Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, December 11, 2015 at 7:00 PM
I wouldn’t say that I had officially given up hope on the two-time defending Seattle Seahawks earlier this season. But, I definitely recognized that they had lost their swagger. They didn’t look at all like the bullies who had embarrassed the conference the past two seasons. They had grown fat and happy.
The easiest way to see this is through the lens of the two most important factors we always talk about here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping.
PLAYMAKERS & GAMEBREAKERS
Nobody was making plays. The offense was dormant, as stars of the past didn’t look like they wanted to fight any more. And, most importantly here, the DEFENSE had stopped making plays. What made Seattle so dangerous at its peak was the fact that the defense was scoring or setting up cheap points with takeaways. The PLAYMAKERS had disappeared on both sides of the ball.
THE MOTIVATION FACTOR
Non-existent. Seattle wasn’t playing with any motivation because the games didn’t matter to them. They had just played in back-to-back Super Bowls…so how important can September and October football be? Flat as a pancake.
But, the last two weeks…in wins over Pittsburgh and Minnesota, you could see the fire again. Interestingly, it came from some new faces.
RUSSELL WILSON: PLAYMAKER
This young quarterback had been more of a game manager during the Super Bowl runs. They wanted him to stay out of the way while everyone else did the heavy lifting. You could see that in third down conversion rates, and in play-calling choices in crunch time. Seattle wanted its stud running back carrying the ball. Or, they wanted their receivers to get big yardage after a catch. Wilson wasn’t asked to do too much…and he apparently got tired of it!
Seattle was 21-28-0-260 passing last week at Minnesota. That’s about as sharp as it gets outdoors in Minnesota at this time of year. How about 21-30-0-336 vs. Pittsburgh the week before? No interceptions. Big yardage. Few balls hitting the ground relatively speaking. That’s two weeks adding up to 42-58-0-596. WOW!
Seattle found a NEW GAMEBREAKER…one who had a chip on his shoulder because of negative press earlier this season. That leads us right to…
NEW FACES: THE MOTIVATION FACTOR
Many of the players who had been fat and happy in the first two months have largely stayed that way. But some overlooked players have risen up to make things happen on both sides of the ball. It’s amazing how this happens with the best sports franchises. It’s true in the NBA and MLB too. Management knows how to find these guys…and give them a chance. Did you see the fire on the field and the sidelines during the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh game and the first half of the Minnesota blowout.
You can’t miss it…Seattle has the body language of a champion once again. And now a more aggressive passing game!
KELSO STURGEON isn’t going to come out in early December and tell you Seattle is a lock to win the NFC once again. But it’s clear to me that this team is very seriously back on the radar as they head into Sunday afternoon’s game at Baltimore. That’s an interesting test because it’s the second straight “early” kickoff on the road for this Far West team. If Seattle wins another road blowout…then maybe they are a lock to take out Carolina and/or Arizona in the postseason! If not, I still like what I’m seeing.
Wildcards can get to the Super Bowl. This recent version of Seattle would be a very dangerous Wildcard. And, the players can prove they don’t need “the twelfth man” of home support to win a title.
Let’s watch that Seattle/Baltimore game together to see what we can learn about what the Seahawks may or may not be able to accomplish the rest of the way. Will we have a “rooting” interest in that game in terms of a big Las Vegas bet? You have to be a paying client to find out! Seattle on paper makes a lot of sense…but that “bad body clock” issue could certainly send me to different options.
KELSO STURGEON’S top plays in basketball and football can always be purchased right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure you ask about combination packages for the NFL, the college bowls and Final Four, the NBA, and college hoops when you call.
Back with you early next week with another class discussion. The college football bowl schedule gets started on Saturday December 19. So, we’ll definitely talk about bowl handicapping at least once next week. So much going on in sports betting right now. You regulars know I try to keep course content fresh and relevant for real world applications. The Dean of Sports Handicapping appreciates your hard work and will see you again on Monday.
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