There is no question that the Seattle Seahawks are on a roll right now, and they are moving back into their Super Bowl form at the right time of the season. Coach Pete Carroll could probably not be more pleased. Seattle has won six straight games and covered all of them against the NFL betting odds. And during that time they have allowed only one opponent to score more than seven points. There is a word for that kind of performance – DOMINANT.
These last six games have all been double-digit wins, and five of the six have come against competitive teams: Arizona twice, San Francisco twice and Philadelphia, which by the way was the only team to score more than a touchdown against Seattle during that period, but had only 139 yards of total offense.
Is this a team that can be stopped? If they continue defending the way they have been, this is going to be an extremely difficult team for anybody to deal with, particularly because they have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Coming into this game, Seattle had a record of 12-4 straight-up and 10-6 against the football point spread. The Panthers are 8-8-1, both straight-up and ATS.
Seattle allowed only 3.4 yards per rushing attempt this season, and this bodes well for them against Carolina, which would really prefer to “ground-and-pound” its opponents behind Jonathan Stewart, with an occasional programmed run by Cam Newton for good measure. Of course, when opponents take to the air, they are throwing against the league’s best passing defense, as this team, which compiled the relatively modest total of 37 sacks, has nonetheless limited the opposition to just 6.3 yards per passing attempt. When you add in the fact that Seattle and its defense have had the best average starting line of scrimmage in the league, it is no surprise that they have also allowed fewer points than anyone, at 15.9 per game.
The Seahawks really win the battle at the line of scrimmage. They have gained 5.5 yards per rushing attempt, and of course the linchpin of that effort, pardon the pun, is Marshawn Lynch (4.7 yards a pop). But the real ace in the hole is Russell Wilson, who may have been sacked 42 times but also averaged 7.2 yards every time he carried the football. And if you want to talk about an offense that does not give up the ball so easily, Seattle’s unit has turned it over only 11 times.
NFL PLAYOFF RELEASES 01/10/15