This game pits two coaches who don’t know when to use Marshawn Lynch. Four years ago, the Seahawks had the Patriots on the ropes in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIX. Legendary running back Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch plowed through the New England defense, stiff-arming would-be tacklers like a disdainful god tossing mere mortals off of Mount Olympus. With the ball on the New England one-yard line and 26 seconds remaining, all Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to do was hand the ball off to Lynch. Instead, this happened. The horror.
The Seahawks could have strung together back-to-back Super Bowl victories of their own, but alas, the dynasty was not to be. Instead, the bad guys won again, as the Patriots picked up their fourth Super Bowl win. And the nation wept. After the game, the news broke that Patriots coach Bill Belichick put his jumbo defensive lineup on the field in the hopes of luring Carroll into doing something dumb, like calling a slant over the middle. Darth Belichick plays chess; Pete Carroll plays tic-tac-toe. I’m not still upset about it; YOU’RE upset.
As the saying goes, those who do not learn history’s lessons are doomed to re-Pete them (I’ll be here all week). Four years later (after Lynch retired, then-unretired to don the silver and black for his hometown Raiders), Oakland drove to the Chargers’ one-yard line in last week’s game. With $100 million head coach Jon Gruden, fresh off a long-running stint as a commentator on Monday Night Football, surveyed his options… and called for a play-action pass over the middle, where it was (you guessed it) picked off. The Raiders went on to lose their fourth game in five weeks, sinking to the irrelevance in the murky depths of the AFC West. The good news for Raiders fans? Only nine more years with Cap’n Gruden at the helm, unless of course owner Mark Davis chooses to extend him.
Which brings us to this week’s game: The ‘Hawks came this close to knocking off the undefeated Rams last Sunday, but close only counts in curling. The Rams are pulling away with the division, but at 2-3, Carroll and Seattle remain in the thick of the wild card hunt. Meanwhile, Gruden’s return to the sideline has swiftly plunged the Raiders back into expensive irrelevance. It feels like both men are on the wane, with their best coaching days having receded beyond the horizon in the rear-view mirror. Even so, this one is a matchup of Super Bowl-winning head coach vs. Super Bowl-winning head coach. Dis-engager of Beast Mode vs. Dis-engager of Beast Mode. Buzz Lightyear vs. Chucky. To infinity – and beyond. Seahawks 27, Raiders 21 is my prediction, but how did a hive-mind of NFL enthusiasts think the ‘Hawks would fare?
To predict the result of this Week 6 match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. Twenty-eight NFL enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make picks. As you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a little golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the answer they thought was the most likely outcome. As the users saw the puck move toward a particular decision, it triggered a psychological response. They readjusted their decision-making, building toward the consensus you see below. It’s an artificial intelligence produced by human brains working together as a swarm.
As the above animation hows, a swarm of 28 NFL fans, with 80 percent collective brainpower, predicts that Seattle will win on the road at Oakland in Week 6. Note, though, that the swarm chose “low confidence” over this match-up.
The Seahawks play at the Raiders at 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.
Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our this article explains. For instance, the swarm picked this year’s Oscar winners with 94 percent accuracy. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk: