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Seahawks

Will the Seahawks return to the playoffs?

Verdict - The matchups aren’t good for Seattle and Houston wins. Record - 8-5 Week 15 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers I think the loss of linebacker Derrick Brooks will hurt this team a lot. He was the leader for a long time. The offense has good weapons with Kellen Winslow, Antonio Bryant and Derrick Ward, but who will throw the ball? Verdict - The Seahawks should be able to take this one. Record - 9-5

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wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Will the quarterback be past-his-prime Daunte Culpepper or too-young Matthew Stafford? Does it matter? Johnson provides a matchup problem for the Seahawks because he’s big, but the Lions don’t have a great offensive line to give the quarterback time to find him. Detroit doesn’t have much on defense, except ex-Seahawk Julian Peterson. Verdict - Seahawks wins fairly easily. I’d expect the noisy crowd to make things nearly impossible for Stafford if he were to start. Record - 5-3

Week 10 at Arizona Cardinals The Cardinals might find things a little bit easier in their home stadium this time around. Verdict - Arizona gets revenge with a win. Record - 5-4

Week 11 at Minnesota Vikings The strength of the Vikings should be in stopping the run and running with Adrian Peterson. Quarterback remains a big question, so the team could struggle with balance again. The Seahawks won’t find much room to run with no speed threat and the Vikings stacked inside on the defensive line. Hasselbeck should be able to throw in this secondary, though. Verdict - Peterson will likely have a big

August 7, 2009 www.rentonreporter.com

The Seahawks offense runs through a play in at a spring practice. Tight end John Carlson, who led the team in receptions last season, moves in motion before the snap. ADAM MCFADDEN, Renton Reporter day but the Seahawks overcome to ge the win. Record - 6-4 Week 12 at St. Louis Rams The Rams will be better at this point in the season, but not enough to take out the Seahawks. Verdict - Seattle takes another from the Rams. Record - 7-4 Week 13 vs. San Francisco 49ers This team is a bit of a wildcard. If Frank Gore can stay healthy, Shaun Hill or Alex Smith steps up to be a starter, or Crabtree becomes an impact receiver the offense

could be good. The defense, behind Patrick Willis, could improve rapidly. Verdict - The 49ers give the Seahawks a scare at home, but it’s not quite enough. Record - 8-4 Week 14 at Houston Texans The Texans’ offense has a chance to be very good. Houston’s pair of 6-foot-3 receivers (Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter) could pose big problems for Seattle’s smaller secondary. Look for speedy defensive end Mario Williams to find Hasselbeck once or twice.

Week 16 at Green Bay Packers With Aaron Rodgers being a bit more comfortable in his second full season as a starter, I expect the Packers’ passing game to be strong. The defense is hard to read at this point because it largely depends on how Aaron Kampman transitions from defensive end to linebacker. He has totaled 37 sacks in the past three seasons, but he will be dropping back into coverage much more. Verdict - The Packers hold down homefield advantage in a low-scoring game. Record - 9-6 Week 17 vs. Tennessee Titans Before the the season starts, this looks like your classic speed/finesse team against the powerful Titans. Tennessee will once again be running a lot with speedy Chris Johnson and hefty LenDale White. The Titan defense makes it a long day for Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett, while Hasselbeck doesn’t have quite enough to overcome a slow running game. Verdict - Tennessee takes the game, but don’t worry: Seattle makes the playoffs! Record - 9-7

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