NFC West: Scott Chandler
ESPN.com Seattle Seahawks reporter Terry Blount makes his game-by-game picks for the 2014 season.
Week 1: Green Bay Packers
All the pregame hype will center around the so-called Inaccurate Reception, the controversial Hail Mary catch by Golden Tate two years ago that won the game over the Packers at Seattle on a Monday night. Tate has moved on to Detroit, but the Seahawks now have too many weapons for the Packers to stop, no Hail Mary required. Prediction: Win
Week 2: at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers better hope they play a lot better than they did in the preseason game at Seattle, a 41-14 victory for the Seahawks on Aug. 15. San Diego will play better, but not good enough to beat a much better team. Prediction: Win
Week 3: Denver Broncos
The Broncos and their fans got a tiny bit of meaningless Super Bowl revenge in the preseason opener with a 21-16 victory over the Seahawks in Denver. Enjoy it while it lasts, boys. Repeating that outcome in Seattle is not an option. Prediction: Win
Week 5: at Washington Redskins
Traveling coast to coast to play on the road for a Monday night game is a tough task against any NFL opponent, and even tougher against quarterback Robert Griffin III. But the Seahawks catch a break in this one by coming off a bye week with plenty of time to prepare and be fresh for the journey. Prediction: Win
Week 6: Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave Seattle a little bulletin-board material last month when he said the Seahawks were to blame for the increase in penalty flags during the preseason. There won't be near enough flags against Seattle for the Cowboys to win this one. Prediction: Win
Week 7: at St. Louis Rams
Any division game in the NFC West is a rugged battle. The Rams have a defensive line that gave the Seahawks problems a year ago. But they aren't strong enough overall to beat Seattle, even at home in their out-of-date dome. Prediction: Win
Week 8: at Carolina Panthers
The Seahawks were fortunate to win the season opener at Charlotte a year ago. That Panthers team was better than this one, but back-to-back road games against very physical defensive teams will end the Seattle winning streak. Prediction: Loss
Week 9: Oakland Raiders
Coming off their first loss of the season and returning home against an outmanned opponent, is there any doubt? Prediction: Win
Week 10: New York Giants
The Seahawks easily defeated the Giants 23-0 last year in New Jersey, a dress rehearsal for their Super Bowl victory at the same location -- MetLife Stadium. The Seahawks won't need a rehearsal to roll past the Giants in this one. Prediction: Win
Week 11: at Kansas City Chiefs
This likely will be a low-scoring game between two strong defensive teams. Odds are against any team that has to try to win by matching its defense against the Seahawks' D. Prediction: Win
Week 12: Arizona Cardinals
The last time the Cardinals played at CenturyLink Field was last December when they handed the Seahawks a 17-10 loss. That won't happen again unless the Seahawks get caught looking ahead to the 49ers game. The Seahawks don't look ahead. Prediction: Win
Week 13: at San Francisco 49ers
It's a Thanksgiving night, national TV game in the 49ers' shiny new stadium against the hated Seahawks. If San Francisco can't win this one, its time as a championship contender is over. Prediction: Loss
Week 14: at Philadelphia Eagles
This is the toughest part of the season for the Seahawks with back-to-back road games against likely playoff contenders. But the 10 days between games will help and be enough of a cushion to keep Seattle from losing two in a row. Prediction: Win
Week 15: San Francisco 49ers
This is a game that could decide which team wins the NFC West. No way the Seahawks lose to the 49ers twice in three weeks, especially not in front of a rabid full house of 12s. Prediction: Win
Week 16: at Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals probably will be fighting for a playoff spot, and the Seahawks already will be in at 12-2. That difference will be just enough for Arizona to win at home in the same stadium where the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl a few weeks later. Prediction: Loss
Week 17: St. Louis Rams
For the second consecutive year, the Rams close the regular season in Seattle. And for the second consecutive year, the Seahawks will beat them without much trouble. Prediction: Win
Predicted Record: 13-3
- Leader: mboles52, for a second week in a row. His scoring peaked with 173 points in Week 3, coming down to 158 and a season-low 129 over the last two weeks. A rough week from Darren McFadden hurt. Also, mboles52 was among those forced to make a roster move following Andre Johnson's hamstring injury. He picked up Wes Welker. I went with Carolina's Steve Smith.
- High score of the week: mdubb2006, with 184 points. This marked a 99-point improvement from one week to the next for mdubb2006, who also had to replace Johnson at receiver. He went with Pierre Garcon instead and got 24 points from the Indianapolis receiver. He also replaced Scott Chandler with Vernon Davis at tight end, and Chris Johnson with Arian Foster at running back. Those moves paid off big. Getting 24 points from the San Francisco 49ers' defense also helped.
- My team: tied for 246th out of 1,530 entries, 85.0 percentile. Up from 481st place and 68.8 percentile. Sticking with the 49ers' Davis after a slow start paid off with two touchdown receptions in Week 5. And even though I foolishly predicted an Arizona victory at previously winless Minnesota, I wasn't foolish enough to remove the Vikings' Adrian Peterson in my lineup. His 30 points keyed a 147-point week for me, a season high.
- My wife's team: tied for 233rd place, 85.8 percentile. Down frrom 66th place and 95.7 percentile last week, which was down from 17th place just a few weeks ago. Around the house, we call this a downward spiral. By the way, upon request, we've added her team name to the featured leaderboard on the main NFC West Gridiron Challenge page. The hope is that she buckles under the added pressure.
- Dan Graziano's team: tied for 624th place, 61.3 percentile. Up from 650th place and 58.1 percentile. Something tells me Dan has found better things to do with his life. Houston's Johnson and San Diego's Antonio Gates have remained in his lineup for weeks despite their injuries. Wait, this just in. Gridiron Challenge sources say Graziano has a new tight end in his lineup this week. It's on.
- Key decision of the week: What to do at wide receiver. Those who went into the season with Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald will likely have two other receivers going in Week 6. Johnson is out, of course, and Fitzgerald is on his bye week after a disappointing stretch of games. I've replaced Fitzgerald with the New York Giants' Victor Cruz, which saved enough money to pick up Green Bay's defense against St. Louis.
How are you handling the situation at receiver?