Earlier this week we asked our followers on Twitter to select their NFL game of the week between the Ravens v Chargers, Texans v Eagles, Steelers v Saints and Chiefs v Seahawks. Obviously, the headline of the article kind of gives the results away.
Pick your #NFL game of the week ???
— Franchise Sports ???? (@FranchiseSprts) December 19, 2018
The Chiefs head to Seattle with their spot in the playoffs already secured and a division title already celebrated. They look in a good spot to earn a top-two seed and home-field advantage, so it is set to be a stern test for the Seahawks.
Seattle missed their chance to secure their playoff spot last week after suffering a defeat to the 49ers in overtime, leaving Pete Carroll’s side with a tough task as they’ll either have to beat one of the best in the NFL this week or overcome a perennial thorn in their side (the Cardinals) next weekend.
We’ve detailed some of the key aspects of the clash at the CenturyLink Field below in our in-depth preview.
Seattle’s penalty woes
Last weekend’s defeat to division rivals the 49ers was bad for Seattle for many different reasons but, while the 12th man may feel aggrieved by some of the officiating in that game, the fact of the matter is the Seahawks were the masters of their own downfall.
The Seahawks committed 14 penalties during the clash with San Francisco, many of which came in key moments in third downs in both offence and defence. Overall, it led to a whopping 148 yards lost due to penalties.
While the headlines may have been taken by *that* defensive holding call against Shaquill Griffin, the reality is it was the holding calls and other penalties that cost Pete Carroll’s side.
— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) December 20, 2018
Mahomes set for a blinder
The Seahawks allowed 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens to throw for almost 700 yards over two games, so just imagine what Patrick Mahomes could achieve. The Chiefs’ leading man boasts 45 touchdown passes and over 4,5000 yards this season and looks certain to enjoy a fine game against the Seahawks.
Facing off against a defence that has problems, Mahomes’ influence could lead to a comfortable victory for the Chiefs and a very ugly scoreline for Seattle. He will have to keep his nerve up due to the pressure of playing in front of the Seahawks crowd and the physical defensive presence he will come up against but it should not be too much of an issue.
Carroll back to basics
Boasting the most rushing yards in the NFL, the Seahawks have gone back to their roots this season and it has provided the basis for a push to the playoffs. However, there is still issues with their passing and they rank 27th in the league.
Whereas Marshawn Lynch used to lead the rushing for the Seahawks, his void has been filled by a variety of players. Chris Carson is closing in on 1,000 rushing yards this season and is the leader but both Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny have over 400 each.
That triple-threat option, along with Russell Wilson’s 300+ rushing yards himself, will be a stern test for a Chiefs defence that sits in the top ten for rushing yards allowed this season.