5 reasons the rest of the NFC should fear the Seahawks

Russell Wilson, matchup nightmares on offense and a ferocious defense are among the reasons why Seattle is a contender.

| 2 weeks ago
(Steve Dykes, Getty Images)

(Steve Dykes, Getty Images)

5 reasons the rest of the NFC should fear the Seahawks


It’s time the rest of the NFC started to get a little frightened by the Seattle Seahawks.

The Dallas Cowboys have the best record in football at 9-1 and currently own the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but at 7-2-1 the Seahawks are now in the No. 2 spot and riding a three-game win streak. One of those wins was against the New England Patriots on the road, a team that most thought was the best in the NFL at the time.

The Seahawks are getting hot, and this is a team that has extensive playoff experience and is not relying on a pair of rookies (as Dallas is with QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott) to lead them to where they want to go.

The Eagles provided another stern test this week, and while the score tightened up a little towards the end of the game, the Seahawks effectively trampled them at home and made Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz look very much like the rookie he is.

Here are five reasons the rest of the NFC needs to fear the Seahawks:

1. Russell Wilson is making a strong case to be league MVP

I named Russell Wilson as my midseason MVP and that was far from a popular decision, but now that his ankle is back under him he only looks better. He has climbed to No. 3 in PFF grades at 89.6 (on our 0-100 scale), narrowly behind the player most wanted as the midseason MVP – Matt Ryan (90.0). He is still working with a disaster of an offensive line in front of him, and this may be the best season of Wilson’s career — and previous seasons have brought him to the Super Bowl.

Right now, Wilson’s ability to play in the face of unrelenting pressure and mitigate those effects has never been more impressive. We know the damage he can do with his legs, both in terms of scrambles and moving outside of the pocket to buy time and create a big play in the passing game, but he has also hugely sped up his average time to throw and has been putting the ball in the air early, completing big plays down the field despite quick pressure coming.

2. They have several matchup weapons on offense

Tight end Jimmy Graham has been back to his best this season, and at his best he is a player whom defenses can’t match up with. Graham is 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, and can run and use the full extent of his catch radius to bring in passes. Hardly anybody has an athlete on defense who can compare to those measurables, and if they do, they are rushing the passer. This season he has three 100-yard games, and against the Eagles he was able to turn an improvised Wilson pass into a touchdown by making an adjustment to the ball and then breaking two tackles on his way to the end zone.

jimmygrahamseahawks880

Graham is a real weapon to the offense, but they also have wide receiver Doug Baldwin, whose ability to work the slot and outside causes a defense problems, and have seen the recent emergence of C.J. Prosise, who can both run the ball and work as a receiver to cause further stress to defenses. This Seahawks offense may not have the same platform as others given their offensive line, but they are one of the league’s tougher offenses to match up with from a personnel standpoint.

3. The defense is really, really good (again)

At the risk of breaking some pretty major news, the Seattle defense is pretty damn good. This has been the engine room of the franchise’s success in recent years, and it’s still good enough to do much of the heavy lifting. They have been without arguably their best player in DE Michael Bennett, and it hasn’t slowed their roll even a little bit. All of the important players from the last few years are still playing their best football, with Cliff Avril, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman all earning strong grades this week — and if anything, they are better as a unit than the sum of their parts.

4. The offensive line has been awful

This might seem like a strange reason to point to, but this Seahawks’ O-line has been horrendous all season, and even with an injury-limited Wilson, they have won seven of their 10 games, including knocking off the Patriots on a cross-country road trip.

The line has been utterly awful – with the notable exception of center Justin Britt, who has had poor games but been good overall – and yet it hasn’t prohibited them from winning the way many (including me) expected it to, finally, this season. Seattle has four of the worst starting linemen in the league, and yet Wilson is playing the best football of his career, doing so with an injured ankle for much of the year, and has never looked more comfortable in the face of sustained pressure.

If the line doesn’t improve at all over the season, Wilson has proven that he can still produce at a high level, especially when healthy. But if the line can develop even just a little bit, then that becomes a huge boost for the team. Either way, what would be an Achilles’ heel for any other team (just look at what Minnesota’s O-line issues have done to the Vikings’ record) seems like merely a deliberate decision to save resources by the Seahawks, and something they have continually shown they can live with in the past.

5. Tyler Lockett is a difference-maker on special teams

He hasn’t been the same force as a receiver as he was a year ago, but Lockett remains a dangerous return man, even if he hasn’t taken one to the house this season. He has strong grades as both a kick and punt returner this season, and does have a 62-yard punt return to his name. In big games late in the season a key return can become a huge play, and the Seahawks are better placed than most to get one of those from a return-man as good as Lockett.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.

  • James Winslow

    I don’t think the seahawks match up well against Dallas, their run defense isn’t that good.

    • zinn21 zinn21

      That’ll be one hack of a game..

    • flyerhawk

      They are 2nd in the league in yards/carry on defense. Who are the good rushing defenses in your opinion?

      • James Winslow

        Baltimore, Dallas, jets, and giants. Overall, I think they are too small up front to challenge the Dallas o-line.

        • flyerhawk

          There may be better run defenses but that doesn’t make the Seahawks run defense “not that good”.

          • James Winslow

            Its not bad but they have been ran on before by the elite rushing attacks, especially if the o-line is elite.

          • flyerhawk

            Well sure. Even the best units fail sometimes.

            IMO, you beat the Cowboys by getting a lead and not letting them control the game with their running game.

            The Seahawks would have Sherman on Bryant and force guys like Beasley beat them. And if the Seahawks offense continues to play as well as it is right now they will be a very tough out for any team.

          • James Winslow

            Very true.

        • a

          dallas has a pretty below average run D this season, i smell a homer.

          • James Winslow

            so third in rushing yards allowed is bad.

          • Josh Meier

            Well, if the Seahawks are second and they’re bad then I would say that 3rd would be worse.

          • James Winslow

            They are tenth in yards allowed.

          • jacklaughing

            Elliot is nearly at the most carries he’s ever had in a season with 6 games to go. Don’t be surprised when his production trails off and that Dallas offense is relying on Prescott and Morris. Seahawks D can handle a hot rookie, and they’ve stuffed Morris before.

        • monkey

          Did you say Dallas?
          Homer. Dallas has a below average run defense, they’re nowhere near as good as Seattle.

    • Brad Harvey

      “their run defense isn’t that good.”
      An opinion is an opinion and thats fine, but sorry man your opinion holds zero water

      • James Winslow

        I mean they Dallas ran on them and beat them in Seattle. Their run defense is only above average

        • Travis Dillard

          Dallas played Seattle in Preseason – Week 3, and they did run a bit on us. In fact, Zeke trucked Kam thoroughly. However, Seattle won that game handily 27-17.

          • James Winslow

            I was referring to 2014.

          • osoviejo

            Even less relevant.

          • EJ

            You’ve been polite with your replies, so kudos for that. But to invoke a game from 2014 as the basis of your argument? Doesn’t that kind of border on ancient history in the NFL?

            Anyway, I’ve enjoyed watching your offense work this season. You have a couple of awesome rookies there.

          • Levin Adkins

            Why would it when both teams are virtually the same? They barely beat the Cowboys last season when there was no threat of a passing game. As a Cowboys fan im not worried about the Seahawks bc we have given them all they could handle the last 2 seasons.

          • flyerhawk

            Past performance is not an indicator of future success.

            Maybe the Cowboys defense will shut down the Seahawks offense. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

          • Seahawk92

            Hawks always have problems in the early part of the year. It’s a LITTLE different when you play us in December or January.

          • James Winslow

            I mean Dallas has the same o line, and Seattle has basically the same d line and don’t have the prototype anchors at d tackle. True things can change but that o-line and d-line for both teams feel relatively the same. It should be a good game if get to face each other in the playoffs.

    • Michael Terry

      I think they match up pretty well since Dallas’s defense is terrible.

    • Patrick James Fay

      Our run defense is pretty damn good. Top 10. Is it a tick off this year? Yup.
      But we’ve faced some pretty damn stellar running backs. David Johnson (3rd), Blount (5th), Forte (7th), and McCoy (9th). Not to mention the ferocious tandem, when healthy, that Atlanta presents.

      You do realize your team has one of the easiest schedules this year. And have faced exactly one elite RB this year. I know y’all are starved in Dallas for success. There’s a lot of pressure there to succeed. But you guys suck the hype pipe so fast.

      You do understand that the majority of Dallas’ success was achieved a loooong time ago, right? What is it? One playoff win in the last 20 seasons?

      I think it’s more of a glaring negative about the franchise that you can have that solid of an Offensive Line and have nothing to show for it.

      Next 6 games will tell the tale. My advice? Stop counting your chickens before they hatch. It’s the epitome of annoying. Especially from Cowboys fans. Do something, then talk.

      • Seahawk92

        While I agree with most of this, I have to say I think Dallas has a better team than in years past. They’ve had a cupcake schedule, but you don’t get to 9-1 in the NFL very easy. Even the Hawks lost to the Saints and the Lambs, and tied with the so called “Red Sea”. Although next time around MosesBread’s gonna part the red sea hahaha!

        • Patrick James Fay

          None of this is really relevant to the discussion. My reply to the Dallas dude with “rose colored glasses” is that Dallas is relatively unproven. They haven’t faced any elite RBs. Seattle has faced four of the top 10. And we are 3-0-1 against those RB’s teams. So him saying we don’t stack up well against a good rushing team is pretty dumb.

          And you make me doubt your Seattle bonafides when you talk about our record. Rams have been our Kryptonite, for whatever reason. The AZ tie was just weird. Should have won with Hauschka, but still one of the most valiant defensive efforts (by both teams) I’ve ever witnessed. And the Saints game was a straight job by the refs. 13 points can be traced directly to three calls the NFL subsequently “apologized” for making.

          • Seahawk92

            I don’t disagree with any of that. I think your analysis of the Seahawks is spot on. My point is that it is HARD to win in the NFL, so I give Dallas props for getting to 9-1 (now 10-1). Even though they haven’t really had a difficult schedule, NFL teams are still NFL teams, and any given Sunday… and Dallas has handled it’s business. You can only play who’s on your schedule, and they’ve done that. So they get high grades from me for that. You’re correct however in stating they’re relatively unproven… I think with a rookie QB and rookie RB they probably won’t make the SB… just don’t have the experience yet. Maybe a year or two away.
            As far as the Seahawks losses, it’s fairly simple to me. We struggle with teams that have a dominant D lineman. Aaron Donald, Calais Campbell, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh… Oh, and then there’s the Saints “zebra game”. We still had opportunities to win that game and didn’t take advantage so… The point is that we have more losses than Dallas. Regardless of who’s on your schedule, you still have to play them, and we’ve lost a few.

    • gomer_rs

      In years past run D has been a problem for Seattle… not this year, and not when Bennet comes back.

      • jacklaughing

        Seattle’s run D has been ranked 12th, 7th, 2nd, 2nd, and now 2nd in DVOA since 2012. They’ve been well above average for 5 years and 2nd to the best run D three years in a row.

        • gomer_rs

          Yes, but this is relative to their pass D, not relative to the league.

    • Seahawk92

      Honestly, I think you’re taking hope to the extreme. Hawks are a better all around team, and it’s not close.

      • James Winslow

        Dallas is far more complete on offense, and it isn’t even close.

        • Seahawk92

          If you believe that you haven’t really watched the Seahawk offense. Dallas is very good, probably top 3 in the league. But the Seahawk offense isn’t really that far behind, when the O-line is working the way they can, at least. The problem Dallas is going to have, is that the O-line of the Hawks can be average against any team that doesn’t have a very good front 4. Dallas D doesn’t have that. When Russell has a little time to operate he’s one of the top 3 QB in the league. It comes down to matchups. Seattle D matches up to Dallas O better than Dallas D matches up with Seattle O. Seattle really only struggles against teams that have very good D-line. Rams, Cardinals, Tampa, Miami… each of those teams have dominant players in the D-line. Aaron Donald, Calais Campbell, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh… Dallas just doesn’t have one of those guys. Dallas will get their scores, for sure, But the Hawks will limit them to under their season average, usually 10 points under. Hawks offense will be able to operate enough to win the game. I think it’s close, but from a matchup viewpoint Dallas doesn’t have the right personnel to take advantage of the Seahawks weakness.

  • zinn21 zinn21

    In my mind Wilson is the MVP right now. He is awesome and gutted out numerous games when injured. One coach I steal off season, make him a head coach is Tom Cable. I’ve never seen a guy take raw players and develop a cohesive O line on the fly like Cable. That skill alone is worth it’s weight in gold..

    • gomer_rs

      Raiders tried Tom Cable as HC once. The whole choking an employee thing, not a good look.

      • crosseyedlemon

        There’s some baggage there and the Browns (also with a former Raider HC) are probably the only team that could upgrade by hiring a guy with a 17-27 career record.

        • gomer_rs

          I don’t think the Browns could upgrade. Their GM just blew up the team to build from scratch. You can’t judge their coach on what he’s got.

      • zinn21 zinn21

        That was then. This is now…

  • osoviejo

    Sunday was brutal to the Seahawks health, so that’ll be a situation to watch. Lost half the LOB, and half of their running backs.

    Earl Thomas and Deshawn Shead are likely out for at least two games with hamstrings, C.J. Prosise is out at least until the start of the playoffs with a broken scapula, and Troymaine Pope is gone for a few games with a high-ankle sprain.

    Sheesh.

    • EJ

      I was trolling the ‘net looking for an injury update for them. You’ve done my work for me. Thanks.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Pro Football Reference is a great source for team and player data and you should find injury updates there without much trouble.

    • jacklaughing

      The Seahawks have played through injury-prone seasons before. 2014 was a nightmare for this team, specifically on defense, but they rallied in the 2nd half of the season and made it to a second Super Bowl. And they nearly won that game, even with serious injuries to more than half the LOB.

      • Seahawk92

        They probably would have won that game if it hadn’t been for Cliff Avril’s concussion. Brady scored all but 7 of his points after Avril went out.

  • crosseyedlemon

    If you enjoyed this article come back in 25 years when Sam will present 5 reasons the league should fear the Cleveland Browns.

    • gomer_rs

      Well that was about how long it took the Seahawks to get here from 1992, 2nd overall draft pick, quarterback out of Notre Dame…. Rick Meyer!!!!!

      • crosseyedlemon

        Fans tend to think 25 years is a long time but they forget that many franchises in various sports have struggled longer than that. The Cubs just ended a 108 year drought.

      • Brandon M

        Rick Mirer and I still see his jersey on gamedays

        • gomer_rs

          I still remember sitting in the Kingdome as the defense taking the field thinking “If they don’t score here and allow a punt, the Hawks are doomed!”

    • jacklaughing

      The NFL is cyclical and parity is real. In 25 years the Patriots will be the new Browns. You can count on that. Look at the history. This is the NFL.

      • crosseyedlemon

        No one is suggesting the Patriots will dominate for another 25 years but with success comes the lessons of how to minimize mistakes that lead to failure. The Browns have been repeating the same mistakes forever and there is little evidence things will change anytime soon.

      • eYeDEF

        It’s not THAT cyclical. Only 19 teams have won a Super Bowl. The rest are pretenders until they can prove they’re not.

  • Brion

    If.your Dallas whos gonna cover Graham? And Baldwin, ( and stay with Lockett). Your QB is basically an unproven rookie version of Russell Wilson ( albeit a good one). But with Bennet coming back this Hawk defense will be rounding into shape just at the right time…oh and Wilson will be 100% healthy. I” ll take the team that flew across country on a short week to beat the Pats at home after their bye. Not the one who has beat up on mediocre teams….

    • James Herndon

      Byron “shut down tight end” Jones will be on Graham. Claiborne when he returns from injury will be on Baldwin. Scandrik will cover locket or the rookie Brown will cover him. We’re not worried about the Hawks defensive line. You know why? We have the best O-line in football and the best blocking RB and TE in football. I’ll take the offense who dominated the leagues best defense (baltimore) and have the best dual rookie combination ever in NFL history. We won’t be playing the hawks at Home but at Dallas where you guys are very mortal.

      • eYeDEF

        lulz. You say that as if you really believe Claiborne can cover Baldwin. Morris Claiborne? LOLOLOL. Dude Claiborne BLOWS.

        And you think a 6’1″ 196 pound cornerback has a prayer against a 6’7″ 260 pound tight end who runs like a WR? How’s he going to win those jump balls? You’re smoking crack son.

        • James Herndon

          Morris Claiborne
          “He has been as consistent as any cornerback in the league at defending ELITE RECEIVERS.”
          PFF

          Before the Patriots game Baldwin only had 1 100 yard game all season with just 2 TD’S. Don’t act like he been ballin this year. Claiborne shut him down last year with only 3 catches on 6 targets. So stop it.

          Now that we got that out of the way…. For you to say what you said about Jones clearly shows you know nothing about what you’re typing. Jones has shut down – Jordan Reed, Gronk, and yes he shut down Graham last year holding him to 2 catches for 20 yards and 0 tds when he was matched up against him. 50 yards came against our Zone coverage defense. 70 yards and 0 tds is hardly ballin.

          • eYeDEF

            Nice misattribution faker. PFF never said that.

            Gotta love how you have to cherry pick “before the Patriots game”. That shows how weak your point is. Fact is, Graham never got fully integrated into the offense last year. It wasn’t just the Cowboys, he and Wilson weren’t yet in sync. That’s different now. Apparently you missed how Wilson flipped a switch in the 2nd half of last season and starting throwing 4 touchdowns a game, during which Baldwin caught 11 of them. This team never gets it going until the 2nd half. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. So right on schedule, now that Wilson’s no longer injured he’s been ballin. Doug probably won’t have as many touchdowns as last year with Jimmy now in the picture, but he will score many more before it’s all said and done and is on pace to easily eclipse 1000 yards, which is more than you can say for Dez and his injury prone ass.

      • TBarnes

        Dallas might be pretty good – hard to tell based upon who they’ve played. The East as a division is still of questionable quality. They’ve beat up on pretty weak teams and each other overall so it’s hard to tell. The Eagles were throttled by the Hawks last weekend, which didn’t help their case. Dallas has no signature wins like the Hawks road win over the Pats. We will see what becomes of this season, but I do know the Hawks have found ways to win games since PC has been their HC. You can’t discount that fact.

        • James Herndon

          But I don’t think that the Patriots are as good as advertised? Who have they played besides yall? The Patriots have played no one. The Falcons started off hot but since then has gone 2-3. If you’re going to make that argument let’s be consistent. The teams Seattle has beaten are under 500, hasn’t played anyone, or have been exposed as not the team everyone expected them to be. See I can do as you do. The point is…. you beat who you play. Period.

          • TBarnes

            You’re kidding, right? The Patriots are considered by odds makers the MOST likely team to win the Lombardi – and that includes those guys in Vegas – who, if you hadn’t noticed, make a living calling these things. The Patriots ARE a VERY GOOD team – not sure what advertisers you’re paying attention to. Cowboys advertisers maybe?

            I find it funny that you claim the Patriots haven’t played anyone – yet they’ve played many of the same bad teams that Dallas has played. You don’t argue that Dallas hasn’t played anyone – odd. The Pats have played more winning teams than Dallas at this point. So you talk about consistency, but you aren’t consistent yourself.

            As for saying the teams Seattle has played are under .500 – 5 teams the Seahawks have played at .500 or above – that’s HALF their games! And, I should point out they’ve won all of those games. Your stats are just not correct – not even close – therefore your argument is the same. I fail to see that you ahve done ANYTHING as I have done. Your argument was PERFECT – IF you had been arguing that Dallas hasn’t played anyone.

            Lastly – actually, you PLAY who is scheduled. You MAY beat them, but it is not guaranteed. So your “Period” was misplaced. I think what you actually meant was that you have to play who they schedule – very true – but your record can also be highly influenced by who you play. ASK CAROLINA. Comparing records between teams to determine which is better is very dangerous as there are many factors that can highly influence them. I realize you’re not going to listen to login or reason – but I had to try.

        • James Herndon

          As far as the east being questionable… you do know that the east is the only division in football who only has one team with a losing record. The east has 23 wins as a total. The west has 17 wins. How are they of less quality then the Hawks division.

          • TBarnes

            Well, even a little common sense would tell you that a division that went a combined 26-38 last year, posting only one team above .500 at 9-7, that had only one team that scored more points than their opponents, while the division was outscored by a combined 165 points – that division was pretty weak – and that’s really not disputable. That division would be questionable the next season because it is HIGHLY impropable teams to completely change in a single offseason. It would not be unexpected to find out that there were other contributing factors that may have helped lead to the apparent turnaround. Let’s look for a few, shall we?

            This season The NFC-E division has one team with a top 10 defense and two teams with top 10 ranked offenses, which shows it is improved, however, when we focus on Dallas as an example – their opponents this season are a combined 38-61. That’s a whopping 38.4 winning percentage! The Giants and Washington opponents are roughly 50%, while the Eagles are the ONLY team in the division whose opponents have a winning percentage 54.5. It’s pretty obvious that Washington, Philly and the Giants have had a harder time against a bit better competition than Dallas, but Dallas has been consistent in beating the weaker competition. Looking at the Cowboys opponents – they’ve played the 32, 31, 24, 23, 22, 19, 18, 10, 8, 2 ranked defenses so far this season. That’s a whopping 70% of their games played against teams currently ranked in the bottom half of the league. The Browns, 49ers, Bears and Bengals have a combined 6 wins this season. Dallas has played only two teams who currently have winning records. Add to that 60% of their opponents have ranked in the bottom half of the league offensively. These facts have to be considered when you evaluate the Dallas 9-1 record.

            The NFC-W currently boasts 3 teams ranked in the top ten defensively and two teams ranked in the top half of the league offensively. The defensive rankings are pretty consistent from last year and indicate that the division is very strong defensively and has been for some time. In fact if not for the implosion this season from the 49ers the entire division would rank very highly defensively. Offensively, the 49ers and Rams are more challenged. The 49ers are new to this condition. Despite this the Rams have a 4-6 record and are competitive due to their defense. This goes to show how important defense is in this league.

            I think we can see that the NFC-W has had a history of competitive play and they still have very strong teams. The NFC-E is starting to look improved, but a significant factor has to be the level of their competition. Their track record from the previous season was not good at all.

          • James Herndon

            You’re saying that it’s highly improbable for teams to be successful the year after they struggled…. so therefore the east does not have legitimate contenders because they struggled last year. Am I correct? If so that’s actually a case of circular reasoning. Just because teams do not often make a rapid turn around in one year does not mean that it can’t happen. It can happen and it has happened. In fact at the beginning of the 2014 season the experts from Vagas, you know the same ones you’re using as a source, said that the Cowboys will be one of the worst teams in the history of football. But what happened? They went 12-4 and was a potential catch away from the championship! Now, let’s fast forward to 2016. I’m going to challenge your argument by asking a question. Why was Dallas one of the worst teams in the league last year? Was it because we underperformed? Was it because we were a horrible team? No. The same sources that you used in “Vegas” said that the Cowboys would be superbowl favorites last year. But injuries happened. They predicted the same this season. Although Romo’s injury should have taken us out again Dak is putting up better numbers then Romo did in 2014 and he is a leading candidate for rookie of the year. But this should not be a surprise (except for dak) we were considered contenders by Vegas before the season started. To say that the Cowboys is not legit is refuting your own source.

            But let’s keep going…. You asserted that it was highly improbable for a division who had been bad the year before to suddenly turn things around the next year. There is one division that destroys your entire argument. You want to know which one…? Yep the NFC WEST in 2012. In 2011 they only had 1 team with a winning record. The next year they had 2 teams with winning records who went to the playoffs and a combined record of 34 wins. The NFL in the next 4 years wouldn’t host a NFC championship without at least one of these teams from the west. So much for having one team over 500 in 2011 and a high probability for continued failure. As for your argument of what team beats who…. that’s a little indigenous and the definition of a double standard wouldn’t you think? How many teams with winning Records did the Patriots defeat since Brady came back? 1. Well they are the Patriots. No, that’s a double standard. This is the NFL, nothing is garanteed. You can’t give anyone a hands up because of their previous years. No one thought after 95 Dallas would go 20 years without winning a superbowl. That’s the nature of the NFL. No team is guaranteed of nothing.

          • TBarnes

            Yes – IT IS highly improbable for a DIVISION to be successful after THE DIVISION has been very poor. I can tell you just mathematically the odds of four teams IN THE DIVISION turning it around all at the same time? Yeah, doesn’t happen. As far as your logic regarding circular reasoning – I think you need a remedial class on the subject. If you read my original post that you responded to it starts “Dallas might be pretty good – hard to tell based upon who they’ve played. The East as a division is still of questionable quality.” Identify the words for me where I said “the east does not have legitimate contenders”. Let me explain what that means, because you obviously missed it. I stated that Dallas might be good, but then it might not – that it is too hard to tell – why? Because in part they’ve played terrible teams (38.4% win ratio) and in part because they’ve played teams in their division. Their division has to be questioned, why? Because it was SOOOO terrible last year. You can make this excuse or that excuse as to why – BUT THE FACTS REMAIN, THE EAST WAS TERRIBLE. Are you contesting that? Until the East PROVES that it isn’t STILL TERRIBLE there is no reason to believe it has changed overnight. You pointed at their records – I pointed at stats that show (especially Dallas) haven’t proved much as yet. YOU SHOULD beat Cleveland, Chicago, San Fran, Cinnci (the way they’re playing this season). You don’t get extra credit for doing what you should do! “To say that the Cowboys is not legit is refuting your own source” – now this one got me laughing! First, it’s “are not legit”, second, point to me where I said Vegas was infallable? They do tend to be more right than wrong, cuz they make money and as evidence of that visit any casino in Vegas. Again, you’ve shown you’re definitely not a logician are you? Your argument has no teeth and isn’t thought through.

            But let’s keep going… so you try to make great hay by referencing the NFC-W “turnaround” in 2012. You yourself state that they went from one team with a winning record to two. YEAH – THAT’S THE SAME AS GOING 0-4 TO 4-0 IN ONE SEASON!! Sheesh. This is too easy. So over the course of YEARS the WEST DIVISION pretty much turned it around. A team one year, add another the next, maybe another the next – that’s how it’s always done. What isn’t done is in February you all suck, but by September you’re all playoff contenders as you contend. To argue this is ludicrous. It didn’t happen in the NFW-W and it didn’t happen in the NFC-E.

            As for the Pats – please point to my words where I say they deserve a “pass”. They are unquestionably, the most consistently successful team/organization since the advent of the salary cap. To say otherwise is to try to hold back the tide. It’s a fact – they are contenders, like it or not. To beat them at their house, with them coming off a bye week and you coming off a short week, travelling fully across the country to do so is an accomplishment. I see no equivalent accomplishment on the Dallas schedule so far. But who knows? As I said, Dallas could be legit – we just don’t have enough evidence yet to prove it in my opinion – which is what I said to start with.

          • James Herndon

            But that’s circular reasoning. You’re saying because it’s highly improbable for a division to be successful after it has been poor then most likely the NFC East division is not legit. This is true in most cases but not all. It’s definitely not true for the NFC East. It happened in 2014, 2012 and 2016 and I can go further then that. Just because it’s improbable for other divisions does not make it true for all, at least not in the NFC EAST.

            I think you’re not understanding my position. You’re basing your criteria of Dallas success based on last year. That’s a dangerous foundation to start with, at least with the Cowboys. Because last year dallas was considered as possible NFC favorites. The year before that they was a catch away from the championship. Now they are 9-1. That means this team has been one of the NFC favorites for the last 3 years. Two years out of the last 3 they won the division ( I’m basing on what should happen with the record we have now). If it were not for Romo getting hurt last year we probably would have gone back to the playoffs ( we were 3-1 with Romo). Your argument would be sufficient if you’re talking about a team who has struggled and then came on the scene out of no where to hold a 9-1 record. But that’s not the case with the Cowboys. 2 times Within the last 3 years we were formidable teams.

    • Trey Kimbell

      Did you forget about the team that lost to the Case Keenum led Rams, the mediocre Saints, and should have lost to Tannehill’s Miami Dolphin led squad. The team who tied the Cardinals, and the team that was beat soundly by a lesser version of the Cowboys in 2014 in Seattle.

      • eYeDEF

        Seahawks always lose to the Rams, doesn’t matter. You forgot how Seattle beat Cowboys at Jerry World last year. That just happened to be more recent. I do recognize the Cowboys patsy schedule through the first half of the season. You must be new to this since there are no ‘should of’s in the box score. The only reason Miami had a chance was because Suh landed on Wilson and sprained his MCL, but he ended up rallying the team to victory anyway hobbled on one leg. I’m sure Sam didn’t forget that, which is why he was his midseason MVP.

      • Brion

        Ya i remember our qb was playing on 1 leg refusing to sit while playing behind a O line that would of had Romo in a body cast. A team that still didnt have Chancellor back. But keep hanging your hat on regular season win from 2 years ago. Enjoy your Turkey this week before it starts to taste like crow.

        • Trey Kimbell

          Well i was just playing devil’s advocate since your closing statement to your post was “Not the one who has beat up mediocre teams”

          • Brion

            I hear ya, i was joking around, bottom line is lets hope these 2 teams meet in championship game, should be a good one

    • SikhHawk

      oh I luv cowboy fans, intelligent & bold. hawks will beat dallas coz hawks D neutralises boys O then its a shoot out between Wilson Graham Baldwin Lockett Rawls & a mediocre boys D. boys OL is great but Wagner wright Bennett Avril Reed Rubin are best front 7 since 1970s iron curtain & Bears 46. they stopped Brady after he had 14 days rest versus 6 days for hawks after a brutal bills game

  • Stephen Paul Jones™

    Lmao…”4 of the worst OLinemen I the league!” 2Rookies and 2 2nd year guys with great athleticism and size, who’ve improved as the season has went on, especially the last 3-4Weeks. It’s honestly like these idiots don’t even watch. They’ve just pumped this narrative up ALL year, & yes they struggled especially in October, & they still have bad moments & growing pains..as DAMN near every OL I the league does, but there’s been such clear improvement & positive returns the last month(2 of the games vs really tough front sevens especially disruptive DLines) you have to be blind or flat out not watching if you’re sitting here still saying “They’re an absolute disaster, they have 4 of the worst OLinemen in the league!” Lol. It’s just funny to me TBH, THIS IS WHAT SEATTLE DOES..you have to be an idiot who’s lived under a rock the last 4Years if anything the Seahawks are doing right now, & will continue to do for the rest of the year, is surprising to you. They have OWNED Novemeber & later(31-6 record in November or later) since Wilson came in the league..they’re young, they draft well, so they just stay afloat in September & October & they battle through adversity & growing pains & they improve every single week, & by Mid November the OL gels & the Offense stars to hit on all cylinders along with the defense and they just finish the year strong & are ready to peak in January/FEB. this is PCs philosophy and it works great for his team, they battle & they get better as the year goes on when most teams fade. Need to get enlightened over there at PFF. They spend less than any team in the league on resources for the OL, though they’ve invested decent picks the last 2years & they have found some good young pieces & guys with great size strength & athleticism..they started brand new in the Summer with this group & went through a couple changes during the season & you can tell(if you watch & pay attention) that they’re improving drastically as the season goes on..& all they need to do is be a serviceable OL, that is it. They don’t need to be like DAL OL or OAK..or even TEN..all the crap that’s been spewed over the years & yet somehow they always end up as a top5 offense with one or the 2 or 3 best rushing attacks in the league.(Which is not going to happen this season cause of the injuries at RB spot & the injuries Wilson has dealt with, but they’re gonna be able to run well now with Rawls back) While their ENTIRE OL combined costs less than what Oakland is paying Donald Penn..or DAL is paying Smith..yes..SEATTLES ENTIRE OL combined costs less than 1 of the contracts of a OAK or DAL OLinemen..think about that for a second. Think about Fant playing LT for 1st time in his life & only played 1yr of organized FB..Britt transitioned to Center in yr3(and he’s the elder statesmen of the group) & the Rookie w/ the 2 2nd year guys..And did anyone hear Fletcher Cox or Graham’s or Barwins name being said much during the game last Sunday? No cause SEATTLE OL did a helluva job vs a very tough & disruptive PHI DL…yet you still consider them “a disaster”. Just makes me laugh..only 8 OL’s in the league have allowed fewer sacks…They’ve given up 20..Last season the OL had allowed about 20 by early October. Incremental improvements at each spot adds up to an improved unit, no matter what you want to admit. They’re a young, big/strong & athletic unit who’s coming together & allowing this team to head in the direction they know they’re capable of. Keep writing hate though..cause they definitely read this crap and use it as some sort of motivation..not much cause you don’t have that type of power..& you’re irrelevant..but I’m just telling ya.

  • eYeDEF

    Poor reading comprehension dude. I specifically referred to Wilson not being in sync with Graham. As far as Baldwin, Wilson flipped a switch after the Cards game last year week 9. Obviously Baldwin being a receiver is not going to enjoy the benefit of that until the switch is flipped. Had nothing to do with the Cowboys.