Thank the 12th Man.
Six games into the NFL season no one is willing to pick against the Seahawks when they play at home. Well, almost no one. Playing in front of the cacophony that is CenturyLink Field on Sundays is such a huge disadvantage for visiting NFL teams that most of the national media refuse to go against the Seahawks. Even when that opponent is the 4-1 Dallas Cowboys, who look better than they have in years.
Can’t blame them.
The lone media person I found picking the Cowboys straight up was Jarrett Bell of USA Today. If you’re keeping score, that’s 61-1, Seahawks.
Here are the predictions for the game by The Seattle Times reporters and columnists, and other experts from the national media and major newspapers.
How they line up: All four pick the Seahawks.
Comments: Jerry Brewer – Seahawks 23, Dallas 19: Finally, the Seahawks will force the game-changing turnovers they’ve been wanting.
Larry Stone – Seahawks 27, Cowboys 21: The Cowboys are loaded with playmakers, and they’ll make it tense. But Seattle has shown it will elevate its game, especially at home, against teams that threaten its throne.
Bob Condotta – Seattle 26, Dallas 17: The Cowboys will move the ball enough to create a few nervous moments. But a Seattle defense should create a few turnovers against the Cowboys and QB Tony Romo, and that should ultimately turn the tide.
Jayson Jenks – Seattle 24, Dallas 20: The Seahawks’ run defense gets its best test of the season so far – and answers the call.
How they line up: All 13 pick the Seahawks.
Comment: Terry Blount – The Dallas Cowboys are on a roll and catch the Seahawks on a short week after a road game across the country. That was a game in which the Seahawks did not play well with 13 penalties and three touchdowns called back. Dallas running back Murray leads the league in rushing, but the Seahawks are No. 1 in the NFL in stopping the rush, allowing only 62.3 yards per game. Dallas is 20th against the run and facing the No. 1 running team in Seattle, which is averaging 167.3 yards per game on the ground. Seahawks 34, Cowboys 17
How they line up: All eight pick the Seahawks.
How they line up: Don Banks picked the Seahawks.
Comment: Don Banks – Credit the surprising Cowboys for winning the games they had a shot to win, and even humbling the struggling Saints when New Orleans was (or is) vulnerable. But it would represent a sizable step up in weight class to go into Seattle and hang with the Seahawks for four quarters. Dallas isn’t ready for that, but that’s okay. The Cowboys have their first two division games coming up at home against the Giants and Washington, and taking care of business in those are much more important to the trajectory of Dallas’s season than this week. The Seahawks, having survived in Washington on Monday night thanks to the ridiculous play-making talent of Russell Wilson, will make it 2-0 against the NFC East. Seahawks 33, Cowboys 20.
How they line up: All five pick the Seahawks.
Comment: Elliot Harrison – his game will be extremely close early on, with the host Seahawks pulling away late in the third quarter. Look, Seattle is a great team, there’s no doubt about it. But the defense will have its hands full with that Cowboys offensive line, which is a far cry from the Redskins unit the Seahawks faced last Monday. Dallas left tackle Tyron Smith isn’t backing down against anyone; neither is Travis Frederick or Zack Martin. I freaking love ProFootballFocus.com, but I think the site’s rating of the Cowboys’ O-line is low. League-leading running backDeMarco Murray ain’t league-leading running back DeMarco Murray without that group.
Murray’s Seattle counterpart, Marshawn Lynch (ranked No. 1 by ProFootballFocus.com), has been awesome despite working with less stellar play up front, as has quarterback Russell Wilson. Thinking the Cowboys have trouble, personnel-wise, stopping the read option, as well as Wilson’s keepers. #DALvsSEA
How they line up: Both picked the Seahawks.
Comment: David Steele -Put aside the Seahawks defense and the enticing matchups with the Cowboys’ offense for now. Seattle’s potential to thoroughly humiliate opposing defenses was fully realized early in the Monday night win in Washington — and on that first, devastating and demoralizing series of the game, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks did it without Marshawn Lynch.
A repeat performance, against a far better opponent, would change the vibe of this game completely. Washington ran the ball poorly, but after a while they had to abandon it completely, and the Cowboys and DeMarco Murray can’t afford to be put in that position. If the Dallas defense really has taken that huge step up from last year, now is the time to prove it.
Not that watching Tony Romo and Dez Bryant attack Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and the rest won’t be a treat. In reality, these contending Cowboys need to make sure it doesn’t get to that in order to win, or stay in, the game. Prediction: Seahawks 23, Cowboys 20
How they line up: Six of seven pick the Seahawks.
How they line up: Both picked the Seahawks.
How they line up: All 16 pick the Seahawks.
Comment: Gary Davenport – There are three constants in life. Death, taxes and Seattle winning home games.
Since Russell Wilson took the helm at quarterback for the Seahawks in 2012, Seattle has lost a grand total of once at home.
Of course, the Cowboys are hardly chopped liver themselves. Paced by the league’s best ground game and a defense that’s exponentially better than anyone thought it would be, Dallas has reeled off four wins in a row.
But this is Seattle. The madness. The mayhem. The 12th Man.
And you just don’t beat the Seahawks there.
How they line up: All six pick the Seahawks.
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