We are all itching for some sports, and I know Seahawks fans are itching for football and NFL season to be back in action. With the schedule out, Hunter Carroll gave his season predictions, game by game:
Week 1, Sept. 13: Seattle at Atlanta Falcons
The Seahawks march into Week 1 looking for blood on the road against the Falcons to kick off their season. While the Falcons have plenty of talent in returning receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, veteran QB Matt Ryan, as well as their newest addition in former Rams running back Todd Gurley, the Hawks offense will overpower a mostly young Atlanta defense despite the addition of Dante Fowler from the Rams.
Despite addressing defensive gaps in the draft by taking Clemson CB A.J. Terrell with the 16th pick in the first round, as well as Auburn DT Marlon Davidson in the second round, these young players will struggle in their first game on the big stage, giving the Seahawks their first win of the season dominated by Russell Wilson and the Hawks receiving core. 1-0.
Week 2, Sept. 20: Seattle vs New England Patriots – Sunday Night Football
The first home game of the 2020 season happens to be a prime time matchup against one of the NFL’s most disliked teams in recent years, the New England Patriots. While the Patriots offseason has been filled with major moves, including Tom Brady taking his talents to Tampa Bay, or Tompa Bay as he would say, they still have one of the best coaches in the league in Bill Bellichick.
The 12s are going to be a huge factor in this game. What better environment is there to play in the CenturyLink Field for a primetime matchup. This will also be the first road start for Patriots QB Jared Stidham, which the Hawks D cannot wait to take advantage of. This will also be the first home game for new Hawks rookies, including Jordyn Brooks and Darrell Taylor, who will feed off the crowd’s energy and cause problems for the Pats as they start to get comfortable in Seattle, giving the Hawks the win to move to 2-0.
Week 3, Sept. 27: Seattle vs Dallas Cowboys
This offseason saw plenty of changes for the Cowboys, including a major coaching change where the team brought in former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and said farewell to Jason Garrett. On top of this, the Cowboys had what many would call one of the best drafts this year, picking up offensive weapon Ceedee Lamb out of Oklahoma, as well as Alabama CB Trevon Diggs, who in my opinion was one of the best in the draft. The Cowboys also had veteran center Travis Frederick retire, but wasted no time drafting another Wisconsin center in Tyler Biadasz with the 146th pick in the draft.
I could see the Cowboys coming into Seattle and completely shocking the Hawks behind an overwhelming offensive showing from Dak Prescott, finding Lamb and Amari Cooper multiple times for major offensive gains. This would hand the Hawks their first loss of the season, giving them a 2-1 record moving onto week 4.
Week 4, Oct. 4: Seattle at Miami Dolphins
The Hawks are back on the road for Week 4 as they travel to Miami to take on the new look Dolphins, potentially headlined by the fifth overall pick in the draft, Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins also added one of the top offensive tackles in the draft in Austin Jackson of the University of Southern California with the 18th pick of the draft to protect their potential new franchise QB.
The Dolphins are in a rebuilding phase and will still have plenty of room for improvement, while the Hawks, coming off a loss to the Cowboys, will take care of business and get back on track. Russell Wilson will have no trouble leading his offense to a win in South Beach, improving the Seahawks record to 3-1.
Week 5, Oct. 11: Seattle vs Minnesota Vikings – Sunday Night Football
Just five weeks into the 2020 season, the Seahawks will already be playing their second primetime game at CenturyLink, this time against the Vikings for Sunday Night Football. These two teams met in Week 13 of the 2019 season for an absolute thriller in Seattle with significant playoff implications on the line. The Hawks took this game 37-30 following what looked like a fourth quarter comeback by the Vikings.
The Vikings return to Seattle looking for redemption, but without offensive weapon Stefon Diggs, who was traded to the Bills this offseason. This game is going to be another instant classic on Sunday Night Football, potentially heading to overtime, but the Hawks pull off the win despite another late comeback by Kirk Cousins and his offense, leading the Hawks to a 4-1 record.
Week 6: BYE WEEK
The bye week is early this season, but it gives the team a great chance to rest up before big games on the road against the new look Arizona Cardinals, followed by another tough game against another NFC West rival in the 49ers.
Week 7, Oct. 25: Seattle at Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals made one of the biggest moves of the offseason as they traded for star Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins, adding even more flair to the NFC West. Hopkins joins an already talented offense, highlighted by receivers Christian Kirk, as well as veteran Larry Fitzgerald, who is entering his 17th season in the NFL. Adding Hopkins gives young QB Kyler Murray another weapon, making the Cardinals very intimidating heading into this matchup.
The Seahawks have had trouble against the Cardinals in previous seasons, especially in Week 16 last year when the Cardinals handed the Hawks their fourth loss of the season in a game that would have helped the Seahawks tremendously in their race for the NFC West with the 49ers. The Hawks are going to struggle on the road even after getting some rest during their bye week. The Cardinals offense is going to work perfectly and they will hand Seattle their second loss of the season, making their record 4-2.
Week 8, Nov. 1: Seattle vs San Francisco 49ers
This is the first time the Seahawks will play San Francisco since their heartbreaking loss in the final play of their Week 17 matchup last season, which ultimately gave the 49ers the one-seed in the NFC heading into the playoffs. While the 49ers addressed problems on both sides of the ball during the draft, taking South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw with the 14th pick, followed by Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk with the 25th pick, as well as acquiring Trent Williams from the Redskins, this won’t be enough to stop the Hawks.
The Hawks are going to play this one very well, and the 12th man will be a huge factor. Pete Carroll hates losing, but ESPECIALLY at home to a division rival like the 49ers. Like recent games against San Francisco, this game will come down to the final few drives of the game, but the Seahawks will end up on top following a late touchdown off a deep ball from Russ, ideally by fault of former Seahawk Richard Sherman. The Hawks get back on track following their Week 7 loss, heading into Week 9 at 5-2.
Week 9, Nov. 8: Seattle at Buffalo Bills
The team travels the most distance in the entire league this season, and this away game against the Bills does not help their case. As if this was not bad enough, the game will be played at 10am PST, which could end up being a factor in the teams performance. The Seahawks haven’t traveled to Buffalo since the 2012 season, when they beat the Bills 50-17 behind a four touchdown performance by Russell Wilson, three of which on his feet.
The Bills added former Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs to their already talented offense, featuring WRs John Brown and Cole Beasely, giving QB Josh Allen another option down field. The Bills also had a very good draft, taking Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa and Utah RB Zack Moss in the second round, as well as adding two more receivers with their final six picks in the draft. The Hawks offense could struggle in this cold November game in Upstate New York, but Seattle’s run game will find success if their passing game struggles. The Hawks take this one behind a strong second half, pushing their record to 6-2.
Week 10, Nov. 15: Seattle at Los Angeles Rams
This is the second consecutive road game, their first road trip of the season. After a satisfying performance in Buffalo, the team travels to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in their new state-of-the-art stadium in Inglewood. The Rams offseason was highlighted by the loss of Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley, who was released by the team and picked up by the Falcons. The team also traded WR Brandon Cooks to the Texans. The Rams filled their offensive gaps early in the draft, taking a running back and wide receiver with their first two picks, both in the second round. The team also added to their defense in the draft, especially through Alabama LB Terrell Lewis and Utah S Terrell Burgess.
The Hawks were 1-1 against the Rams last season, including a close win at home in Week 5, as well as an embarrassing loss on the road in Week 14. The Hawks are going to struggle in this game, handing the win to Los Angeles and putting the Hawks record at 6-3.
Week 11, Nov. 19: Seattle vs Arizona Cardinals – Thursday Night Football
The Hawks have a short week this week, playing just four days after a two game road trip. This is also the third primetime matchup of the season for Seattle, this time against the Cardinals for Thursday Night Football. Coming off a loss in Week 10, as well as having lost to the Cardinals in Phoenix earlier in the season, the Hawks will get back on track and take this win following an impressive drive in the final few minutes of the game involving many offensive weapons, including a clutch connection between D.K. Metcalf and Russell Wilson, setting up a game winning field goal to improve the team’s record to 7-3.
Week 12, Nov. 30: Seattle at Philadelphia Eagles – Monday Night Football
Following a primetime win on Thursday Night Football, the Seahawks have an 11 day hiatus between games before they travel to Philly for their final primetime matchup of the season against the Eagles on Monday Night Football. The Hawks look forward to returning to the City of Brotherly Love for the first time since their 17-9 win over the Eagles in the NFC Wild Card Game.
Since their last matchup, Eagles QB Carson Wentz has had time to heal and will be back healthy. The Eagles added a top college receiver out of TCU in Jalen Reagor, and also picked up Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts. There has been talk of the Eagles using Jalen Hurts at positions other than QB, perhaps something similar to Saints QB Taysom Hill. The Eagles will have figured out how to incorporate their new additions into their offense and will be very successful against the Hawks, handing them their fourth loss of the season, giving them a record of 7-4.
Week 13, Dec. 6: Seattle vs New York Giants
The Seahawks return to Seattle to face the Giants in their first game of December. The Giants are stacked with young talent including QB Daniel Jones, as well as RB Saquon Barkley. New York added Georgia OT Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the draft, and picked up Alabama S Xavier McKinney, who many believed to be a first round pick, in the second round.
Seattle will take full advantage of this young team who is still struggling to figure out their flow. The offense will be firing and the defense will cause New York to struggle, giving the Seahawks the win after a tough loss on the road in Philadelphia, increasing the Hawks record to 8-4.
Week 14, Dec. 13: Seattle vs New York Jets
This is the second week in a row that a team from New York will make the trip to CenturyLink. While the Jets had a solid draft, especially over the first two days, where they addressed problems on both sides of the ball, this new talent will not be enough for them to stop the Hawks. The Seahawks defense will cause problems for a team from New York for the second week in a row, giving the Seahawks their ninth win of the season in dominant fashion. The Haws move into their final three games of the regular season at 9-4.
Week 15, Dec. 20: Seattle at Washington Redskins
The Hawks are on the road in Week 15 with another trip across the country, this time to Washington D.C. to take on the Redskins. After a brutal 2019 season where the team finished with just three wins and 13 losses, the team will continue to struggle this season despite the addition of standout Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young. While Young will definitely give Russ some consistent pressure throughout the game, it won’t be enough to carry the Skins past Seattle. The Hawks are going to have a convincing win over Washington and head back to Seattle at 10-4.
Week 16, Dec. 27: Seattle vs Los Angeles Rams
Following a loss in Los Angeles in Week 10, the Rams make their way to Seattle to take on the Seahawks for the second time this season. While the Hawks struggled in Week 10, they will increase their win streak to four games after solid play from both the offense and defense in a close game that’s decided in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks understand the playoff implications this late in the season, especially against an NFC West team like the Rams, and get the win to move into Week 17 at 11-4.
Week 17, Jan. 3: Seattle at San Francisco 49ers
Similar to last year, the Seahawks and 49ers face off in the final game of the regular season. While the Seahawks came up just short last year (literally), and also lost to the 49ers earlier in the season at home, they look to rebound this year on the road. The 49ers come into this game with a slightly better record with the Seahawks at 12-3, but the two teams are playing for the NFC West Title, as well as NFC playoff seeding implications.
What would be better than this game being flexed to the Sunday Night Game, similar to last year, to give the Hawks their fifth primetime game of the season?
Of course a win would make this scenario elite, but the 49ers aren’t going to make this easy for the Hawks. I could see this game going to overtime, similar to the Week 10 matchup from 2019 where Seattle won 27-24 following missed field goals on both ends, but this time ending in a win for the 49ers. If this is the case, San Francisco wins the game on a field goal to secure the NFC West Title the two-seed in the NFC playoffs.
The New Orleans Saints, who have an offensively dominant season following the addition of former 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders, finish the season with the one-seed in the NFC.
At 11-5, the Hawks are put in a similar situation to last year as a five-seed, where they would play in the NFC Wild Card game against the Eagles or the Vikings.