The “trap game” concept is an interesting one. On one hand, I hate the idea of anything that is cliche, intangible, or sounds-made-up-by-fans as excuses or terms that are fun to throw around when you have nothing to say. “I’m supposed to have an opinion on this game and it’s boring to say that the Seahawks will just beat the 49ers because they’re obviously way better, so I’ll say it’s a trap game.”
When I hear the term “trap game” used it often sounds cynical and disingenuous to me, so it’s a bit annoying. On the other hand, yeah, maybe trap games do exist and do have some merit.
Football teams are made up of humans and human minds are complicated, flawed, contain ego, id, and the other one. I don’t think we account enough for the emotions of players as it relates to outcomes, and then again we do it way too often. I just don’t think we do it often enough for the right reasons. If a player has a bad game, do we blame it on a mysterious thumb injury? Maybe he’s also just in a toxic relationship. Maybe he feels like one of his teammates doesn’t invite him to parties and might not like him. Maybe he’s hungry, like physically just hungry and did not eat enough.
And maybe he’s looking ahead to the next game. That’s totally possible and I’m sure it happens sometimes, if not every week somewhere.
The Seahawks appear to be one of the best teams in the NFL, a popular pick to get a top-two seed in the NFC. The NFC West also appears to be a weak division, with the Rams and 49ers having very weak outlooks at quarterback, while the Cardinals have lost what feels like half of their starting defense. While LA is never a good bet to lose to Seattle, they still have a much lesser roster. Arizona may pose the biggest game-to-game threat to the Seahawks, but I haven’t been that worried about them personally since 2015. San Francisco is just not good, but their front-seven defense may give Seattle similar problems to what they face against the Rams.
So there’s a very good chance that the Seahawks will win the division, and I think odds-on favorite for win total falls between 11 and 12. They may also win more than that, or they could potentially be very disappointing. If they are going to lose a game or two to a team that is just lacking talent or coaching, which one do you think it will be?
Week 2 - vs San Francisco 49ers
Seattle has lost their Week 2 game in each of the last three years. They will be coming off of a road game in Lambeau against the Green Bay Packers, where they’ve been outscored by 38 points over the last two seasons. Will they be beaten and dejected by the time they get back home, or motivated and focused to handle a division rival that they should have little issue with?
If they are looking ahead in this game, it would be to a road game against Marcus Mariota and the Titans. While I’m excited for that matchup, I don’t think players will be looking ahead to it.
The Seahawks have never come close to losing at home to the 49ers in the Russell Wilson era, barring that playoff game against a much different San Francisco team.
Week 3 - @ Tennessee Titans
I don’t know if I can consider this a trap game because I think the Titans could be a very good team this season. It’s possible that Tennessee doesn’t mesh well under Mike Mularkey and that they fail overall — but still manage to beat Seattle on their home turf — however, I just don’t look ahead to the Titans being bad. This game being at home for them, Tennessee could be a slight favorite if they get off to a hot two-week start.
The Seahawks would be looking ahead to part II of Wilson vs Andrew Luck, which takes place in Week 4 at CenturyLink. It’s a fun matchup, but I don’t think that the Legion of Boom will be overlooking Mariota because of Luck. Mainly might be Mariota better than Luck.
Week 4 - vs Indianapolis Colts
I really hope that Seattle doesn’t lose at home to the Colts in primetime, though they do have a looming road game in Los Angeles against the Rams in Week 5. I just think that Indy is a really incomplete team with a porous defense. I hope the Seahawks win by at least double digits.
Week 5 - @ LA Rams
I also am not sure if this is warrants trap game consideration — the Rams play the Seahawks tough every year, especially at home. Seattle would be caught looking ahead to their bye week after this, so I hope that wouldn’t be “trapping” them.
Week 9 - vs Washington
The Seahawks must travel to Arizona immediately after this for a Thursday Night matchup against the Cardinals. I’m not sure how good Washington is going to be this season. Offensively they could be quite potent thanks to a great offensive line and a capable QB, defensively they’ve made some potential improvements though that’s never a guarantee. I could see this falling into “trap game” territory, but Washington might end up as a playoff team regardless.
Week 12 - @ San Francisco 49ers
Bad team, looming game against the Philadelphia Eagles on primetime, divisional road game. The elements could be there, though I’m not sold on the Eagles quite yet.
Week 14 - @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Like the Titans, I’m not sure how good Jacksonville could be this season. A fresh start at head coach and a ton of talent on defense, though we have yet to see it come together and actually work on the field. The Jags could be a team capable of beating Seattle when Week 14 gets here, plus this is the Seahawks only 10 AM start of the season. They face the frustrating Rams in Seattle a week after this. It could be a trap game.
Week 15 - vs LA Rams
Speaking of which. I still think the Rams are a 6-win team, so I do think they’ll be a lesser opponent, especially once Week 15 arrives. This game is also at home, where Wilson is 4-1 against the Rams, all of those contests coming late in the year. However, Seattle’s follow-up to this could be the NFC game of the year depending on how Dallas’s season goes; the Seahawks and Cowboys are set to meet on Christmas Eve following this game. If both teams are vying for bye weeks at this point, it’ll be hard for anyone to not look ahead to Week 16 and forget about LA, a franchise that’ll likely be thinking about the 2018 draft, thankful that they didn’t trade their first rounder away this time.
So I’m gonna pick the ones I think are most looking like “trap games” and turn the voting over to you.
What is the Seahawks most concerning "trap game" of 2017?
This poll is closed
Week 2 vs 49ers
Week 4 vs Colts
Week 9 vs Washington
Week 12 @ 49ers
Week 14 @ Jaguars
Week 15 vs Rams
Other/No Trap Game (in comments)