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The Seattle Seahawks came up 1-yard short of winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles, as Russell Wilson’s interception on the 1-yard line in the final seconds prevented them from scoring the go-ahead touchdowns. It will go down as one of the most questioned play calls of Super Bowl history, as almost everyone believes the Seahawks would have won had they simply gave the ball to Marshawn Lynch.

Losing the way Seattle did can certainly put a damper on what has been an incredible run over the last 3 seasons, but this is a resilient team that wants to be considered one of the best of all-time. Seattle showed that resiliency during the regular season, overcoming a 3-3 start to win 9 of their last 10 and secure their 2nd straight NFC West title.

All of the key pieces are back from last year, plus the team made a blockbuster trade to bring in star tight end Jimmy Graham, giving them an elite pass option at receiver that they haven’t had. It’s safe to say that it’s Super Bowl or bust for the Seahawks once again in 2015.

Last Season
NFC West
ATS Record
Home ATS
Road ATS
Offense Rank
Defense Rank
Turnover Margin
Points For
Points Against
2015 Roster Changes
Draft Picks
Frank Clark (DE), Tyler Lockett (WR), Terry Poole (OG), Mark Glowinski (OG), Tye Smith (CB), Obum Gwacham (DE), Kristian Sokoli (DT), Ryan Murphy (DB)
Jimmy Graham (TE), Ahtyba Rubin (NT), Cary Williams (CB), Will Blackmon (CB)
Max Unger (C), Malcolm Smith (OLB), Zach Miller (TE), Kevin Williams (DT), O’Brien Schofield (DE), Byron Maxwell (CB), James Carpenter (OG), Jeron Johnson (SS), Tony Moeaki (TE), Tarvaris Jackson (QB)
2015 Schedule & Odds
Week Opponent Spread Win Chance
1 @ Rams -3.5 0.64
2 @ Packers +1 0.49
3 Bears -9 0.81
4 Lions -6 0.71
5 @ Bengals -2 0.53
6 Panthers -8 0.79
7 @ 49ers -1.5 0.53
8 @ Cowboys -1.5 0.53
10 Cardinals -5.5 0.69
11 49ers -5.5 0.69
12 Steelers -5.5 0.69
13 @ Vikings -4.5 0.67
14 @ Ravens -1 0.51
15 Browns -10.5 0.86
16 Rams -6.5 0.72
17 @ Cardinals -1.5 0.53
Estimated Wins: 10.39
Roster Breakdown

For as much praise as the defense gets, and rightfully so, the Seattle offense gets the job done. The Seahawks ranked 9th in the league in total offense (375.8 ypg) and 10th in scoring (24.6 ppg). As we all know, the majority of the offense comes from their running game, which lead the league with 172.6 ypg.

It’s no secret that the focal point of the offense is Lynch, who has rushed for more than 1,200 yards in each of the last 4 years (1,306 yards in 2014). The only concern is that Lynch has carried a huge workload during this stretch and is at the point of his career where NFL running backs can go from great to being replaced at any moment. I don’t see that happening in 2015, but it’s only a matter of time.

Wilson might not be an elite quarterback in terms of a pure pocket passer, but he’s certainly proved his value. In his short 3-year career, he’s guided the Seahawks to a 30-8 record (including the playoffs) and has not missed a game. Wilson can make the big throws when he needs to, while also tormenting opponents with his legs. He had 849 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground in 2014.

You could argue that he’s made due with one of the least talented receiving corps in the league during his first 3 years, so don’t be surprised if he puts up bigger numbers through the air with Graham added to the mix. If having to worry about Lynch wasn’t enough, opposing defenses will be forced to give extra attention to Graham. That in turn figures to open up things for wide outs Dog Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson and Chris Matthews.

The only question mark with the offense is the offensive line, which traded away Pro Bowl center Max Unger to get Graham. They also decided not to bring back left guard James Carpenter. One of the reasons they didn’t bring back Carpenter is they feel confident in Alvin Bailey taking over. The only concern I have is the center position, where Lemuel Jeanpierre and Patrick Lewis will compete for the starting job. The thing to keep in mind is the offensive line has been a concern the past couple of years and it hasn’t mattered, largely due to Wilson’s elite mobility in the pocket.

The Seattle defense was dominant once again. The Seahawks led the league in scoring defense (15.9 ppg) for a 3rd straight year, a feat that hadn’t been done in over 40 years. They also were No. 1 in total defense (267.1), ranking first against the pass (185.6 ypg) and 3rd against the run (81.5 ypg).

The only starter on the defensive side of the ball that departed is corner Byron Maxwell, but that doesn’t figure to be a problem. Seattle went out and signed Cary Williams from the Philadelphia Eagles, who could be poised for a breakout year in a loaded secondary that features 3 potential Hall of Fame players in corner Richard Sherman and safeties Earl Thomas and Cam Chancellor.

At linebacker the Seahawks have one of the more underrated units in the league, which is only because so much attention is given to the secondary. The heart and soul of the unit is middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, though outside linebackers K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin more than hold their own.

Seattle also features a dominant defensive front that I believe quietly got better in the offseason. The Seahawks return all 4 starters in defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avirl and defensive tackles Tony McDaniel and Jordan Hill. They get back a key contributor in defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who played in just 9 games last year, add in defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin, who started for the Cleveland Browns last year and used their first pick in the draft on talented Michigan defensive end Frank Clark, who would have been a high first round pick if it weren’t for some character issues.

Future Odds
Regular Season Win Total
to Win the NFC
to Win Super Bowl L
5 to 2
9 to 2
Odds Courtesty of 5Dimes

It’s no secret that the NFC West is loaded and you could make the argument that the Seahawks wouldn’t have won the division last year had it not been for the Arizona Cardinals losing Carson Palmer. Regardless, I don’t see how you pick against what will be an extremely motivated Seattle team, who will look to become just the 3rd team to make 3 straight Super Bowl appearances.

The schedule won’t be easy, as the Seahawks draw all 3 division winners from the NFC in Dallas, Green Bay and Carolina, with both of their games against the Packers and Cowboys on the road. However, this team has proven they can win on the road and are almost unbeatable at home. If they simply split their 8 road games, they figure to have an excellent shot at going 12-4 and earning a first round bye, which as we all know is crucial to their playoff run.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Seahawks finished better than 12-4, but I think that’s a safe and fair prediction going into the season. It’s only 1-game better than their win total of 11, but keep in mind that this team has won at least 11 games in the regular season each of the last 3 years.

NFC West Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
Seahawks 10-Year Recap
Year W L Playoffs Coach Win Total
2014 12 4 Lost SB Carroll  11
2013 13 3 Won SB Carroll  10.5
2012 11 5 Lost Div Carroll  7.5
2011 7 9 Carroll  6
2010 7 9 Los Div Carroll  7
2009 5 11 Mora  7.5
2008 4 12 Holmgren  8.5
2007 10 6 Lost Div Holmgren  9
2006 9 7 Lost Div Holmgren  10.5
2005 13 3 Lost SB Holmgren  9

Brad Howell

Brad Howell

OVER 11 Wins – I’ll take the over for three reasons:

1. Offense. Last season this unit finished in the top 5 in offensive efficiency, according to Football Outsiders, and they return all of their major contributors from last year. In addition, Jimmy Graham is the perfect fit for their passing game that focuses on explosive plays over volume.

2. Defense. Also a top 5 unit last year in defensive efficiency and also returns most of its significant contributors. I think a now healthy Mebane, Jordan Hill, and Cassius Marsh along with free agent pick up Ahtyba Rubin and high upside draft pick Frank Clark will bring the D-line depth closer to what we saw on the Super Bowl winning team. The linebackers and the secondary should be elite again.

3. Special Teams. This unit dropped from top 5 in 2013 to the number 19 unit in 2014 mostly due to a lack of talent at kick & punt returner. Tyler Lockett, arguably the best return man in college last year, should improve that issue.

The main concern is Seattle’s strength of schedule, but even a 4-4 record on the road can reasonably turn into a 12 win season. I predict 13 wins.

Keith Myers

Keith Myers

OVER 11 Wins – 11 is a really good line. I’ll take the over simply because I think 12 wins is more likely than 10.

The Seahawks return 19 of 22 starters from last year’s Super Bowl team. They’ve also added considerable depth, as well upgrading their weapons on outside with Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett.

The one major weakness is the offensive line, where they’ll have two new starters. This unit will likely struggle early in the season, but improve as the youngsters gain experience.

John Fraley

John Fraley

OVER 11.5 Wins – Injuries, eight extra games played since the end of 2012, and uncertainty surrounding the Kam Chancellor holdout are the only three reasons to be bearish on the Seahawks’ win total this season.

The 2014 team clawed its way to 12 wins without a legitimate red zone target and while dumping Percy Harvin midseason. This year’s team won’t have that last distraction — instead they addressed their most pressing need by trading for Jimmy Graham, second in the NFL in touchdowns over the last four years.

All the Hawks’ key defensive starters return. All the elite players’ playoff bruises have healed. The depth looks better than ever before. The specialists are above average. And on kick returns, electric rookie Tyler Lockett has already scored on one punt return this preseason.

If Chancellor returns, if team-wide injuries are reasonable, and if there are no serious effects from the extra half-season logged since 2012 (reasonable bets all around), then these Seahawks are better than the ones who came within a yard of repeating. Take the over on 11.5 wins.

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