First, go over to Field Gulls to see my breakdown of the ENTIRE upcoming NFL season. Then come back here and look at my detailed predictions for our boys in blue and green...
-The lead: Seattle goes 9-7 and wins the NFC West based on a head-to-head sweep of the 49ers. In the Wild Card game against Minnesota, the favored Vikings fall 28-19 due to two Adrian Peterson fumbles and three Favre interceptions; With Seattle clinging to a 21-19 lead late in the game, the Vikings reach midfield before Pro Bowler Marcus Trufant steps in front of an ill-advised Favre pass- Tru runs it back 63 yards for the clinching TD, and Qwest goes absolutely apeshit.
The following week in the divisional playoff at the Georgia Dome, Seattle fights eventual XLV winner Atlanta for 60 minutes before finally succumbing 20-14.
-Postseason awards: Pete Carroll wins NFL Coach of the Year honors, and Earl Thomas is named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
-Pro Bowlers: Marcus Trufant, Lofa Tatupu, Earl Thomas
-Team MVP: Matt Hasselbeck, who starts 14 of 16 games. Seattle goes 9-5 with Beck under center, and Matthew puts up this stat line: 299/475 for 3672 yards, with 27 TDs and 11 interceptions. Passer rating? 96.0
-Week 1 (Seahawks 31, 49ers 17)
Seattle jumps all over SF early, building a 17-0 halftime lead based thanks to a Leon Washington TD run and and Earl Thomas interception return. The Niners cut the lead to 24-17 in the 4th before Mike Williams takes a slant pattern 61 yards for the clinching TD.
-Week 7 (Seahawks 45, Cardinals 10)
The Hawks emphatically end Arizona's brief reign over the division behind four Hasselbeck TD passes and two defensive scores (one each from Tatupu and Trufant).
-Week 13 (Seahawks 27, Niners 26)
By mid-December, the Hawks toasty 3-1 start cools to a 6-6 mark. The 49ers bounce back from an 0-4 start to stand at 7-5. Very few people give Seattle a chance to take back control of the division with a road win at Candlestick... But the Hawks find a way to force SF to kick FGs instead of score TDs, and Beck gets the ball with 1:47 left at his own 20, down by 2.
In the drive of the season, Hasselbeck whips the Seattle offense down the field, hitting Housh at midfield to convert on a 4th and 10... A draw to Justin Forsett gets Seattle to the SF 30, where Beck has to clock it with 10 seconds left. Mare buries the 47-yarder, and Seattle wins the game of the year in the NFC West.
-Week 17 (Seahawks 44, Rams 14)
Seattle enters the final day of the regular season needing a win over the 4-11 Rams or a Cardinals win over the Niners to clinch the NFC West. The 6-9 Cards trail the Niners all day and go down to defeat, but there isn't much cause for scoreboard watching with the Seahawks dropping a 40-burger on STL. Backed by 67,000 maniacs, Seattle takes the field in its bright green 3rd jerseys (SQUEEE!) and never gives Bradford and the Rams an opening... In an echo of 1983 and 2005, the Hawks take a curtain call after the game, mingling with the fans and reveling their return to the top of the NFC West.
You heard it here first, dear readers.