Moore: Seahawks can win franchise-best 14 games because who’s gonna stop ’em?
Before the season, started I predicted the Seahawks would go 11-5, but now that they’re 4-0, I’m starting to think they have a chance to finish 14-2, which would be a franchise record. The 2005 and 2013 teams went 13-3 and advanced to the Super Bowl.
What I’d really like to see is a 16-0 regular season followed by three more wins in the playoffs, which would make them unbeaten Super Bowl champions and put an end to this celebrating nonsense with the 1972 Dolphins. You know those guys, right?
They pop champagne corks every time the last undefeated team loses because they want to be the only unbeaten team in NFL history. If the Seahawks went 19-0, they could really tell the Dolphins to keep the cork in their bottles because Miami played only 17 games in 1972.
But let’s agree that it’s tougher to go through an entire season unbeaten now, and I’m guessing if we were able to transport the 1972 Dolphins to 2020, they wouldn’t run the table this season.
So let’s lower expectations a notch, to more realistic levels, and when you look at the 12 games left on the Seahawks’ schedule, I’m thinking they have a shot at going 10-2 the rest of the way. Yes, we need to see improvement from the defense to get there, but offensively, who’s gonna stop ‘em?
Maybe the Colts if they make it to the Super Bowl. And I’m pretty darn sure the 2013 Seahawks would stifle the 2020 Seahawks, just as they did to the high-flying Broncos in the Super Bowl that season. But that’s a hypothetical matchup that’ll never happen.
It’s pretty easy to see why we need to upgrade expectations for the Seahawks’ regular-season record:
• First off, they’re 4-0. They only have to go 7-5 the rest of the season to finish 11-5, and they appear to be much better than a 7-5 team in the next 12 games.
• All of a sudden the NFC West doesn’t look as tough as it did a few weeks ago. The Rams lost to Buffalo last week and struggled to beat the two-TD underdog Giants this week. The Cardinals have lost two in a row to two subpar teams, Detroit and Carolina. The 49ers just lost to a banged-up Eagles team on Sunday Night Football. Maybe the Niners get better when they get so many of their injured players back, but they’re 2-2 right now and no longer look like a lock to defend their NFC West title.
• The Seahawks got a good draw this year by playing teams from the NFC East and AFC East. They’ve already faced and beaten the Cowboys, who might end up being the best team in the NFC East, and the Patriots, who, thanks to Cam Newton, are one of the better teams in the AFC East. The Seahawks should fatten up their record with gimme putts in December, a three-game stretch featuring the Giants, Jets and Washington.
• They’ll have more incentive than in years past to floor it late in the season since the team with the conference’s best record gets the only bye. Previously, the top two seeds got byes. So if there’s a race to the finish with Green Bay or Tampa Bay, count on the Seahawks to see if they can get to 14 wins if that’s what it takes to get the NFC’s best record.
• The Seahawks will be favored in nine and maybe 10 of their last 12 games. The only game I’m positive they’ll be an underdog in is the one at Buffalo on Nov. 8 in Week 9. The Bills are 4-0 and playing remarkably well. I’m guessing they’ll be a 2.5- to 3-point favorite over the Seahawks. The next week at the Rams, the Seahawks could be a slight underdog again, as well as the last game of the season, Jan. 3 at San Francisco.
Being a favorite or an underdog doesn’t always translate to a win or a loss, but still, if you’re viewed as the superior team, you typically win more often than not.
Added up, 16-0 is no doubt out of the question, but 14-2 could be right in Seattle’s wheelhouse, and if it is, it’ll be a record-breaking season.