Seattle Seahawks could finish strong to claim NFC West title

The Seahawks face the defending NFC champion Falcons in their only Monday night game. Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

When the schedule was first released in April, we had the Seattle Seahawks going 10-6. After having watched them this summer, they might be a little better than that.

Russell Wilson is down to 208 pounds and looks healthy and mobile. The running back spot is much deeper than it was a year ago. And Earl Thomas looks 100 percent recovered from his leg injury.

Keeping that in mind, here are game-by-game predictions for the 2017 season.

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m. ET

Eddie Lacy faces his former team, but will he even start? Thomas Rawls has been seeing more time with the first team, and rookie Chris Carson is climbing up the depth chart. The Seahawks have not fared well at Lambeau Field, having lost there in back-to-back years, including a 38-10 defeat in 2016. Record: 0-1.

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET

The Seahawks' season ended last year against an offense directed by Kyle Shanahan. The Atlanta Falcons dropped 36 points on Seattle in the divisional round. Shanahan doesn't have the same talent in San Francisco. Record: 1-1.

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, at Tennessee Titans, 4:05 p.m. ET

This will be a good opportunity for the Seahawks' defense to see how it stacks up against a physical offense and Marcus Mariota. Seattle had one of the best run defenses in the NFL last season, and defensive line depth is once again a strength. Record: 2-1.

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, vs. Indianapolis Colts, 8:30 p.m. ET

The Seahawks' first prime-time matchup of the season features Wilson and Andrew Luck (assuming he's healthy) going head-to-head. Luck was the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. Wilson was taken 75th. Record: 3-1.

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. ET

Aaron Donald and the Rams' front always give Seattle problems. The Seahawks have not swept the Rams since 2013 and have lost three of their past four meetings. Record: 3-2.

Week 6: Bye.

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22, at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m. ET

The Giants' receiving corps will test Seattle's cornerback depth. In the Seahawks' past three trips to MetLife Stadium, they have outscored their opponents 93-25. That includes a 23-0 shutout against the Giants in 2013. Record: 4-2.

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29, vs. Houston Texans, 4:05 p.m. ET

J.J. Watt and Houston's defensive front will give the Seahawks trouble, but Seattle should be a big favorite at home in this game. Record: 5-2.

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5, vs. Washington Redskins, 4:05 p.m. ET

Washington's offense ranked in the top five in efficiency last season. The weapons for Kirk Cousins are different in 2017, but he's the type of quarterback who should be able to move the chains against the Seahawks. And tight end Jordan Reed could give Seattle fits. Record: 5-3.

Week 10: Thursday, Nov. 9, at Arizona Cardinals, 8:25 p.m. ET

This begins a stretch of three prime-time games in four weeks. The Cardinals present the Seahawks' biggest competition in the NFC West, and Seattle drops back-to-back games for the only time all season. Record: 5-4.

Week 11: Monday, Nov. 20, vs. Atlanta Falcons, 8:30 p.m. ET

This is the Seahawks' only Monday night game, and they'll have a full 10 days of rest before this contest. Seattle beats the defending NFC champ at home for its most impressive victory of the season. Record: 6-4.

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 26, at San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m. ET

It'll be a short week for the Seahawks, but they've won six in a row against the 49ers. The streak continues with a sweep in 2017. Record: 7-4.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:30 p.m. ET

Carson Wentz comes to Seattle for the second consecutive season, but he'll have more playmakers -- most notably Alshon Jeffery -- this time around. There still won't be enough for an Eagles victory. Record: 8-4.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET

Here's the surprise loss of the season. The Jaguars have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, and given the travel, this could be a tough spot for the Seahawks. Record: 8-5.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. ET

The Seahawks can't get swept by the Rams for the second time in three seasons, can they? Seattle wins ugly and splits the season series. Record: 9-5.

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24, at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET

Pete Carroll is all about the finish, and the Seahawks get hot toward the end of the season. They make a statement in Dallas during a Christmas Eve showdown. Record: 10-5.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET

In a game that could decide the division, the Seahawks are victorious, finishing with 11 wins, their highest total since 2014. Record: 11-5.