The Seattle Seahawks were once the dominant team in the NFL, but are now in trouble of plummeting towards the top five picks in the 2019 Draft.
Pete Carroll’s men won the Super Bowl in the 2013 campaign, hammering the Denver Broncos with their dominant defense leading the way to the crown.
The same team were on the brink of securing back-to-back titles, only to be denied by Malcolm Butler on the goalline as the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX.
It was the beginning of the end for Seattle’s dominant team. The seeds of discontent were sewn by the decision to pass rather than to hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch.
Slowly the dominant defense has been whittled down, with only one survivor of the legendary ‘Legion of Boom’ currently still with the team. Earl Thomas reportedly wants to leave the team due to a dispute over his contract, which would leave a lot on the shoulders of the offense.
Russell Wilson has been an outstanding quarterback since his rookie term. His play alone kept the Seahawks competitive last term, but it might not be enough in the 2018 campaign.
The Seahawks placed more responsibility on Wilson’s shoulders last season, with the quarterback attempting more passes than ever in the 2017 term. Wilson led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 34 strikes to 11 interceptions. The 29-year-old will have to operate at that level once again in the 2018 campaign due to the departures on defense. However, he will have to do so without his primary redzone target Jimmy Graham, who left the Seahawks to join the Green Bay Packers. Wilson has been renowned for his ability to move in the pocket.
It has allowed him to survive despite the deficiencies of his offensive line. Seattle still have not invested heavily in the position, putting the quarterback once again under pressure to evade the rush. New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has a challenge in keeping Wilson upright. Darrell Bevell paid the price along with offensive line coach Tom Cable for the struggles of the offense. New offensive line coach Mike Solari has to find a system to protect Wilson and ensure that the Seahawks can get the running game going.
Seattle selected Rashaad Penny in the first round of the 2018 Draft. He has the ability to provide the same rushing threat as Lynch, having impressed during his college days with San Diego State. Should the Seahawks get the ground game back to its best then it could be used to save their undermanned defense.
Doug Baldwin has been a model of consistency over the past five seasons. He has been Wilson’s trusted target in the receiving corps, recording 991 receiving yards last term and eight touchdowns. Baldwin cannot afford to drop off in his play with only Tyler Lockett among the wide receivers that has a decent rapport with Wilson left following the departure of Paul Richardson.
The dominant unit that won the Seahawks the title in 2013 is no more. Almost all of the key players that played a crucial role in delivering the crown have left the club. Richard Sherman was perhaps the high profile as he was released from his contract and signed by Seattle’s bitter rivals the San Francisco 49ers. That move would have been unthinkable four years ago, but Sherman will be wearing the red and gold rather than the blue and green of Seattle next term.
Outstanding pass-rusher Michael Bennett was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving the defensive line without their best player. Frank Clark has shown potential during his time at the club, but has been elevated from the third option to number one following the retirement of Cliff Avril. Rasheem Green was selected in the third round of the 2018 Draft, while veterans Marcus Smith and Dion Jordan have talent that they have yet to fully utilise. However, the fearsome pass-rush that tormented the Broncos in the Super Bowl has left the building.
The linebacking corps remains intact. Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright become more important than ever to Carroll’s men. Both players are good leaders, while Wagner is arguably the best player in his position in the NFL, especially with his ability to remain on the field. They will have to continue to operate at the peak of their powers to keep Seattle afloat. Barkevious Mingo and Shaqiuem Griffin will offer support, although they cannot be expected to play significant snaps.
The secondary is where the Seahawks will be under the most scrutiny. So much rests on retaining the services of Thomas. If he goes the unit could be one of the worst in the NFL in 2018. It does not look overly promising, but Seattle do control his contract. Kam Chancellor was forced to retire from the NFL, breaking apart the devastating tandem of safeties. Outside of Thomas there is a dearth of talent, although Shaquill Griffin did display promise in his first term.
It would take an ambitious supporter to take the Seahawks to win the NFC West next term. Compared to the Los Angeles Rams and the 49ers, their roster is weak to say the least. They have a decent price at +400 with TopBet to win the division, which could be worth a punt only on value. Seattle won nine matches last season, but expect them to take a step back in 2018. Take them at odds of -140 to win under eight games with TopBet, while back them not to reach the playoffs at -286 with 888Sport.
Wilson will be under pressure more than ever so take him to record over 25 touchdowns at odds of -125 along with over 3,851 passing yards at odds of -115 . The pressure may result in the quarterback throwing more interceptions than usual. Back Wilson to throw 15 or more picks at odds of +115 at BetOnline. Baldwin will be a vital player for the Seahawks in the 2018 term. However, at the age of 30, his effectiveness will be diminished, especially with the attention he will be receiving from opposing teams. Back him to record under 1,100 yards at -105 with BetOnline and seven touchdowns and under at odds of -125 .
Seattle Seahawks To Win NFC West
Seattle Seahawks Not To Reach Playoffs
Seattle Seahawks To Win Under Eight Matches
Russell Wilson To Throw Over 25 Touchdowns
Russell Wilson To Throw Over 3,851 Passing Yards
Russell Wilson To Throw Over 15 Interceptions
Doug Baldwin To Record Under 1,100 Yards
Doug Baldwin To Record Under Seven Touchdowns