings early and force quarterback Kirk Cousins to make plays in the air and it won’t be enough to stop Russell Wilson from some late-game heroics. This game remains close, but in today’s game, the simply better quarterback can heavily influence a win – especially at home. Look for a three-touchdown performance from Russell Wilson to supercharge this one.

Hawks will send the Vikings home with an L in a close one. The Seahawks go into the bye week with a win. Final Score: Seahawks 24 Vikings 19

2. Week 11 – @ Eagles – November 30th

Another team with high expectations and talent to back it up. Carson Wentz will still be healthy for a change and will be the focal point of the Philly offense. On the road, the Seahawks will need to buckle down and hope they have their stable of running backs ready to go to control the clock. Regardless, game plans rarely have the follow-through for the entire 60 minutes of chaos. So this could turn into a shoot out if the Eagles jump out to an early lead or they score a special teams touchdown that ignites the crowd.

Neither team will give up a turnover in this one, both Wilson and Wentz are top-five since 2016 in turnover-to-reception ratios.  In a tough environment, the Seahawks will need someone other than Russell to step up and make a play. Look for the wide receivers to put on a show for both sides but drives will stall in the red zone for both teams. 

Going to the east coast has never been kind to the Seahawks, whether it’s the time difference or the travel, they aren’t able to overcome the Philly crowd and a scrappy Eagles team.

Eagles win the battle of the birds in OT and this is the annual crucial game of the year that the Seahawks let get away as the NFC West race really starts heating up. Final Score: Eagles 31 Seahawks 28

3. Week 17 – @ San Francisco 49ers – January 3rd

Everyone in the division improved, but they are all after the top dog of the division, the San Francisco 49ers. The Cardinals and Rams have their nucleus and now it needs time to develop and playoffs are not the expectation. The 49ers once again will have Super Bowl aspirations and the Seahawks have to use San Francisco as a measuring stick for their own success. This game is going to be a brawl for the division or for playoff seeding and it will feel like a playoff game just the same. Both quarterbacks will fall to the mercy of a defensive attrition, and much like last year, the kickers will help decide this one late. 

The Hawks will lose this game, but will have won their previous match-up against their rivals going 1-1 versus San Francisco this year and that will be better than most against the 49ers.

Nothing like a game that matters in week 17.

Regardless, they will have solidified themselves into a wild card spot because of beating the Vikings and winning 4 of the 6 divisional match-ups, they will play another day. Final Score: Niners 13 Hawks 10

Honorable Mention

Week 3 – @ Home vs Dallas Cowboys – September 27th

The Cowboys have a new head coach and are re-tooled offensively. The Hawks will have their hands full defensively trying to keep with a young and talented team. Watch for the first trick play of the season to get the Seahawks offense to wake up in this one with a half-back pass to open up the second quarter. This is another game that could have divisional implications at the end of the season.

Mike McCarthy has had some tough losses as the away coach in Seattle, and I expect him to have some PTSD keeping his team focused for the entire game. Dak Prescott will lead a Herculean effort for his team late, but it won’t be enough as the Seahawks will steal one from what will seem to be a superior team on paper.

I’ll be watching for how the defensive backs slow down both CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup but I imagine this early in the season, they will still be learning the nuances of the Mike McCarthy playbook. The Hawks will need to keep everything in front of them and eliminate big plays and not let the Cowboys athleticism decide the game.

The Seahawks win this one with a quiet quarter from both teams.  Playing this game at home will make all the difference for Seattle. Final Score: Hawks 25 Cowboys 19