The Seattle Seahawks (10-6) locked up a Wild Card berth and the #5 seed for the right to take on the #4 Dallas Cowboys (10-6), who won the NFC East after the Redskins collapsed.
The Cowboys will try to stop the top rushing attack in the NFL that churns out 160 yards per game. Meanwhile, the Legion of Boom’s replacement in Seattle’s secondary are tasked with stopping the thriving connection between Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper.
This is the first time these teams are meeting in the playoffs since the infamous Wild Card game in 2006. The Seahawks won 21-20 due to a botched snap by Tony Romo on a field goal attempt.
#5 Seattle Seahawks (10-6) at #4 Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
Kickoff: 5:15pm PT
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Point Spread: Dallas -2.5
The Cowboys are 7-1 at home this season. They opened as a three-point favorite.
Smells Like Another Run Play
Seahawks’ running back Chris Carson won the NFC Player of the Month for his outstanding December (5 TDs and 516 yards). He finished the season with a trio of 100-yard. Along with backup Rashaad Penny, the two are a tough tandem. Together, they average 160 yards per game.
The Cowboys are 1-5 when they allow 100 yards or more on the ground. If the Seahawks can put up triple digits, they’ll be in good shape to win.
With a running game in place, Russell Wilson does not have to scramble for his life as much as he used to. However, when the play breaks down and Wilson is forced out of the pocket, he’s been highly productive this year. Wilson threw 3519 touchdowns and only seven interceptions all season.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) November 25, 2018
The Seahawks started the season 4-5 and have since gone 6-1 over their last seven games. They’ve been in playoff mode the last couple of weeks and won the necessary games they needed to secure themselves the #5 seed.
Pete Carroll’s squad was supposed to be in the middle of a rebuilding year. However, he’s such a good coach that he quickly transformed a young squad into a bona fide defensive team. None of them have the experience of the Legion of Boom, but the current Seahawks certainly hold their own. Carroll has been relying on Bradley McDouglad (3 INT), Shaquill Griffin (2 INT), Tedric Thompson (1 INT), and Tre Flowers to put the clampdown on opposing receivers.
Prescott and Cooper Connection
Dak Prescott finished the season with 22 touchdown passes and only 8 interceptions. The Cowboys’ passing game flourished ever since Amari Cooper arrived from Oakland. Prescott passed for fewer than 200 yards only once since Cooper joined the lineup.
The Raiders traded Cooper and in exchange, Jerry Jones sent Jon Gruden a first-round draft pick. Cooper added 54 receptions and six touchdowns since his arrival. The deal feels like a steal now, considering Cooper’s immediate impact and deep-threat capabilities.
Who Has the Better Defense?
The Cowboys allow 20.3 points per game, and the Seahawks allow 21.7 points per game.
At 26.8 points per game, the Seahawks are the sixth-best scoring team in the NFL.
Dallas is in the top seven for yards allowed and points allowed. They did not finish the season a strong note, which is worrisome coming into the playoffs, especially allowing 35 points against the NY Giants.
The Cowboys only allow 122 rushing yards per game, but they will have a difficult assignment stopping Chris Carson and keeping him out of the end zone.
These teams met in Week 3 and the Cowboys lost 24-13. The Seahawks forced three turnovers and Russell Wilson ate up the Cowboys’ secondary. The Cowboys are a different team, plus they have the benefit of a home game.
The biggest win of the season for the Cowboys occurred a week after Thanksgiving when they beat the New Orleans Saints.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, Cowboys and Seahawks are both currently 25-1 odds to win the Super Bowl.