NFL: Seahawks season in a tailspin

28 November 2021 23:16:29 GMTPlus11
Seattle take on Washington in Monday Night Football

The NFC playoff picture is as congested as it gets with 15 of the conference's 16 teams still in with a chance of snatching a postseason spot.

Some of those teams will need to win out if they are to extend their campaigns beyond the end of the regular season and amongst those franchises, we find the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Football Team and their contest will be available on the Sports Live Streaming platform.

Washington enter Monday's encounter with the Seahawks one game better off than their Week 12 opponents at 4-6 after back-to-back victories over the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With their season on the line in both those games, Washington have responded in the perfect manner and are 1/1 favourites to make it three wins on the spin.

Unlike Washington, Seattle have allowed their campaign to unravel, slumping to 3-7 with defeats to two straight losses to the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals. They are 5/6 to pick up a much-needed win in the US capital and will start the game as 1.5 point underdogs, not a position Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is used to in his nine years with the franchise.

Wilson Russ-hed back into action

Wilson missed three games with a finger injury before making his return against the Packers but looks to have come back too soon. Seattle were shut out in Green Bay and struggled again offensively in their Week 11 matchup with the Cardinals, managing only 13 points.

The 'Hawks had hoped Wilson's return would fix an offensive ranked 30th in the NFL but instead, their struggles have continued, scoring on average 14.8 points per game across the last five outings. No team is averaging fewer yards per game (246.2) than the Seahawks since Week Six of the season, as they continually fail to get playmakers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett the ball.

Seattle are 1/1 to score under 23.5 points on Monday but will need to better that total if they are to have any chance of winning this game given how unreliable their defence has been. The Hawks rank 30th in total defence, allowing over 400 yards per game on average, and their cause hasn't been helped by injuries to cornerbacks Tre Brown and DJ Reed.

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Capital gains for Washington

Washington's offence might not have posed a significant threat to Seattle's soft defence a fortnight ago but has really improved since their bye week. Ron Rivera's men have produced their two best offensive performances against the Panthers and Buccaneers, scoring 29 points against the Super Bowl champions.

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke has blown hot and cold since stepping in to replace the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week Two but has found some form of late, posting a 77.8 completion percentage the last two weeks. The Washington offence has also been able to establish a running game, which was key to their playoff run last season with Antonio Gibson rushing for 95 yards against the Panthers. Washington's offence could get reinforcements too this week with big off-season signing Curtis Samuel set to finally play after an injury-plagued 2021.

Attacking issues

Despite Samuel's availability and the improvements made by Washington, this is still not an explosive attack that can stack up the points and under 46.5 total points at 10/11 holds plenty of appeal, especially given Seattle's recent touchdown dearth. There is history of this being a low-scoring matchup too, with the under landing in the last four meetings.

The progression made by the Washington defence after a shocking start to the season should also limit the scoring, with the Football Team giving up 21 points or less in their last three outings. Washington's defensive front likes nothing better than harassing quarterbacks and this will be another tough assignment for Wilson, who could be playing his last season in Seattle as trade rumours continue to gather pace.

The 33-year-old quarterback wants to be with a team challenging for a Super Bowl but the Seahawks appear to be heading towards a considerable rebuild, one that's unlikely to include Wilson.

Monday's meeting is shaping up to be one for the NFL purists with Washington better equipped to win what could be an ugly contest.

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