NFL Game Preview: Seattle Seahawks vs Baltimore Ravens

For most of the current 2015-2016 Season, the Seattle Seahawks, last year’s losing team in the Super Bowl, floundered and stuttered in game after game against mostly inferior competition.  As recently as two weeks ago, the team from the great Pacific Northwest looked as if it would be starting the offseason as soon as the regular season ended.

This game and those that follow is critically important to Head Coach Pete Carroll’s team.

This game and those that follow is critically important to Head Coach Pete Carroll’s team.

But this proud team seemed to “find its stride” the Sunday before last when it won a game it looked like it would lose. And last Sunday, the Seahawks dominated the first place Minnesota Vikings “on the road.” That crushing victory of a solid opponent seemed to signal that the powerful squad from the state of Washington was ready to begin its annual “push to the playoffs.”
In fact, after twelve games, Seattle now has a Won-Loss record of 7-5 which has it in second place in the West Division of the National Football Conference (NFC). It is unlikely that last year’s Super Bowl squad will overtake the first place Arizona Cardinals for first place in its division. The Cardinals have a three game lead with just four games remaining to be played.
But the Seahawks are a definite threat to win one of two available Wild Cards. In truth, this tough-minded squad is currently in possession of a Wild Card and would go to the playoffs if the season ended today. The season doesn’t end for four more weeks, of course, so this game and those that follow is critically important to Head Coach Pete Carroll’s team. They have to win all, or at least almost all, of their remaining games to keep playing in January. Great play over the past few weeks from QB Russell Wilson makes Seattle look like one of the most dangerous teams in football.
Seattle’s opponent this Sunday afternoon, the home team Baltimore Ravens, has little left to keep it motivated and playing hard. A Won-Loss record of 4-8 has this squad in third place in the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) and out of contention for divisional honors.
In truth, the Ravens have very little chance of earning a Wild Card, as well. There are many teams ahead of them, teams that Baltimore would have to leap-frog in order to earn a Wild Card.
So the best thing that fans of the Ravens can hope for this Sunday is that their team has pride and that players on the team want to play the role of spoilers. The Ravens have been a successful team for most of the past fifteen years, playing in the postseason almost every year and winning a Super Bowl, as well. The Ravens have been hurt by injuries to key players this season like Terrell Suggs and Joe Flacco.
This squad doesn’t like to lose so it is reasonable to believe that its players are angry and determined to win as many of the team’s remaining games, as possible. If it does win and ruin things for an opponent or two with postseason aspirations, those wins may in some way validate the season and keep it from being “a total loss.”
That and the desire to earn a roster spot next season should be enough to bring out the best in the Ravens. And if that happens, this game against the streaking Seahawks will be exciting.
Courtesy of Rant Sports

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