Dallas- The wildcard game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys should be a good one. Both teams are coming into the postseason winning their last regular season game, but each team has a lot of flaws that they need to clean up in order to make it to the big dance.
Seattle- Running back Chris Carson is one of the key factors with helping the Seahawks get a victory over Dallas. He brings a lot of energy as a downhill runner and is very elusive in the open field. He is the first running back in Seattle that eclipsed a 1,000-yard season since Marshawn Lynch retired and the Seahawks are starting to get big plays down the field off of play action passes because now defensive coaches have to account for a game changer in Carson.
Russell Wilson is playing lights out. He has thrown 35 touchdowns and has been picked off only 7 times this season. His total QB rating is an astonishing 110.9. This season his offensive line has held up and protected their QB. He has not been hurried as much as he has been in previous years and with that protection, he could go through all of his progressional reads. He is completing over 65 % of his passes and has gotten everyone touches. Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and David Moore have carried this team when they needed a big play down the field to secure a victory or attempt to make a final gut-wrenching drive to tie a game.
David Moore has finally broken out of his shell and is starting to become a “House Hold” name in Seattle. At the start of preseason, Moore was trying to make the roster and did. Time in and time out he started to wow fans with some amazing grabs with tight coverage as a back up during the first half of the season, but after being more productive than veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, he got his chance with being the starter after Marshall was released. Moore is very athletic, physical, and is a good get it receiver. He will not beat you with speed, but his routes are very strategic. He comes out of breaks very fluent and he is very consistent with catching the ball.
On the defensive end, Frank Clark, the Griffin twins, and Bobby Wagner has set a fire with this young group. Coming into the regular season, the Seahawks lost a lot of key players and installed younger guys. This group has risen to the challenge and is ranked in the top 10 in defense. The Seahawks like to play a lot of zone coverage, but their front is so good with putting pressure on the opposing quarterbacks that they like their odds with playing zone more than man.
Cowboys-The Dallas Cowboys finished their season 10-6 and are the division champions in the NFC East. Since the Cowboys brought in Amari Cooper, the Cowboys started to turn it on in the second half of the season. Cooper was the medicine that the Cowboys needed. They finally found a go-to wide receiver that is capable of making big plays down the field. The offensive line has been very questionable at times, but the success that the Cowboys are having is because of the passing attack. With Cole Beasley coming off 65 receptions for 672-yard season, the Cowboys still face a lot of criticism. The Cowboys’ offense stalls a lot in the second half, they get too conservative and take the ball out of the air and attempt to pound the ball with Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot has dominated on the ground with averaging over 4.7 yards a carry. and running for 1,434 this season. Even though the Cowboys are in the playoffs, the defense deserves all the credit. In a crucial game against the Saints that the Cowboys needed to stay ahead in their division, the defense held the Saints to 13 points. Week in and Week out this defense has saved the Cowboys from loosing.
Keys to Victory- The Cowboys have to take their shots down the field and need to be the aggressor on the offensive end. Elliot will be key on a lot of drives, but they can get Seattle’s secondary in an awkward position if they get them on their heels. The Cowboys need to spice it up instead of going run, run, and pass or pass, run, and run on their possessions. Give the ball to your playmakers early, so they can get in a rhythm and take shots down the field.
On the defensive end, the Cowboys have to keep a QB Spy on Wilson at all times. Wilson is very elusive in the open field and the Cowboys have to understand to wrap Wilson up if they get pressure on him. Also, the Cowboys have to stay disciplined, Seattle likes to run hurry up if they feel like they have opponents on their heels. The Cowboys have had some big penalties that almost cost them a couple of games in the regular season.
Seattle- Carson will be one of the factors with getting the Seahawks in the red zone quick and early. Seattle has to maintain control of the game. In recent weeks, the Seahawks have blown big leads and had to win in overtime or had opponents come back from the dead and beat them. Seattle will take their shots down the field because they have some guys on the outside that can run break open for a big play. Wilson is averaging around 40% completion rate when he throws the ball 30 yards or more down the field. On the offensive side, Seattle is ranked top ten in run defense; if they can stop Elliot and take away their running game that forces Dak Prescott to throw the ball more. Prescott has been getting lucky with some of his throws in the regular season. Under pressure, Dak takes too many sacks or hold onto the ball longer than what is expected. If the Seahawks play man coverage that would force Dak to throw the ball perfectly to his receivers and if they put pressure on his left side, that would force him to run to his right side. His right side is where he throws inaccurately. This will be a game with a couple of turnovers and a lot of three in and outs, but both QBs will abuse the middle of the field because both teams will try to blit more often. This game should go down to the wire.
Final: Seahawks 27
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