The Seattle Seahawks' Week 17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers meant they were forced to play a first-round game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Wild Card Weekend.
Following a comfortable 17-9 win in Philadelphia, the Seahawks advance to a Divisional Round matchup with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
The Seahawks are now one of only eight teams remaining in the postseason, are two wins away from a Super Bowl berth and three wins away from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Here are three reasons to take them seriously as Super Bowl contenders.
1. Elite Turnover Differential
The Seahawks weren't overly impressive at avoiding turnovers of their own in the regular season, ranking in the middle of the pack by having 10.6 percent of their drives end in turnovers. Their defense recorded takeaways on 15.4 percent of opponents' drives though, which was the fourth-highest rate in the NFL. Overall, they had a +12 turnover differential, which was tied as the third-best mark in the NFL, and is tied as the best number for any of the eight remaining playoff teams.
2. Top-Notch Passing Efficiency
As a team, the Seahawks rank seventh in the NFL with an average of 7.9 yards per pass attempt. If we look at adjusted yards per attempt, which accounts for touchdowns and interceptions, that ranking jumps to third. Russell Wilson is supported by a sure-handed supporting cast that finished the regular season with the fourth-lowest drop rate in the NFL. With so many injuries in the backfield, Seattle's efficient passing game means its offense is still very dangerous.
3. No Trouble on the Road
Including their Wild Card Round win over the Eagles, the Seahawks have played on the road nine times this season, and as the No. 5 seed in the NFC, they're unlikely to play another game at home all year. This hasn't been an issue at all in 2019, though, as they've turned in a stellar 8-1 road record. That sample of games includes a Week 10 win in San Francisco over the 49ers, which is likely going to be the same situation they find themselves in if they reach the NFC Championship. Russell Wilson completed 70.5 percent of his passes in road games in the regular season (compared to 62.4 percent at home), and not relying on the friendly confines of Century Link Field makes them especially dangerous moving forward.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.