2020 prediction post: More of the same for the Seahawks

September 9th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

One NFC West Championship in the last five years.

Early playoff eliminations.

Between nine and eleven wins.

This is what the Seahawks have come to be since their Super Bowl run in 2014. It’s where I think they’ll continue to be this year.

I’m not going to rehash points made in the detailed review of the off-season posted over the weekend. Yet ultimately I don’t think the Seahawks made best use of their resources this year and they failed to sufficiently address their most glaring need.

They did make a significant addition in Jamal Adams — although at a great cost. Yet it’s fair to wonder if Adams’ impact (and that of a very expensive linebacker corps) will be impacted playing behind what could realistically be the worst defensive line in the NFL.

On offense the addition of Greg Olsen should be a positive, as will the return of Will Dissly if he can stay healthy. D.K. Metcalf has more experience and will be expected to take another step forward. There are questions about the O-line though with three new starters. Ethan Pocic, a draft bust, is at center almost by default. Damien Lewis is a rookie, even if he has a lot of potential. Brandon Shell was benched by the Jets last year.

It’s also worth noting that Duane Brown is now 35-years-old and Mike Iupati is 33.

Russell Wilson is talented enough to prevent the Seahawks ever going lower than nine wins. For him to reach that point in 2017 when everything went against the Seahawks is testament to his qualities. We’ve pretty much seen a worst-case scenario with him at quarterback.

He’s also good enough for the Seahawks to overachieve in terms of win/loss record, as we saw a year ago. They had no business coming within a yard of 12 wins. I don’t think we’ll see another team get to 11 wins with a seven-point differential ever again. They were 9-2 in games decided by seven points or less. No team has ever matched that in the modern era. Seattle also won five games when trailing by +7 points and three games when trailing by +10 points. This is unheard of in the NFL and feels somewhat unsustainable.

Many people like to point to last season as evidence that the Seahawks were on the right track or deserve to be considered an established contender. I never felt that way. To me they looked like a team that needed another off-season. That’s partly why this year has been such a crushing disappointment — they had the money and draft picks to take the next step and I don’t believe they did enough to fix their biggest problems in the trenches.

Wilson’s sheer quality and some fortune gave them a record that was arguably a mirage. After all, consider the following wins:

— Beat the Bengals in week one by a single point, despite Cincinnati going on to claim the worst record in the NFL. Andy Dalton threw for 418 yards and two touchdowns.

— Only just defeated the Steelers 28-26 despite playing half the game against a backup quarterback.

— Won against the LA Rams 30-29 thanks to a missed kick by Greg Zuerlein.

— Beat a struggling Cleveland Browns team 32-28 thanks, mainly, to a horrendous performance by Baker Mayfield.

— Almost blew a handsome half-time advantage against a 1-6 Atlanta Falcons team on a day where Matt Schaub threw for 460 yards.

— Needed Wilson magic to out-gun Tampa Bay 40-34 in overtime on a day when the defense couldn’t do anything to stop Jameis Winston.

— Won in Santa Clara against the Niners thanks to a solo performance by Jadeveon Clowney and a missed kick by the stop-gap San Francisco kicker.

— Almost threw away comfortable leads against Minnesota (home) and Carolina (road).

Over the years I’ve often said a ‘win’s a win’ — especially during some of the messier periods of the Carroll era. That remains the case with the above. Whether you win by one point or 20 — it’s the same result.

The point is though — it would’ve only taken two of the above to swing the other way (such as the missed kicks by the Rams and Niners) and suddenly you’re looking at a nine-win season and no playoffs.

So yes — the Seahawks were close to winning the NFC West. They were also close to not making the post-season too.

I do an instant reaction piece after every game and have done for years. Sometimes I think it’s useful to look back and see how you feel about a game immediately after it. In May I revised how I felt about the 2019 season. Here are some highlights (the name of the article is in bold):

Seahawks beat themselves, lose to Saints
“Whether it was poor preparation, execution, decision making or play-calling — this was a terrible performance.”

Seahawks’ luck runs out, they drop to 5-2
“Nothing will ever top the 2017 beat-down by the Rams. Yet these two games — against the Saints and now the Ravens — are extremely concerning. It pulls the curtain back on the reality with this team. You can get after them, even at Century Link Field.”

Seahawks struggle unnecessarily in Atlanta
“Today they faced an Atlanta team on its knees. They were 1-6 coming into today and without key players, including quarterback Matt Ryan. Seattle rolled to a 24-0 lead by half-time and the rout was on. Finish the game. Go back home. No stress, for once. Assert your will. Dominate. Show some teeth. Set the tone. The Seahawks lost the second half 20-3. They were less tiger and more kitten. Matt Schaub ended up throwing for 460 yards. Atlanta had thirty first downs.”

Russell Wilson saves the Seahawks
“In 2018 the Seahawks regained their identity. A year later, they’ve lost it again. The Seahawks are 7-2 and it’s 100% down to their MVP candidate playing quarterback. Russell Wilson is a genius. At the exact moment his team has needed him to take yet another step forward — he’s pulled it off.”

Seahawks flop in LA, drop to 10-3
In the last five games between these teams, the Rams have scored 42, 33, 36, 29 and 28. In other words, the Seahawks were either going to need to turn this into their type of game or they needed to score a lot of points. They did neither. They’ve now lost four of the last five games to LA with the solitary win coming off a missed field goal. The Seahawks aren’t chasing the Rams in the NFC West this year but they’re still chasing them on the field.”

Injury-hit Seahawks lose to Cardinals
“Very few teams can withstand this number of injuries. This was still a humbling afternoon. They were beaten, handily, in all four facet’s of the game — offense, defense, special teams and coaching. They suffered a third home spanking of the season. If they lose to the Niners next week, they’ll finish 4-4 at home and they’ll be 14-10 at home over the last three seasons.”

Seahawks come within an inch
“The game also highlighted, again, Seattle’s greatest weakness moving forward. The defense has struggled all year to create pressure and impact games. If they’re going to take the next step in 2020 they cannot field a D-line as inadequate as this again. Even a modicum of pressure or resistance could’ve been the difference today. It was simply too easy for the 49ers.”

Seahawks beaten in Green day
“They have to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney. They can’t rebuild their D-line by allowing their top player, at a great age, to walk away for nothing in free agency. They desperately need to add a speed rusher who can trouble offensive tackles with quickness and burst. Whether it’s going out and signing Dante Fowler, trading for someone like Von Miller or a different move entirely — the main thing the pass rush (and defense in general) is lacking is speed. A talent infusion is needed on the D-line.”

There were big problems a year ago. That’s why I often trot out the defensive horror stats that I listed in Saturday’s article.

The hope for many is that Jamal Adams can help provide a tougher edge to the defense this year. He will also provide a needed X-factor. Yet many of the issues still remain. Improved speed in the pass rush is going to rest on the shoulders of a soon-to-be 33-year-old SAM linebacker. They haven’t increased their talent on the D-line. Many of the key issues from 2019 simply remain.

They now run the risk of developing into a team relying on the quarterback. There’s nothing massively unusual about that. Green Bay relied on Aaron Rodgers for years. That in itself is part of the problem though. The Seahawks have kind of become the Packers. Rodgers won one Super Bowl then struggled, year after year, to get back there. He’s actually returned to the NFC Championship game so they’ve got closer than Seattle. Yet ultimately his supporting cast wasn’t good enough, his defense wasn’t good enough, the defensive scheme was stale and could be exploited and the Packers consistently lost to more physical teams.

The Seahawks face the same issues now. You expect great things because of Wilson. However there’s too much responsibility on his shoulders. Teams do exploit Seattle’s weaknesses and the defensive scheme hasn’t changed in a decade. They play in a conference where one coach (Sean McVay) has got all of the answers for Pete Carroll’s defense and Kyle Shanahan did what he wanted in week 17 last season with the pass rush on its knees.

Part of the problem for me comes down to Carroll’s desire to play complete-circle football. He wants everything to connect — the offense, defense and special teams. The running game and the defense. Ball control and takeaways.

There’s nothing wrong with that philosophy. It won Seattle a Championship. Yet for too long now they’ve not had a completed circle. The running game was a hot mess in 2017. The defense hasn’t been good enough for the last two years. Can anyone remember the last time Seattle’s special teams unit was a positive?

If you set out to play connected football with missing pieces it just won’t work.

I don’t have much sympathy with the ‘Let Russ Cook’ movement on twitter. It’s mostly shit-posting anyway. It’s hard to argue though that the Seahawks wouldn’t be better off just living or dying on the arm of Wilson given the major question marks at other positions.

I’m not convinced they’re good enough to play complementary football.

Having said all that, Wilson is still an incredible player. It won’t be a surprise, for example, if the Seahawks defense struggles horribly against Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, gives up another 450-500 passing yards and Seattle still wins because of Wilson.

That’s why I think they have a floor of about nine wins with their quarterback.

The frustrating thing is with a different off-season they could’ve realistically been pushing for 13 or 14 wins. Even in the NFC West. A concerted effort to properly address the trenches followed by the Adams trade and you’d be looking at a veritable powerhouse.

I think we’ll see a similar pattern to 2019. Close games, often high-scoring, where Wilson will need to carry the team. There will be high points, probably because of Wilson. I also think they will have beatings similar to the losses against New Orleans, Baltimore and LA.

I do think they will make the playoffs. That’s easier this year anyway with seven teams making it. I think, ultimately, they won’t go any further than the wildcard or divisional round (again).

If that’s the case, especially if the pass rush holds them back, I think next year will be intriguing. They won’t have the means to do much in terms of additions in free agency or the draft. There will be players they need to make a call on in terms of contracts. I don’t think Wilson is going to accept many more years where the Seahawks make the post-season because of his presence, only to fall at the first or second hurdle because of glaring issues in terms of roster building. If he was more outspoken this year, imagine what next year could be like if history repeats.

My prediction for the Seahawks in 2020 is 10-6.

Game-by-game predictions

Atlanta (A) — L
New England (H) — W
Dallas (H) — L
Miami (A) — W
Minnesota (H) — L
Arizona (A) — W
San Francisco (H) — L
Buffalo (A) — W
LA Rams (A) — L
Arizona (H) — W
Philadelphia (A) — W
New York Giants (H) — W
New York Jets (H) — W
Washington (A) — W
LA Rams (H) — W
San Francisco (A) — L

Super Bowl champion prediction — Kansas City

I think the unusual season is perfectly suited for the defending champions. They have a settled roster, have avoided any kind of off-season drama and are very capable of carrying on where they left off. They know what they are, what they need to do and I think Patrick Mahomes will cement himself as the player of his generation.

Feel free to post your own predictions in the comments section.

One final thought for today. The LA Rams have just agreed a record-breaking contract with Jalen Ramsey worth around $20m a year.

Both the Rams with Ramsey and the Texans with Laremy Tunsil had to pay well over the odds because they failed to agree terms on a new contract before completing trades.

The Seahawks are facing a similar dilemma with Jamal Adams.

They have no leverage in negotiations. They either have to pay up or give up two first round picks on a short-term rental.

Adams is probably going to want to top Ramsey’s deal and become the highest paid defensive back in the league. The Seahawks might have to go beyond $20m a year which would be an eye-watering amount for the position.

All three teams warrant criticism for making these trades without a new contract being part of the agreement. It’s completely reckless. As soon as the ink is dry on the trade, all leverage is conceded to the player.

The Seahawks faced the prospect of starting the 2020 season with the only significant differences to their defense being Benson Mayowa replacing Jadeveon Clowney and Bruce Irvin replacing Mychal Kendricks. That’s why they made the Adams trade a month before the season started. You could call it a panic move, very easily.

Perhaps the nature of it being somewhat a desperation trade played into the lack of forward planning on a contract? Either way, it’s going to cost them big time in terms of cap space down the line.

If you missed our new podcast earlier this week, check it out:

You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.

Become a Patron!

171 Responses to “2020 prediction post: More of the same for the Seahawks”

  1. Trevor says:

    Rob I did my game by game predictions this morning and when I looked at yours they were identical. Every single one! We have some difference from time to time but on this as well as the SB champ I am in 100% agreement.

  2. James Z says:

    I listened to the Brock and Salk podcast last night. And while Salk went on a rant about the DL which was in parts hyperbolic, somewhat hysterical, and pretty damn amusing, Brock spoke with pauses and in resigned tones about the state of the DL. He was pretty sure that what he saw was what Carroll saw as to the deficiencies, and yet here we are depending on 2 ‘slow-twitch’ 5 techs, Green and Collier, to ‘up their game’. 9-7 or 10-6 sounds about right…

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yep.

      Jake Heaps also continues to use words like ‘scary’ on ESPN 710 to discuss the D-line.

      A lot of Seahawks fans have convinced themselves it’ll be OK — probably because they’ve not sat through four pre-season games to see what it’s going to look like.

      I think the mood is about to change very, very quickly when they find out Russell, Bobby, Jamal, DK and others are going to essentially be let down by the play in the trenches.

  3. Matty says:

    I’m plugging the big names to have superstar season and pull the rest to a 12 win season

  4. Gaux Hawks says:

    we split games with the rams, but also arizona… and atlanta beats themselves in week one… 11-5

  5. BruceN says:

    Thank you for continuing to generate a tremendous amount of content. With details which should take a lot of your time to put together. All great read and much appreciated.

    You’re right about the record and the game predictions. I just switched the ATL game to a W and BUF to a L.

    I’m still hoping they add a DL after week one. Wishful thinking and slim picking, I know.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “Thank you for continuing to generate a tremendous amount of content.”

      My pleasure. It’s been a lot more work this year without a break but I hope it’s been useful to some.

      • BruceN says:

        “ I hope it’s been useful to some.”

        Very much so. And much appreciated.

        Just watched the press conf. Seattle press are a bunch of cream puffs compared to NY and others. Loved the question about “ how do you keep guys like Damien Lewis grounded”? Seriously? Is that a question before the first game of the season? How about something non-threatening like, how do you plan to keep your interior DL fresh and who’s the primary player to step in at 5T For Reed? Mone (who’s a 1T) or L.J.? Green? I can only imagine they don’t want to be black balled so they lob cream puff questions.

  6. Pran says:

    I would say 9-7 and miss playoffs. This years defense is going to be worse than last years.
    Watch the game with open mind and just enjoy that games are being played…a welcome distraction.

    • GerryG says:

      This is where I am at.

      I just cant see the defense being much better. The DL is worse, possibly much worse, so I dont really care that the secondary is improved. QJeff, Woods played a ton of snaps last year and have not even been replaced. JC commanded double teams and let someone like Rasheem Green get 4 sacks and make splash plays. He is being replaced by Green and Collier, two guys who could barely get on the field as rookies. Sure LEO is better, but I think they are going to get killed by the opposition run game, so im not expecting too many third downs, and barely any third and longs.

      • Rob Staton says:

        On the plus side though, in today’s press conference we discovered that the players won’t be bored in the hotel on Saturday.

        We’d all been wondering so it was good for Pete to get asked about that to clear our minds.

  7. Gohawks5151 says:

    I keep seeing a loss in Atlanta and a win vs NE next week on a lot of prediction shows and it weirds me out. It a huge disservice to Belichick. I don’t disagree with 10-6. Hoping Russ goes nuclear and by force of will gets us to the mountain top.

    I will say that Seattle reminds me more of Baltimore than GB as a franchise. Well run franchises with established philosophy’s. Since their Championship in 2012 they were largely a 9-7ish type team, including a 5 win season in there. They had cornerstones retire/leave like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Todd Heap. Seattle lost cornerstones too albeit on a much shorter time frame. Baltimore also doesn’t pay out much in free agency like Seattle letting go of guys like Mosely, P. Smith, Z. Smith and R. Wagner. They have a line they won’t cross like Seattle.

    The main differences to me have really been luck and adaptation. 4 ring of honor Hawks go down in 2.5 years and the draft replacements (many they fought the board for…) haven’t fared better. With Taylor being hurt this is the 4th season in a row that a round 3 or less player has started the season hurt. That’s some bad luck. Taylor had risk but Penny had an immaculate health record. Ravens in turn lucked into drafting Lamar by ways of a shortsighted league. Ozzie Newsome getting replaced with fresh blood and Harbaugh on the hot seat after some so-so years also forced some made major changes like the offense. This is where Seattle is most guilty in my opinion. Maybe not a complete rehaul like Ravens but at least give a HOF more freedom, pace changes, attack early rather than feel out a D etc. In the front office, be less reactionary and stick to a plan.

  8. Rob Staton says:

    Another desperately poor press conference today. Again the only good question came from Art Thiel (answered poorly by Carroll).

  9. Nick says:

    I’m honestly losing patience with, and respect for, some of the sports journalists covering the Seahawks. The lack of incisive questioning is obsequious.

  10. DC says:

    Oh geez, we haven’t mentioned the special teams as group all off season. The last time it was good was, what, Lockett’s rookie season???

    I know the Pete is the head honcho…but the contracts that JS gave out this offseason and didn’t get any talent on the DL, either Clowney or someone else, and not getting Adams signed is an abysmal failure as his part being the GM. They said they didn’t pull the trigger on the Adams trade until they knew the salary cap implications for next year, so why not give him an extension?! $20M+ for a box safety?!

    I hate to say it, but if they don’t have a good year and some serious luck next year, I doubt they’ll be around after 2021, especially with the lack of draft picks and salary cap room. The future has a murky look to it.

    • Rohan Raman says:

      How many film studies do people need to see in order to understand that Adams isn’t “just a box safety”. He’s excellent in coverage, a terrific run stopper, helps the Seahawks handle the TEs that burned them last year, get after the QB and a complete tone-setter as both a leader and player. Do I want to pay him $20 million? No. But realistically Jets would have had to give him 20 million and Jamals main goal has always been to win. That’s why he forced his way out. We will make him the highest paid safety (18.5-19 million). That’s what he would have gotten anyway because he’s a BAMF.

      Seattle saw a rare opportunity to acquire a player of his caliber. Does it directly fix the d-line? No. But it improves this secondary which was also atrocious last year. And I don’t see a lot being said about how effectively they fixed the secondary this year. They have two legit starting corners their safeties are fantastic and they have good depth. Doesn’t change the fact that they messed up the d-line, but let’s give kudos where they are due.

      • Rob Staton says:

        “How many film studies do people need to see in order to understand that Adams isn’t ‘just a box safety’?”

        Find me one person who has called Jamal Adams ‘just a box safety’.

        “I don’t see a lot being said about how effectively they fixed the secondary this year.”

        Here’s what they did in the secondary. Didn’t sign a nickel. Didn’t draft a nickel. Didn’t draft a cornerback. Traded for a cornerback who subsequently found himself with a charge for armed robbery. Thus, he isn’t in line to start on Sunday and could face a suspension. Then, a month before the season, they spent their life savings on a safety in what can be fairly labelled a panic move (because as outlined in my recent articles, they were staring at the prospect of the only noticeable change to the defense being Mayowa for Clowney and Irvin for Kendricks, which wouldn’t have been acceptable).

        On Sunday the only difference will be — a different safety trying to play nickel (Blair instead of Amadi) and the costly Adams.

        The reason not a lot is being said about how ‘effectively’ they fixed the secondary is because we don’t know if it’s fixed. We hope it should improve because of the huge cost of the Adams trade. Yet why the hell should anyone give the Seahawks ‘kudos’ for that trade? It was obscenely expensive. It’d be like giving a millionaire kudos for buying a nice house at a price beyond what people expected.

        Doesn’t mean Adams won’t be great or worth the deal. But you can’t give them ‘kudos’ for it before a ball is thrown this season. And the high cost of the trade only further adds to the $50-60m they spent in free agency and the draft class — yet they still go into the season with an appalling D-line.

        Meanwhile, the team themselves — not us — called fixing the pass rush a priority. And they failed. So that’s why we talk about it so much.

        • Rohan Raman says:

          Rob, I am not taking issue with you discussing the pass rush. In my post, I wholeheartedly agree that the Seahawks just didn’t do enough to address the D-Line and pass rush. It is very disappointing and it will be interesting to see how this season will progress b/c as it stands now, I have no idea how that unit will perform.

          Secondly, I was responding to the person who said “20+ M for a box safety?”. Maybe I added a “just”, but to me, that is the sentiment of people who are dismissing what Adams brings to the team. Reducing him to a box safety is just wrong.

          Lastly, I wasn’t talking about the trade itself. I was talking about all that they did to attempt to fix the secondary. Dunbar is a good player who they STOLE in a trade and his legal situation was something they had no control over. There is no blame that you can attribute to the Seahawks on that front. Is it unfortunate? Yes. But there is no evidence that he will not be able to catch up and play at a high level. Plus, Flowers showed tremendous improvement throughout his second season at the position and got worked by DAVANTE ADAMS, one of the best route runners in the league. I expect to see even more improvement going forward. Whatever way you slice it, they have two starting corners, a starting-caliber corner at depth and one of the best safety tandems in the league. Plus Blair has received rave reviews from fellows DBs like Shaq Griffin, as well as Ken Norton. How much of that is justified? We’ll see. But there is reason to believe Blair will be an upgrade in the slot.

          Also, a side note. The trade for Jamal Adams sacrificed two firsts. The Hawks’ third and Jets’ fourth cancel each other out. One of those firsts was a first in the 2021 draft class. The 2021 draft class will be more difficult than usual to evaluate – significantly more difficult. It makes sense to sacrifice a first in a class that is difficult to evaluate. Plus, that pick is at a position where the hit rate has been historically low so what exactly are you sacrificing with that pick? Just a thought. I understand the argument that a low first can be used to build draft capital. But, as I’ve said, why would you want to build draft capital in a class that’s even more difficult than usual to evaluate?

          Apologies for the long post, Rob.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Rave reviews in camp mean very little though and regardless of Dunbar’s value in a trade, he isn’t starting this weekend and who knows when he will?

            So the only difference is the very, very, very expensive safety (who we’ve talked about a lot). None of this warrants any more focus than has been received. The pass rush though? It’s the defining topic of the off season.

  11. jed says:

    Thanks for keeping to pump out the great articles. It’s why I keep coming here for analysis. I know I’m not much of a football expert – I never played, coached, etc., but I have been watching for a long time. My first football memory is the 49ers/Miami Super Bowl and 1st Seahawks memory is when Curt Warner shredded his knee and my dad said something like “there’s the end of his career”.

    This paragraph pretty much echos what I’ve been thinking:

    “Many people like to point to last season as evidence that the Seahawks were on the right track or deserve to be considered an established contender. I never felt that way. To me they looked like a team that needed another off-season. That’s partly why this year has been such a crushing disappointment — they had the money and draft picks to take the next step and I don’t believe they did enough to fix their biggest problems in the trenches.”

    The disappointment is the biggest thing I feel going into the season because I just don’t see their DL or OL being good enough to support the rest of their team. At this point I think we have to hope for injury luck and a silly Giants-with-Manning run to go deeper than the Division round. I’ll watch the games and root with all my fanboy hopes, but I don’t see any good reason to expect more.

    I also wish Seattle had media that would just ask Pete & John over and over why they didn’t do more to shore up their DL and why they chose to spend the OL money on a pile of mediocrity instead of 1 good lineman. Sometime you just need to do the Simpsons “can we go to Mt. Splashmore” routine, but that’s not the way the Seattle media does things.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “Thanks for keeping to pump out the great articles.”

      My pleasure.

      “I also wish Seattle had media that would just ask Pete & John over and over why they didn’t do more to shore up their DL and why they chose to spend the OL money on a pile of mediocrity instead of 1 good lineman.”

      I’d settle for them actually asking even a handful of relevant, proper questions about it. Today there were zero questions about the D-line but we got another protest question, one about how to stop players getting bored in a luxury hotel the day before the game, many about the ‘week’ and the ‘unusual’ nature of the pre-season and one guy couldn’t think of a second question when his was already asked.

      • cha says:

        I missed it but it sounds like I didn’t miss much.

        • Rob Staton says:

          You missed absolutely nothing.

        • jed says:

          cha, thanks for doing the recaps. I don’t watch or listen to the press conferences, but I do try and find your recaps. They’re always better than what I find on the professional sites.

          • cha says:

            You’re very welcome. I did watch a little of the press conf just now and it seemed like PC was worn out/still a little emotional fatigue from the weekend. He didn’t want to answer questions. He even told a reporter who asked about why Ursua protected then cut “that’s a non-answer answer” after rambling for a minute.

      • jed says:

        I wonder what it is about the Seattle media that keeps them from asking challenging questions on a frequent basis. I guess it’s a mix of the general Seattle non-confrontational culture and specific personalities of the people in the media. It would be nice to have a few Northeast USA style reporters in the pool … the type that you don’t necessarily like on a personal level, but appreciate the persistence and willingness to ask tough questions. The current group seem like decent people, but unwilling for whatever reason to stir the pot.

  12. pdway says:

    Adding my thanks for all the fresh articles. it’s great to find a place w intelligent argument – from the blog owner, and the posters. And I also really appreciate the work you do to keep this place free of the ‘seahawks are a bunch of XXXX’ crowd, etc.

    Question – on this point: “They won’t have the means to do much in terms of additions in free agency or the draft.”

    I of course know the draft situation, but haven’t they set themselves up for a run at someone next year, via all the 1-year deals they made (Irvin, Olsen to name two that come mind)? I know they have Shaq and Adams, but there are ways to keep next year’s cap it low, right?

    That’s where I’m keeping some hope alive for defensive improvements. Am I wrong?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It depends on how the cap is effected. But one of the biggest problems with having so many one-year deals is those players need to be replaced. And with fewer draft picks, they’re going to have to fill a lot of holes in FA. I’m not sure they’ll be able to make a run at anyone unless they manufacture a low year-one cap hit over multiple years.

  13. JLemere says:

    so kind of out of left field here, but it is really weird that the FO is paying a 4th string TE 3.259 million dollars?

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s the #3 tight end

      • JLemere says:

        Depth chart on seahawks.com says he is #4, Luke Willson is #3

        • TomLPDX says:

          I was surprised by that too. Actually, the fact that Willson is on the 53-man roster is a surprise for me. He should be on the waivers instead of Ursua. Nobody would pick him up and he belongs on the PS. You can dis on Hollister all you want but I believe he is a better TE than Luke.

          • JLemere says:

            I think Hollister is a good #3 TE and could be a #2 TE on some teams, but if you have him #4, the FO should have approach him about a pay cut because it doesn’t make any common sense, unless they are going to have 4 TEs on the field at the same time and if he said no, then he should have been cut and then run with Mabry or Sullivan at #4 TE

        • Rob Staton says:

          That depth chart means nothing — and is often put together by someone with no idea on the order of the team.

          • JLemere says:

            Hope you’re right, because there is too many question marks popping up when it comes to the FO and if it leads to poor results on the field, someone will need to take responsibility.

    • Ashish says:

      Hollister is more like WR#3 tall WR and less TE.

  14. BobbyK says:

    Teddy Bridgewater and Clowney make more than Wilson. Imagine the Seahawks with Teddy/Clowney and not Russ. They’re a 5-11 team. Wilson was lucky early in his career in terms of playing on a loaded roster and now he’s been carrying a sorry team and leading them to good records because he’s a stud. People talk about how important it is to win in the trenches… but who fears either line on this team? Duane Brown is good and Reed is decent. The rest is mostly embarrassing (I like Lewis moving forward but he’s a rookie).

  15. Big Mike says:

    Without going game by game I will echo your 10-6 Rob. I will say though we’ll get a win in AZ and lose to them at home yet again.

  16. Hawk Scott says:

    A little off-topic, but I figured if anyone would know this, it’d be Rob or one of the regulars on SDB. My buddy and I were in the office, and I was explaining how the Practice Squad works (he saw John Ursua had been waived), and he equated it to being fired. I told him a better way to think of it is a, “demotion.” So anyways, he asked what happens to their salary if they’re placed on the practice squad. For example, Ursua signed a 4-year, $2.6 million deal last year. So does he forfeit that amount, and then take a the new Practice Squad salary for the weeks that he’s not on the 53? Any insight on this would be fantastic. And thanks again Rob for all you do for Hawk fans!!!

  17. TomLPDX says:

    FYI, Ursua and Rush signed to the practice squad…whew…for some reason this really bugged me, maybe because I saw that Dougy twitch in John U (Johnny U! 😉 )

    https://www.seahawks.com/news/seahawks-sign-wr-john-ursua-dt-anthony-rush-to-practice-squad

    • Manthony says:

      That “dougy twitch” was because Ursua was 23-24 playing against 18-21 year olds in college. I havent looked up his age recently but im assuming hes 25 years old now. I dont think he has the upside that other people think he has.
      Lets not forget ADB came in and started making plays his rookie season so its disrespectful to compare a player of Ursuas caliber to him.

  18. RWIII says:

    Dave Wyman is predicting 13-3 record. Wyman: Top-5 defense, better OL will help guide Seahawks to 13-3 record https://sports.mynorthwest.com/1171565/wyman-top-5-defense-better-ol-help-guide-seahawks-13-3-record/

    I am going to be a little more conservative. I am predicting a 12-4 record. Only because the Seahawks are in a brutal division. I think hands down the NFC West is the toughest division in the N.F.L. I just don’t see the Seahawks having a 10-6 season. The only way the Seahawks would have a 10-6 season is if they have a rash of injuries.

    IF you remember. Last year the Seahawks had the best record in the NFC and then came injuries/suspensions. Chris Carson and Rashad Penny went down with injuries. Al Woods and Josh Gordon were suspended. Yes this year the Seahawks don’t have Clowney. But they did acquire Jamal Adams. Adams will be in his contract year. This guy is going to make plays all over the field. Opposing offensive coordinators are going to have to game plan specifically to account for Adams on EVERY play. This will free other players on the defense to make plays.
    .

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t agree with Dave that they’ll have a top-five defense.

      “IF you remember. Last year the Seahawks had the best record in the NFC and then came injuries/suspensions.”

      This isn’t strictly true. The Seahawks for a period were in contention to get the #1 seed. Yet as noted in the article, it was all a bit of a mirage. They weren’t a better team than San Francisco or New Orleans in the NFC. It would’ve been interesting to see them healthier against Green Bay. Regardless, they looked like maybe the fourth or fifth best team in the NFC with the best quarterback and when the injuries set in it hammered any realistic chances of a playoff run.

      “Opposing offensive coordinators are going to have to game plan specifically to account for Adams on EVERY play.”

      Adams is good but I hardly think teams are going to have to account for him on ‘every’ play. He’s a strong safety.

      “This will free other players on the defense to make plays.”

      He’s not going to take double teams as a strong safety, RWIII. You could argue from a much stronger position that Seattle’s dreadful D-line will expose Adams and the second level defenders to avoidable attention and they’ll never be able to play as fast and free as you’d prefer.

      • Hawkdawg says:

        Rob, this may have been before your time, but Kenny Easley was also, mostly, a SS. And there have many comments from people who played offense against him that their very first read at the beginning of a play was to locate Easley. John Elway was one of those people, for example.

    • GerryG says:

      I don’t see the OL being better either. Mentioned this before, it has nothing to do with the guys, but the off season, and the new starters. I think the offense is going to be a mess for the first month because they won’t be able to run. We’ve seen this team struggle to get the run blocking continuity before. Poor run game, three and outs and slow starts have crippled this team many times over the years.

      Will love to be wrong, but I don’t see a good September.

  19. vbullen65 says:

    Dave Wyman says Hawks have a “top 5 defense” and will finish 13-3.. Unbelievable…

    • Pran says:

      is he referring to 2013 defense

    • BobbyK says:

      I hope he’s right but I just don’t see it.

      Top-5 secondary? Yes. Probably.

      Top-5 LBs? Perhaps.

      Top 30 DL? Doubtful. Average the three defensive units together and it doesn’t add up to Top-5.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      He was asked for a bold prediction, not what he thought would actually happen.

    • Ashish says:

      Dave seems to be excited on defense and was not supposed to share what he saw in mock games. I hope he is right in assessment. Again mock game is against team B so take it with pinch of salt.
      Let’s stay positive

      • Rob Staton says:

        People don’t have to stay positive.

        They can talk critically if they choose.

        • Matt says:

          I rarely post, but just wanted to chime in and say as much as you’ve beaten dead horse, I appreciate the consistency, and logic. I come here for a realistic assessment of the team, and that’s what you’ve been doing. Thank you.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Thanks — but there’s no reason to make reference to beating a dead horse. I’ve talked about the one topic that has defined the off-season a lot. A fluff piece about throwback uni’s, ‘why Marquise Blair is having a great camp’ (even though we haven’t seen any of it) or ‘here’s two snaps of Rasheem Green where he did something — a review’ just isn’t going to cut it. I want to talk about things that MATTER. And what mattered this summer was looking at how they’ve handled this vital off-season.

    • Aaron says:

      I have a lot of respect for Wyman as a former player and now local radio analyst and Seahawks radio commentator. However, what kinda koolaid is he drinking to say 13-3??? Unbelievable.

      My guess is 9-7, with a floor at 8-8 and a ceiling at 11-5.

  20. charlietheunicorn says:

    There are now 7 spots in the NFC for the playoffs.

    4 Division Champion
    3 WC
    1 BYE for the 1 seed

    I find it very unlikely Seattle doesn’t make the playoffs, however I’m seeing a more 11-5, than 10-6…. this is not enough to be a top seed and very likely not enough to win the NFCW…. which I think 12-4 is needed for a clear cut champion for the division. If we get into 2 way or 3 way tie breakers, anything might be possible.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There are a few good NFC teams though on paper…

      San Fran
      New Orleans
      Green Bay
      Seattle
      Dallas
      Minnesota
      Tampa Bay
      Philly
      LA Rams

      Two of those aren’t making it.

      And there’s a bunch of teams who could, theoretically, get into the mix — such as Arizona.

  21. Rob Staton says:

    First injury report of the season. Duane Brown already listed as ‘limited’ with a knee injury.

  22. Sea Mode says:

    10 sacks incoming… 🙄

    Gregg Bell
    @gbellseattle
    ·33m

    Defensive line coach Clint Hurtt says DE L.J. Collier was too heavy last year, basically a wasted one as #Seahawks’ rookie first-round pick. Says Collier is now at his ideal playing weight from his starring ways at TCU

  23. Albert Bryan Butler says:

    Pretty sure John Ursua got caught sneaking a girl in to the team hotel.

  24. Hawksince77 says:

    Not a prediction, but now that we are settling into the season, a few positive things to consider:

    1 – with a poor defense (accepting the company line on this site), Seahawk games are going to be more interesting and exciting than Pete would plan. The offense will need to score points, and they should be able to. Waiting until the 4th quarter to turn on the jets won’t work this year, so we should see more offensive fireworks early and often.

    2 – for those of us invested in Seahawks for fantasy, we should do great with the (expected) increase in offensive scoring.

    3 – as for wins/losses and a potential playoff appearance, it’s literally impossible to predict with any degree of confidence. For one, it’s football. Secondly, with an unbalanced team (again, per our collective understanding) any game can go any way. Bad teams can score on Seattle, presumably, unlike years past when Seattle was the best defense in football. Seattle should be able to match scoring for most teams, but the matchups will be difficult to assess. This is why Pete prefers to play great defense, run the ball and limit turnovers – much less variance. That won’t be an option this year. If Pete accepts that (apparent) reality, then he will need to play more aggressively earlier in the game than he has previously done. On the other hand, if he stubbornly sticks to the formula, it’s going to be a long season, and Seattle might struggle to win half their games.

  25. charlietheunicorn says:

    John Ursua cleared waivers and has been re-signed to the Seahawks’ practice squad, the team announced. The Seahawks waived Ursua on Tuesday after promoting Penny Hart from their practice squad. Pete Carroll vague on the reasoning behind that swap of wide receivers while saying they’re exciting about adding Hart to their active roster. ~ Seahawks beat reporter

    The 710 show was talking about his sticking (or not) on the roster and discussed they had heard he came in behind the curve last year and didn’t pick-up the playbook very quickly. Rumor had it that he had more of the playbook down, but this might be the #1 reason he got released and added to the PS. I don’t recall this being discussed pre-draft for him, but all the talent just needs some molding he needs to get his nose in the playbook. Hopefully they can fit him back on the roster sooner than later, since he would be a target for any team loving fast/shifty slot WRs …..

    • GerryG says:

      Probably just got wind someone may sign Hart to a roster, and swapped them out.

    • cha says:

      This is something that happens at times with young players at the bottom of the roster.

      I think some of the surprise and frustration stems from the fact they kept Ursua as a roster stash all year long last year, in a season where they were constantly in flux due to injuries. And now this year they suddenly cut him for someone else?

      Sounds like all’s well that ends well but you would’ve hoped their investment of a 6th round pick and a year on the roster would’ve yielded more. It still might but at the moment it feels like a strange call.

  26. charlietheunicorn says:

    Yikes

    Vikings DE Hunter on IR with undisclosed injury (likely back/neck) Out 3-6 weeks likely.

    Broncos OLB Von Miller on IR with ankle tendon injury. Out for 6 months with surgery.

    Early premier players with injury is not a good way to start the season. Each week, just get through it without major injuries, that is paramount to any type of successful season/playoff run for every team.

    • DC says:

      Injuries will have a huge effect on the story of this season.

      Maybe that’s why we signed so much ‘cannon fodder’ in the offseason.

  27. EranUngar says:

    It is no secret that I am way more bullish about this team even with a subpar DL.

    Starting the season away against a decent team has never been a strength of this organization and yet they will win in Atlanta on their way to a 12-4 record and the NFC West championship.

    I had them 10-6 in 2018 and 11-5 in 2019 and I am going for the trifecta this year.

    The bottom line is I fully agree with Rob’s take on the players and position groups above. I do not agree with the concept that the subpar DL will negate all the improvements on most other position groups.

    Let the games begin…

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not a “concept” to say the worst DL in the league could undermine everything else on defense.

      Disagreement is fine. But explain why a terrible DL that won’t create consistent pressure, won’t be able to stop the run, won’t keep the linebackers clean, won’t give the DB’s the opportunity to make plays because they’ll need to cover forever and won’t need an opponent to scheme anything on offense to counteract any disruptive force is going to enable this team to take a step forward, given the long list of horror stats in terms of pass rush a year ago.

      Again, disagreement? No problem with it. Simply saying you disagree though isn’t a counter.

  28. Hoggs41 says:

    I’m feeling optimistic about this comi g season and think they get the 2 seed at 12-4.

    Russ wins the MVP
    The defense finishes in the top ten and gets to 40 sacks as a team.

  29. Scot04 says:

    I was surprised how close you and I were Rob. Only difference was I also have them losing to Buffalo. Our defensive line scares me.
    I’m at 9-7 & see 10 wins as pretty optimistic with our current group. I will be rooting our team on as usual and hoping I’m wrong.
    Loved the last year Summary of games combined with your overall thoughts. Well thought out and objective as per usual. Thanks for taking the time. You made a tough offseason bearable and actually a bit enjoyable with the constant content and thought provoking reads.

  30. DC says:

    I predict ‘Matty Ice’ doesn’t play a full game on Sunday.

  31. Hoggs41 says:

    Looks like they got David Moore’s contract down from $2.1m to $900k

  32. Trevor says:

    When was the last time a team went to the SB with the worst DL in the league?

  33. Sea Mode says:

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    ·39m

    There are many unique elements for tonight’s NFL season kickoff, but here’s one that stands out: the two QBs tonight combined to sign $633 million worth of contracts.

  34. Tree says:

    Go look at the 2017 Patriots’ line (or 2018 where they lost the SB). Not a bunch of world beaters and if they were our DL some would be making similar claims of being the worst in the league. I am disappointed that we didn’t add another piece to the DL, but it is always possible to still add and one thing I like about our DL is they are all guys who are young or in their prime and should be getting better or at least not worse. And they should be able to build continuity where last year guys were in and out of the lineup, couldn’t practice, etc. I really think the Hawks have improved at nearly every position group (yes sometimes by subtraction of really poorly rated players (Ifedi, Hunt, Marshawn when he was our lead back in the playoffs, Ziggy, and Fluker were some of the worst at their positions), depth signings, or guys simply being available week one (Reed and Diggs)). They are a faster, more balanced, and a more flexible team. Guys like Adams, Blair, and Brooks can finally stop this team from being gashed and strike some fear. The coaching staff will need to be creative to get the most out of their talent. I am predicting they will and a 12-4 record with a SB appearance.

    • Rob Staton says:

      1. I have looked at the Patriots D-line in 2017 and 2018. It included Trey Flowers, who signed a five-year $90m contract as a free agent recently. It included a first round pick at defensive tackle — Malcolm Brown — who has had a good career and signed a $15m deal with the Saints as a free agent. It included Lawrence Guy, a $20m free agent signing by the Patriots themselves. And the Pats scheme utilises pass rushing linebackers, such as the legendary Rob Ninkovich who was still playing in 2017 and Kyle Van Noy who has just signed a four-year $51m contract in Miami. They didn’t have Benson Mayowa on $3m as their primary rusher being flanked by Rasheem Green.

      2. The Patriots also have the single greatest coach in NFL history who happens to be a defensive mastermind. When they beat the Rams in the Super Bowl the year before last, Belichick completely SHUT DOWN LA’s high-octane offense. Something the Seahawks haven’t been able to come close to, ever, despite playing the Rams twice a year. One of the worst things you can ever do is base an argument around, ‘but the Patriots…’.

      This is absolutely desperate stuff Tree. You’re not alone, a lot of fans are trying (badly) to try and justify what they’ve done or argue that the D-line won’t be that bad after all. The problem you’ve got is time runs out this weekend. They actually have to play football games. And you’ll see as well as we will that this D-line is going to be absolutely dreadful, they’re going to need to be bailed out by the quarterback and this will be the same season we’ve had for five years.

      • Albert Bryan Butler says:

        “2. The Patriots also have the single greatest coach in NFL history who happens to be a defensive mastermind. When they beat the Rams in the Super Bowl the year before last, Belichick completely SHUT DOWN LA’s high-octane offense. Something the Seahawks haven’t been able to come close to, ever, despite playing the Rams twice a year. One of the worst things you can ever do is base an argument around, ‘but the Patriots…’.”

        Pretty sure the Broncos had the highest scoring offense of all time before we took them to the glue factory.

        • Rob Staton says:

          That has absolutely nothing to do with the brilliance of Belichick and the way he stymied the Rams two years ago.

          I never said Carroll was a bad coach. If you’re trying to use Belichick’s Patriots as an example for ANYTHING, you’re losing the argument.

    • Wade says:

      Couldn’t agree more about the Ziggy effect. What a painful experience it was to watch his corpse. Not that this season might be much better…although it certainly could, if LJ and Rasheem step up. Remember that Clowney took a while to get going last year, too, and that Reed didn’t show up until 8 games in (I believe) and wasn’t quite himself when he did. Still a huge downgrade, but there were dark moments last year on the DL too.

      I think what some people don’t talk about enough is the possible regression of *other* position groups from last year, besides the ones that have had personnel turnover. Let’s say last year’s team was 10-6 true talent level; as Rob said, there were quite a few lucky breaks (a couple unlucky breaks in the losses, too, to be fair).

      The linebacker crew? Bobby and KJ have aged a year, and unless our recent draft picks step up, these guys might show up this year slower–“might” being the key word. Let’s call this a wash, or a slight downgrade. The defensive backs? Huge upgrade. On offense… OL? Likely downgrade and possibly a huge downgrade if Brown can’t stay healthy. Upside is this remains a wash, downside is huge if injury strikes to Brown or Iaputi and/or the newbies can’t handle their positions. How damning is the attempted Britt signing on Pocic’s abilities? Backs — upgrade. TE–upgrade. Recievers: can Metcalf and Locket and maybe Gordon keep this up? Let’s call it a wash. In my personal opinion, Locket has room for regression and Metcalf for stardom, but we’ll see. Finally–and most importantly–Russ, the most important player on the field, a dude who is three position groups all by himself, had a fantastic, MVP-caliber year. He’s getting older. He’s getting more likely to have to take more hits. Likely regression this year.

      I’m going with 9-7.

  35. Logan Lynch says:

    In regards to the DL, I think interior pressure and run defense will be more important than edge pressure. Look at guys like Clinton McDonald and Jordan Hill who each had 5.5 sacks in 2013 and 2014 respectively. If guys like Reed and Ford along with Green and Collier when they slide inside can collapse the pocket from the middle, that will be huge. Obviously, stopping the run and making the opposing offenses slightly more one dimensional is key too.

    • Rob Staton says:

      And how confident are you that they’ll be able to do that???

      • Logan Lynch says:

        Better than the last 2 seasons at stopping the run. Interior pressure? I think 6 sacks from Reed, 1 from Poona, and 4 from Collier/Green specifically from the DT position is a reasonable expectation.

        Generally, I think there will be more disruption from the DT spots than we saw last year specifically. I don’t expect this to become a top 10 DL, but if they can just be average and not be the sole reason for poor play from the defense, I think the rest of the defense and the offense can make up for the deficiency. I’m not far off your prediction, but I think this is an 11 win team with a shot at 12.

        • Rob Staton says:

          “Better than the last 2 seasons at stopping the run.”

          I think that’s optimistic.

          “I think there will be more disruption from the DT spots than we saw last year specifically.”

          A low bar was set, so maybe. But I also think this is optimistic.

  36. Trevor says:

    At least the fans that like offense should be happy because I think the Hawks and Russ are going to have to score 30+ each week to win starting this week.

    Offense has to be off the charts good and the secondary needs to have a ton of turnovers for this team to have any shot.

    What a shame and complete utter waste of $60 mil in cap space. We never even got the guy we traded the farm for locked up on a long term deal. WTF is JS in a Covid induced brain freeze or something?

    • dcd2 says:

      Maybe.

      Then again, they might think the best bet to keep the defense from being exposed is by keeping them off the field via the running game. Milk the play clock down to 2 seconds every down and run Carson twice. Then ask RW to convert a 3rd and long.

      I have a feeling that we’re all going to be asking familiar questions about: what happened to getting out to a fast start? Why did RW have only 10 pass attempts in the first half, and only after we were down two or three scores did we turn him loose?

  37. Albert Bryan Butler says:

    I just want to throw this out there. Do you think Pete would cut someone for smoking weed?

  38. Sea Mode says:

    Watch us manage to pull him out of retirement…

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    ·27m

    Denver expressed interest in signing former Rams’ and Packers’ LB Clay Matthews, but was told he is “not going to play,” per source. Matthews would have been a strong replacement for the injured Von Miller.

  39. cha says:

    Strange comments from Norton yesterday on Collier

    “See his growth”
    “understands practice”
    “knows the scheme”
    “knows his role and responsibilities”

    “realizes games – this is really serious”
    “urgency is where it needs to be”

    Comes off like comments about a talented but lazy 5th rounder coming into his second year. Not a first round pick that has now spent 2 entire offseasons with coaches.

  40. Sea Mode says:

    🤔

    The incident, captured on national television, catapulted Garrett onto an even larger platform, amplified his voice for change and extended his reach to the poor.

    *note to self: don’t read any more Garrett PR articles

    https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2020/09/how-myles-garrett-pondered-quitting-football-after-mason-rudolph-became-a-better-man-and-wants-to-clear-the-air-with-the-qb.html

    • cha says:

      “Wants to clear the air” ?

      It sounds like he was asked about talking to Rudolph and shrugged and said ‘that’d be fine, (realizes he sounds like an idiot), actually that’d be more than fine!’

      If you’re really committed to it, you do it in the offseason and do it under the radar. THAT is man to man. Not days before the season starts when you’re asked by someone else about it.

  41. Aaron says:

    Interesting article prior to Rams vs. Patriots SB about what type of defense is needed to make and win a Super Bowl. Doesn’t show pass rush stats, just points and yards allowed on defense.

    https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2019/1/24/18194452/super-bowl-history-defense-rankings-rams-patriots

    Summary: Defense with better yards and points allowed wins the SB about 2/3rds of the time. Defense in bottom half of points and yards allowed wins the SB about 1/3rd of the time. Worst defenses to win a Super Bowl are Giants in SB 46, Saints in SB 44, and Colts in SB 41.

    Let’s take a look at their pass rushes (Stats per Pro Football Reference, regular season only)

    2011 Giants SB 46
    Sacks: 48
    QB Hits: 89

    2009 Saints SB 44
    Sacks: 35
    QB Hits: 83

    2006 Colts SB 41
    Sacks: 25
    QB Hits: 55

    Now how did we do last year?

    2019 Seahawks
    Sacks: 28
    QB Hits: 68

    Given that information, what would the Hawks need this year to have a shot at the SB imo?…

    Sacks > 35
    QB Hits > 75

    Can we do it? What do y’all think?

    • Rob Staton says:

      No, and here’s why:

      — The Seahawks finished with 28 sacks, second fewest in the league behind only Miami (23)

      — Their sack percentage was 4.5% — third worst overall

      — The Seahawks produced a sack or quarterback hit on just 14.4% of opponents’ pass plays — worst in the NFL

      — They had only 126 pressures, sixth fewest in the league behind Detroit (125), Oakland (117), Houston (117), Atlanta (115) and Miami (96)

      — Seattle’s pressure percentage was the fourth worst in the league (19.3%) behind Detroit (18.9%), Houston (18.1%) and Miami (16.7%)

      — Seattle hit the quarterback 68 times — fourth fewest

      — They had 52 TFL’s — fourth fewest

      — They gave up 55 explosive running plays on defense, seventh most in the NFL

      — Their explosive run play percentage (14%) was the third worst overall behind only Carolina (16%) and Cleveland (15%)

      — They gave up 4.9 YPC — fourth most overall

      — They had 131 missed tackles during the regular season — fourth most.

      All from 2019. Now minus Clowney.

      • Aaron says:

        Agreed. Maybe someone will think they can be better than 2019. I’m not sure who though, maybe homers in the media and radio. Dave Wyman is seeing another 2013 type defense…for some reason. John Clayton thinks the Hawks have overtaken the 49ers in the division…for some reason. To be fair, they’re not all homers.

        I really liked your comparison to the Packers in the article. The Hawks are very much stuck in that Packers mode of good not great. The Packers went to two NFC Championship games after their 2010 Super Bowl win. They had nine years of good but too top heavy football, Hawks have had five years of good but flawed teams.

        There’s always something each year that tempers expectations for this team. In 2015 it was the 0-2 start and Lynch on the decline. In 2016 it was the early Russ injury and o line woes. In 2017 it was o line woes and an old and injured defense. In 2018 it was the 0-2 start and turning over the roster. In 2019 it was clearly the lack of pass rush and the defense in general. This year it’s basically the same thing but with maybe some o line issues with the shortened offseason.

      • Scot04 says:

        Good thing Clowney wasn’t a Priority. Obviously the Seahawks didn’t need to keep an elite game wrecker who can effect the run and passing game.
        We have Irvin & Mayowa for teams to fear.

    • dcd2 says:

      The issues that I see are:

      1. You’re looking at the outliers here. They managed to win despite their defense. It shows it can be done, but it isn’t common. So even if we can manage those numbers, it’s an uphill battle.

      2. Unless Pete/Norton decide to actually change their approach a bit, these lowly numbers are probably a pipe dream. We rarely blitz and if we do, it is generally one blitzer (SAM or Mike). This just puts us at 5v5 and no one on our DL commands a double team anymore.

      Pete’s defense is bend-don’t-break, keep it in front of you, don’t make mistakes & try to be opportunistic with turnovers. We were 3rd in the league in turnovers last year (NE & PIT were 1-2), and still fielded a miserable defense overall.

      We also were near the bottom in another category that could revert to the mean this year, especially if the opposing QB has an extra second in the pocket: 1st downs by penalty (largely D holding and PI).

      Lastly, when you look at the actual numbers, our run defense was bad, but our pass defense was much worse. We’ve lost our 3 best run defenders – Clowney/Woods/Jefferson and have replaced them with LEO’s and LB’s. We simply will not be able to stop the run playing Pete’s brand of football, and I don’t think he’ll change.

      Going into the season with only 3 DL over 300lbs is pure negligence. How in the world can we even line up against a 2 TE power set?

      Maybe we actually can get 35 sacks and 75 QB hits, but I fear it won’t matter. Our run defense may be our Achilles heel, and there’s really no way to fix it at this point.

  42. .@clownejd: I knew I could catch on quickly with Mike Vrabel’s system with @Titans. Said he had a lot more success with system in past (in Houston) than his time in Seattle

    • GerryG says:

      He also plated with more talent in Houston than last year in Seattle. JJ Watt is one one of the best football players of the past 25 years.

    • Ashish says:

      Clowney made a business decision, he knows with 3 sacks no one gave him great offer. If he has to sign one year deal it has to be place where he can get more sacks. Seattle was not that place he already knew. If reports are to be believed, Seattle offer was better than Titan but he has made decision for future. Good luck Clowney.
      Go hawks, we are 2 days away.

    • CD says:

      More evidence they (PC/JS) should have known and moved on earlier. The ESPN article has to be a hard read for Pete Top FA that was in the system for a year, wants to play for contender, offered top dollar, didn’t ‘go home’, has made millions and wasn’t about money, who just said ‘no thanks’. This says a lot about the Hawks future from an insider. I suspected this 6 months ago, smoke from the departures of Sherm, Bennett, Marshaun, Earl, now Clowney. The rah-rah, compete doesn’t work anymore, doesn’t make them any different. Actually, it seems there is often seperate rules for the superstars, probably rubs guys the wrong way and frustrates guys when they hear ‘compete’.

    • Trevor says:

      Having been saying for months there was no chance Clowney was coming back on a 1 yr deal. They had to sign him long term if they wanted him and they were not willing to pay up.

      Not having a plan B and switching to that months ago is a serious season defining miscalculation by PC/JS and the media has given them a complete pass.

    • evan says:

      This seems like an indictment of Ken Norton IMHO. Pete is gonna be Pete and he’s unlikely to change his system at this point, but Ken Norton, to my untrained eye, has no idea how to coordinate a defense.
      and if Clowney was that down on Seattle’s defensive system it seems John Schneider should have known he wasn’t gonna re-sign and gone with plan B.

      • Ashish says:

        I was not excited to see Ken back in as coordinator. He is no leader probably that is what got the job. Pete wants a body who can follow the order to the T without questioning. Bradely and Dan were great coach.

    • Pran says:

      This confirms that FO & Pete are not up to mark in handling Clowney and alternatives, as well as Seattle is no longer a preferred destination. There is nothing to show for last 5 seasons except one and done.

  43. James C says:

    Sure seems like he was never going to sign here. Can’t believe PC/JS were caught in a state of inertia for so long. They had too much confidence in the Seahawks culture being a swaying influence probably.

  44. RWIII says:

    Guys you might find this article interesting. POLL: 86.7% Of People Won’t Watch The NFL If Players Kneel During The National Anthem https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/10/poll-86-7-percent-stop-watching-kneeling-national-anthem/

    • Big Mike says:

      Completely leaving politics aside here, there is zero chance the numbers are correct imo. Football, especially pro football, is ingrained in this society like no other entertainment entity. There’s a reason 9 of every 10 highest rated TV shows every year are NFL games.

    • Darnell says:

      – That poll is not the least bit scientific.

      -Twitter is never a reflection of real life.

      -It’s easy to say one thing and do another thing when there is no way of following up to see if you followed through.

      -That website appears to be a big time propaganda site, and objectively speaking, doesn’t seem to be the least bit reputable.

      -Good riddance to people who want to be entertained by black people playing sports, but don’t actually care about them.

      -I’m not sure Rob appreciates you posting that to his football blog.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Let me repeat, again, that I want this to remain strictly a football forum.

      I also highly doubt the results of the poll. Most people will actively support the cause or won’t feel any negativity about players kneeling. Despite what some might suggest, the vast majority of people are good people with compassion, understanding, empathy and just want the best for each other.

      I will say though that I think it’s important for the players and teams to manage any form of protest effectively. It can’t be non-stop this season otherwise it may have the effect that poll suggests. People can become fatigued to protests, however important the cause is. It is also fair to acknowledge that football is a release for a lot of people — which given the year we’ve all experienced so far, shouldn’t be taken for granted.

      And on that note, we finish the discussion.

  45. Adog says:

    Pennywise haunted the town of Derry for generations…then a gaggle of kids faced their fear and banished the clown to perhaps tennessee. Pete Carroll wrote the book on how to overcome fear and loathing. Josh Gordon read the wrong book. The Seahawks seek and laud players that have overcome adversity. They also gamble on players in the midst of that adversity. All vibes beside those of indifferent fan boys like myself feel negative and yes my precious…haunted about the loss of Clowney. I say…that poona ford will have more coverage sacks than jadaveon had all of last year. I say that Green and Collier will have a better pressure rate than Clowney had last year due to outstanding middle and back end defense. Pennywise be gone.

  46. God of Thunder says:

    Based on a couple of comments Clowney has made about signing with the Titans, I submit that he wasn’t ever going to resign with the Hawks. I’m the last person to consider himself an expert but it looks like he wants to maximize his sack totals in a scheme that will facilitate that.

    Glad we didn’t get him. Sorry he wasn’t replaced adequately (cf. Rob’s many comments on this topic).

  47. Trevor says:

    I really hope they I am proved wrong because I love Pete and think he is one of the all time great coaches but is unwillingness or inability to adapt makes me think the end is near or at least should be. I think perhaps a lot of the malcontent in previous seasons may be spawning from the fact that players realize they are being out coached X and O wise each and every very week.

    He gets his players prepped to play each and every week but the game seems to have passed him by a little and it really sucks. Hope I am proved wrong this year and they figure out how to use guys like Bobby and Adams in unique ways on defense.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “I love Pete and think he is one of the all time great coaches but is unwillingness or inability to adapt makes me think the end is near or at least should be”

      Pete Carroll will coach here for as long as he wants while ever the Seahawks are essentially in ownership limbo.

  48. Sea Mode says:

    Gregg Bell
    @gbellseattle
    ·1h

    K.J. Wright cuts to the chase on #Seahawks not going to play so much base 4-3 this season. They are going more nickel because they love Marquise Blair. “We gotta have Marquise on the field this year.”

  49. Big Mike says:

    Marshawn with a wonderful snack food (Doritos, etc.) commercial with a Christmas theme during the pregame. Guessing that’ll run til Dec. 25. Love ya Beast

  50. Duceyq says:

    Fun prediction.

    I have Seattle getting the 2nd seed at 13-3…three losses to ATL away, SF away and LAR away.

    I think the improved secondary, full season of Diggs, will allow for more single high looks along with more nickel and less base. Also the improved speed to handle jet sweeps better.

    Offensively they have the weapons to score with any team in the NFL.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Why is single high going to improve anything? How will that make up for the DL??

      • Duceyq says:

        Single High forces the QB to hold on to the ball a tic longer. Usually the their CB’s are in bump M2M coverage. It at least offers the DL a better chance of having a disruptive effect.

        The 2-Deep (how Seattle runs it) gives QB’s easy pre snap reads which affords any QB the ability to get rid of the ball quick in big windows that no good pass rush could affect. All DB’s are in bail tech.

        Chart the plays today against ATL and 2 Deep looks we’re getting gashed versus Single high. It’s what made a would be blowout seem contestable.

        Seattle still needs a closer on the DL. Not sure if Clowney was that guy but an Avril/Bennett/Clemons type is what this team needs. When up 31-12, a closer finishes a team off not allow a 1:30 TD drive.

  51. Nathan W. says:

    Big sigh… CEH was so good for the Chiefs. Really wish we could have taken him.

  52. GlastoHawk says:

    On third look at schedule can only get us to 9-7 wins over Falcons (A) Patriots (H) Dolphins (A) Viking’s (H) Cards (H) Eagles (A) Giants (H) Jets (H) Washington (A)
    Last season felt a real struggle, yes the close games went our way but it only takes the smallest margin to tilt those wins into defeats, I don’t think we have strengthened sufficiently to maintain those small margins.
    Hope to be proved wrong in a positive way

  53. MJ says:

    Did anyone see Kansas City go for it on 4th and short from their own 35 last night? I that’s the type of aggressive play calling that the Hawks need to implement this year. Playing conservative isn’t going to cut it, all gas no brakes, let Russ do his thing!

  54. Justin Mullikin says:

    First off, I have read and listened to all your articles Rob. This has been an interesting offseason to say the least.

    You bring up valid points about lack of talent on the defensive line and the o-line also has its own questions to answer.

    With that being said, I actually think we are a better team this year than we were last year. I believe our offense should be better. Having a quality TE does wonders for our offense. If Dissly or Olsen can stay healthy I think that will be a big upgrade.

    I believe our defense will be better too. Our secondary improved with Adams and Dunbar. I actually think Irvin will end up being a good signing too. He fills the need at linebacker and situational pass rusher.

    With that being said, we have definite question marks on the O-line and D-line this year.

    We split with the 49ers and Rams and end up with

    12-4 NFC West Champions.

    I may be a bit optimistic but thats what I feel.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The thing is Justin when you spend nearly $60m in free agency, have a full draft class where you start with two second round picks, then trade your 2021 and 2022 first round picks for a player — the very least you expect is an improvement. That’s the absolute bare minimum.

      And yet despite all of this — the only obvious improvement is at strong safety and tight end. That’s it. They haven’t improved the D-line (their top priority). The O-line is suspect. They spent a lot of money to retain bang average players. They spent millions on players they later cut because they were too expensive and re-worked David Moore’s contract too.

      The pathway to improvement had to be upgrading the trenches. They admitted that themselves. And they failed to do so.

      And there’s a very good chance that any improvement at tight end or safety will simply be washed away because the biggest thing preventing them from a deep playoff run a year ago has subtracted Jadeveon Clowney and added Benson Mayowa.

      That’s not good enough.

      • Justin Mullikin says:

        You are right, more could have been done especially on the D line.

        I do think that TE and Safety are important positions for the Seahawks especially as it comes down to our division and matching up with the 49ers and Rams.

        We will see how it all plays out.

        Hopefully we can stay healthy. This might be the kind of year where the healthiest team at the end of the year has the best chance.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I would argue though — the best way to stop LA and SF is to rattle Goff and Jimmy G with pressure.

          If you expect to ‘cover’ those teams into problems with all their misdirection and crossing routes and sweeps you are going to be found badly wanting. You’ll be chasing shadows all game. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay run very creative yet simple route concepts that are difficult to cover anyway. It’s all about getting into the QB’s head with Goff and Jimmy G. We’ve seen them buckle under pressure.

          Just look at the way Clowney and the D-line impacted the first game against San Fran — and how bad the Seahawks looked against LA and SF defensively later in the season when he wasn’t there (LA) or really injured (SF).

          I don’t think an upgrade at TE is going to do much either when the key on offense is to protect against the best D-line in the league (SF) and the best defensive player in the league (Aaron Donald). You need a good O-line. And what have they done there? Decided to rely on Ethan Pocic at center and Brandon Shell at RT.

          I didn’t set out this off-season to be negative. I was guided by the team. I think they’ve had an absolute nightmare.