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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.

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