Seahawks Picked To Finish 8-8 By Sports Illustrated

The Seattle Seahawks begin the 2012 NFL regular season when they take on the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium at 1:25 p.m. PT Sunday. The Seahawks are expected to improve on their 7-9 record of last year, with an established defense and a revamped offense headed by rookie QB Russell Wilson.

Chris Burke of SI.com took a look at the Seahawks schedule and offered up this prediction:

Predicted record: 8-8. The Seahawks might be one of the NFC's big sleeper teams, and people are rushing to the bandwagon after seeing what Wilson did in the preseason. Seattle's hopes for a return to the postseason may live or die based on its performance in a brutal October. The Seahawks open that month at Carolina, return home to host New England, then hit the road to play San Francisco and Detroit. An 0-4 stretch would effectively end the season for the Seahawks; 2-2 or better would let them dream big.

That four-game stretch in October will tell a lot about the Seahawks and whether or not they can contend for the playoffs. An 8-8 record will most likely not get it done in a tough NFC, so Pete Carroll's squad will have to pull off some unexpected wins if they want to return to the postseason.

For more on the Seahawks, check out Field Gulls and stick with SB Nation Seattle.

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