It’s the first postseason meeting between Seattle and Dallas since following the 2006 season when the Seahawks were 21-20 home winners in the Wild-Card Round. Cowboys fans will never forget that because of a botched hold on a field-goal try at the Seattle 2 late in the game by former Dallas QB Tony Romo. The winner here visits No. 1 seed New Orleans next weekend unless the No. 6 Eagles win in Chicago.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
From 2012-16, the Seahawks were probably the model organization in the NFC as they made the playoffs every year under Coach Pete Carroll. Seattle won the Super Bowl in blowout fashion over favoured Denver following the 2013 season and should have repeated the next year if not for a questionable play-call in the crushing Super Bowl loss to New England.
Last year, Seattle missed out on extra football at 9-7 and was expected to take a bigger step back in 2018 with significant player losses, but Carroll has done perhaps his best job and recently got an extension through 2021.
Dallas was the NFC’s top seed in 2016 but was upset in its playoff opener at home. The Cowboys missed out last year, also with a 9-7 record, and had they not made the postseason again in 2018 most believe that Coach Jason Garrett would be fired. Don’t rule that out should Dallas lose this game, especially if it’s one-sided.
The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
Seattle beat visiting Dallas 24-13 in Week 3, which probably saved the Seahawks’ season because they entered at 0-2. Russell Wilson threw for two scores, and Chris Carson rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries. Prescott was held to 168 yards passing with a TD and two interceptions (both by Earl Thomas), while Elliott rushed for 127 yards.
The Cowboys hadn’t yet acquired top receiver Amari Cooper in trade from Oakland. He has made a huge difference. Seattle’s MO this year is to win with a punishing running game and excellent defence. The Seahawks are 2-4 in road playoff games under Carroll but are 6-0 at home over the same period.
The Cowboys were locked into their playoff seed in Week 17 and had nothing to play for at the New York Giants yet still played most of their starters and rallied to win 36-35. Owner/GM Jerry Jones said he wanted to go into the postseason with some offensive momentum, and it sure worked for QB Dak Prescott as he had his highest-rated game of the season in throwing for 387 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Three of those TDs went to tight end Blake Jarwin. He entered with just 20 catches on the year and no scores.
Star running back Ezekiel Elliott did get the game off but still wound up leading the NFL in rushing with 1,434 yards. Left tackle Tyron Smith (neck) and right guards Zack Martin (knee) both also sat but will play in this one.