Well, now we won’t have to wonder if Marshawn Lynch will somehow disrupt the rhythm of the Seahawks’ offense.
As you’ve heard by now, he won’t be in Minnesota for Sunday’s playoff game after Pete Carroll told us Friday morning that he was ready to go. I’m guessing Carroll was as surprised as everyone else when he learned that Lynch didn’t feel like he was healthy enough to play.
His absence, albeit odd, shouldn’t have much of an impact on the Seahawks’ offense, which has functioned fine without him.
I can come up with a million reasons why the Seahawks will beat the Vikings and only a handful of reasons why the Vikings will beat the Seahawks.
The Seahawks are the superior team, possessing its greatest advantage at quarterback, where Russell Wilson has more talent and experience than Teddy Bridgewater.
Seattle’s offense overall is better than Minnesota’s, and the same is true when comparing defenses – the Seahawks are No. 2 in the NFL, the Vikings are No. 13.
Then when you factor in Seattle’s 38-7 win at Minnesota last month, you wonder how the betting line on the game is only five points. How can Seattle be favored by only five points?
As I’ve mentioned before, those guys in Vegas are pretty accurate. Every time you think they’re off, you find out they’re not. It makes me think that Seattle’s blowout win was more of an aberration than something you can expect to happen again on Sunday.
I’m guessing if these two teams played each other 100 times, Seattle would win a solid majority of them, but what if one of those games in the minority is the one we see on Sunday? There’s a chance that could happen.
I like looking at intangibles even if they don’t mean squat. Seattle enters with a huge chip on its shoulder because none of its defensive players were chosen to the AP All-Pro team. The Vikings counter with no one thinking they have a shot to win. They’ll have an us-against-the-world mentality.
Plus I noticed on Twitter that this is the fourth-largest home underdog in wild-card playoff history with Minnesota getting five points. In the other three games, including Seattle against New Orleans in the Beast Quake game five years ago, the home underdog won.
Don’t forget that Minnesota won 11 games this year, one more than Seattle.
The list of reasons why Minnesota could win includes playing at home, the weather, Cordarelle Patterson, Adrian Peterson, the return of three defensive starters who did not play in the first Seattle game and the likelihood this game will be much closer than the first.
Carolina beat Atlanta 38-0 this season and turned around and lost to the Falcons 20-13 for its only blemish on a 15-1 season.
I think the weather – 5 degrees is the expected high – will help the inferior team. Bridgewater can’t get much worse throwing the ball; Wilson, however, can.
I’m also expecting several tip drills with balls glancing off the hands of receivers all day long. There should be more fumbles too. And on kickoffs, expect big returns from Patterson and Tyler Lockett because Blair Walsh and Steven Hauschka won’t be able to boom the ball through the back of the end zone.
Those are some of the reasons why I made over 39 ½ points in the game “The Smokin’ Lock of the Week.” I might have been 4-12-1 with locks during the regular season but I’m undefeated in the playoffs. Yes, I know the playoffs haven’t started yet, what’s your point?
In the game itself, there will be many anxious moments for the 12s. I still think the Seahawks will prevail, but Minnesota will cover the spread.
Line: Seahawks by 5
Prediction: Seahawks 24, Vikings 20
Playoff record against the spread: 0-0.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com, KitsapSun.com and his new website, jimmooregocougs.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.