The Seattle Seahawks attempt to reach a third straight Super Bowl came up short. After escaping with a 10-9 win over the Vikings, Seattle fell 24-31 at Carolina.
Part of the problem for the Seahawks was they didn’t have homefield advantage. A key recipe to their playoff success the previous two years.
Seattle ended up 3-games back of the Cardinals in the NFC West with an overall record of 10-6. Getting to 10 wins was a nice accomplishment given they were just 2-4 after their first 6 games.
The good news for the Seahawks, is their Super Bowl window is far from over. Seattle has a talented young core that figures to be in the mix for years to come.
They are without question one of the favorites to win it all in 2016. However, they will likely need to dethrone Arizona for the top spot in the NFC West. Something that is much easier said than done. The Cardinals look every bit as good as the Seahawks going into the season.
2016 Roster Changes
Top Draft Picks
|OT/G Germain Ifedi, DT Jarran Reed, RB C.J. Prosise, TE Nick Vannett, G Rees Odhiambo|
|OT Bradley Sowell, OT J’Marcus Webb, DE Chris Clemons, DT Sealver Siliga|
|RB Marshawn Lynch, OT Russell Okung, G J.R. Sweezy, DT Brandon Mebane, DE/OLB Bruce Irvin|
2016 Schedule & Odds
|Week||Opponent||Spread (Est.)||Win Chance|
|Estimated Wins: 10.96|
There were those that thought Russell Wilson was overrated. They believed the offense was more of a product of their great defense and running game. Those doubters were proved wrong this past season.
Wilson led the league with a passing efficiency of 110.1. He threw for 4,024 yards with a career-high 34 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions. Doing so behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Not to mention a receiving corps that many labeled as one of the worst in the league.
More of the same will be expected and needed out of Wilson in 2016. He once again figures to be playing behind one of the least talented offensive lines. Seattle lost both starting left tackle Russell Okung and right guard J.R. Sweezy.
It’s hard telling just what the unit will look like. Justin Britt is moving from left guard to center to compete with Patrick Lewis. Right tackle Garry Gilliam will move over to left tackle. Rookie Germain Ifedi and second-year player Mark Glowinski figure to be the two guards. As for right tackle, it’s an open competition between several players.
There were concerns prior to last season on what Seattle’s offense would look like without Marshawn Lynch. Those concerns were eased with the emergence of rookie Thomas Rawls. He led the team with 830 yards and posted an impressive 5.6 yards/carry. With Lynch retiring, it’s Rawls job to lose. Christine Michael and rookies Alex Collins and C.J. Prosise will compete for backup duties.
Doug Baldwin emerged into a big time playmaker last year. Catching a team-high 78 passes for 1,069 yards and 14 touchdowns. He returns as the go-to-option, but expect more contribution out of Tyler Lockett. He shined as a rookie with 51 catches for 664 yards and 6 scores. Jermaine Kearse will be the other top option until tight end Jimmy Graham returns from injury.
The strength of Seattle’s team is their defense. The Seahawks allowed the fewest points in the league at just 17.3 ppg. The fourth straight year they have led the NFL in that department.
For the most part the stop unit remains intact. One loss in the offseason was defensive tackle Brandon Mebane. However, they fill they filled the void with their 2nd round pick of Alabama’s Jarran Reed. He will team up with veteran run-stuffer Ahtyba Rubin inside.
Seattle also has two underrated pass rushers in Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. They brought back veteran Chris Clemons to provide depth. The Seahawks are also hoping for a big year out of Frank Clark in his second season.
Assuming Clark doesn’t move to linebacker. Something that’s up in the air after Bruce Irvin left in free agency. His production will be the tough to replace, but Seattle seems to keep finding gems at linebacker. They have two of the best in the business on the roster in K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner.
The “Legion of Boom” still features their 3 stars. Corner Richard Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. They added back the other original member in corner Brandon Browner. Though, it’s no sure thing he will start. That could end up being nickel corner Jeremy Lane. Also in the mix are Tharold Simon and DeShawn Shead.
Regular Season Win Total
to Win the NFC West
to Win Super Bowl
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
I don’t think it would surprise anyone if Seattle returned to the top of the NFC in 2016. The only real question mark on this team is the offensive line. Though that’s been the case just about every year since Pete Carroll took over.
If the Seahawks can get adequate play up front, this team is going to be extremely tough to beat. Especially, if they come out with a chip on their shoulder after last year’s poor showing.
The big question is can they overtake the Cardinals. Your guess is as good as mine. In fact, I have the two teams about as even as you can get. I have both finishing the year at 12-4 and 5-1 in the division. Based on tie breakers, the edge would go to Seattle. I have them going 10-2 in the NFC and Arizona at 9-3.
I’m not a big fan of betting the over on win totals of 10 or more, but Seattle is one where I feel confident. As long as they don’t suffer a major injury, 11+ wins seems like a given.
NFC West Finish
Win Total Prediction
Seahawks 10-Year Recap