The Seahawks, who stand at 3-2 just like the Patriots, are playing at home in one of the toughest environments to travel to in the NFL: CenturyLink Stadium. They also haven't allowed more than 20 points in a single game this season, they have the NFL's third leading rusher in Marshawn Lynch, and they have the NFL's best total defense.
Of course, they're going against a dynamic Patriots offense - a group that has really found it's groove over the last six quarters, after showing some inconsistencies to start the year. Tomorrow's game could very likely come down to which of these units gives out first, and I expect it to come down to the wire.
For an opponent's perspective, Luke Wehreim of SB Nation Seattle writes how this could be seen as a "must win" game for the Seahawks, and how their defensive backs must stay home against the Patriots dynamic group of pass catching targets:
This weeks matchup isn't as much of a "must win" as it is a "man if we could get this win we'd really be set up to make the playoffs" kind of game. Winning in Carolina last week put the team at 3-2, which is about as good as we could have expected before the season started. Looking at the schedule in August, many had the Seahawks starting out with 3 wins in their first 6. If we lose Sunday against New England it certainly won't be the end of the season, if we win though, it may be what helps propel this team to heights this year only foreseen by the most optimistic of optimists.
The Patriots offense has been flying high as of late, and has all the weapons you'd need to take down even the toughest defense. Yeah, sure, the Seahawks have one of the best secondaries in the league and a run defense that just doesn't quit, but this is the Patriots, guys... Browner and Sherm are shutting down Lloyd? Welker is open. Trufant is effectively silencing Wes Welker? There is NO WAY Rob Gronkowski is covered up the seam. That guy is Calvin Johnson's brother from another mother, I swear.
Personally, I like the way the Patriots stack up against any defense. If the Seahawks go big, the Patriots can spread it out. If they bring on guys like Bruce Irvin and go small up front, the Patriots can now run it up their opponents' throats. Tomorrow's game should be a chance for the Patriots offense to showcase exactly how far they've come, against one of the NFL's very best defenses.
It's a game that will still likely come down to the wire, but I like New England nonetheless.
Greg's Prediction: Patriots 24 Seahawks 16