1440 x 128
Week 15 in the NFL has a potential NFC Wild Card preview, as the 9-4 Seattle Seahawks, currently the conference's fifth seed, visit the NFC East-leading Washington Football Team (6-7).
Here is a closer look at both teams, along with a free pick for who is going to win. Currently, Seattle is a solid 5.5-point favorite on the road.
The Seahawks rebounded from a surprising home loss to the Giants two weeks ago to pound the Jets 40-3 in Week 14. Now, with three wins in their last four games, Seattle will face a tough defense in Washington, plus great defenses from the division rival Rams and 49ers to close the season.
With Russell Wilson under center and perhaps the top wide receiver duo in the league in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Seattle is third in the NFL with both 30.2 points per game and 407 yards per game. It also ranks seventh in passing yards and 11th in rushing yards. But, the Seahawks sit just 22nd with a third-down success percentage of 30 percent.
Defensively, the Seahawks give up over 400 yards per game, thanks to a league-worst 295 passing yards allowed per game. However, they have the fourth-best run defense and sit in the middle somewhere with under 25 points allowed per game.
They're also tied for sixth with 36 sacks to go with 11 interceptions.
It has been a great four weeks for Washington. Sitting at 2-7, Washington won four games in a row, the highlight of which was a 23-17 victory over the undefeated Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Now, after another convincing victory over the 49ers, Washington is a game up on the Giants for the NFC East with two of its final three opponents well under .500.
Despite a comeback season for Alex Smith at quarterback and a 1,000-yard effort from wide receiver Terry McLaurin, Washington's offense is still 24th with 22 points per game on just 336 yards, the fourth-lowest in the NFL. They are 24th in rushing yards and 26th in passing yards and have the league's third-worst third-down offense.
However, rookie edge-rusher Chase Young is among those who are a part of Washington's tough defense. Washington is fifth with 334.5 yards allowed per game and sixth with 21.2 points allowed.
They are top 10 in run and third-down defense and top three in pass defense. Only three teams have more than Washington's 40 sacks, to go along with 12 interceptions.
The Seahawks are 9-4 overall and 3-3 on the road, but ATS they're 7-6 and 2-4, respectively. They're also just 3-6 ATS over their last nine games while failing to cover in all but one of their last five road matchups.
Meanwhile, Washington is 6-7 overall and 3-3 at home, but 7-5-1 and 3-2-1 ATS for each. They've fared better ATS recently than Seattle has, going 4-1 ATS in their last five games and 6-2 in their last eight.
The Seahawks enter the game with the better record and quarterback. But don't expect Washington to be easy by any means.
They have a great pass rush that should be able to take advantage of Seattle's bad offensive line the same way New York did two weeks ago. I'm still leaning on the Seahawks to win this game, but those 5.5 points are just way too high against a team that has won four in a row and is playing at home.
Pick: Washington +5.5