Are Seahawks Good Enough? Yes!

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

It’s been five years since my beloved Seattle Seahawks reached the pinnacle game in American sports. But because of being in the Super Bowl 3 times in the span of nine years devoted fans like myself have come to expect them to compete for this ultimate title. In fact since the Seahawks had their chance at an NFL Championship taken from them by the officials February 5, 2006 in their match-up in Detroit with the Pittsburgh Steelers only the hated Patriots of New England have appeared in that game, the first Sunday in February more than Seattle. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been to six. Pittsburgh, like Seattle, played in the game 3 times.

The 2017 season was the only time since 2011 that Seattle failed to make the playoffs thanks to Blair Walsh who single-handedly kept them from having an 11-5 or possibly 12-4 season, earning a first round bye, and hosting a playoff game.

Carroll is a Hall of Fame coach.

Then came the 2018 season when some really outlandish national prognosticators predicted Seattle would be a losing team. Sports Illustrated even predicted Seattle would fall to 4-12. Having made the playoffs with a 10-6 record Pete Carroll again showed what a Hall of Fame Coach is capable of accomplishing. After losing Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Luke Willson and others who helped the team to two Super Bowl appearances and one Championship Carroll has nearly fully remade the team.

If there is any justice in the world, Schneider wins the NFL Executive of the Year Award.

Knowing this history and seeing how General Manager John Schneider has worked miracles in assembling the team this year and last, why would anyone think these Seahawks weren’t Super Bowl contenders again? Simply put, they are.

Let’s look at the roster:

Offense

Quarterback- Russell Wilson is at least among the top five QB’s in the NFL, and when he’s at his best there is none better. And while we hope he never plays Geno Smith gives Seattle the most capable backup Wilson has had in his career. NFL Ranking- 1-5

Running Back: In Chris Carson the Hawks have a third year back who has already rushed for over 1100 yards, last year. They also have last year’s first-round draft pick Rashaad Penny who the coaches have praised this off-season for his fitness and practice performance, and who showed tremendous potential in his limited role last year. He even had a 100-yard game in his only start. Then there’s the third string back who might actually be the best of the group. C.J. Prosise may have been injury prone in his first 3 years in the league since being a 3rd round pick out of Notre Dame. But again this preseason he showed himself to be a very exciting runner, and performed so well he was kept on the team when nearly everyone thought the team would cut him lose. Lastly, the Seahawks finally have a capable fullback again. Nick Bellore will be expected to slam his 250 pounds into opposing linebackers ahead of Carson, Penny or Prosise in a manner not seen since the days of Mack Strong. NFL Grade- 1-2

Wide Receiver- This is possibly the weakest position on the team and yet it includes the only receiver in the NFL to have a PERFECT passer rating with his QB last year. Tyler Lockett is the real deal. Now with Doug Baldwins injury retirement he’ll get a chance to prove it. The Seahawks invested heavily in this position through the NFL Draft, picking three who all made the team. DK Metcalf has huge potential. But the leading receiver in the preseason was 7th round pick John Ursua. But, as we all know, you really can’t count on rookies in the National Football League. Fortunately the Hawks plan on running the ball more than any other team, again, justs like last year. And they have a stated position of desiring to throw the ball to their backs more this year. So having a collectively weak receiver position may not hurt them much. NFL Ranking- 27-32

Tight End- Will Dissley, Nick Vannett and later on in the year Ed Dickson. All are very capable run blockers, which is what the Seahawks need. And if Dissley can duplicate his performance in the first four games of last year when he looked like a Rookie of the Year candidate then this position will be fine. But don’t count on it. NFL Rank- 18-23

Offensive Line- The only question about the capabilities of this year’s offensive line is, can they stay healthy? Particularly starting guards Mike Iupati and DJ Fluker who both have a history of injury, and Seattle’s depth in this area is weak. However, while losing J.R. Sweazey to free agency, replacing him with Iupati, this line was good enough to lead a second-year running back and 7th round draft pick to an 1100-yard rushing season AND lead the league in rushing as a team. So, how bad could they be? NFL Rank- 5-10

Defense

Defensive Line- Jadaveon Clowney, Jarren Reed, Poona Ford, Ziggy Ansah. By the time Reed returns in week 7 following his 6 game NFL suspension for being abusively physical (no offense intended in my wording) with a woman 3 years ago, Clowney will have had time enough to become familiar and comfortable with the defense. And when those two things happen this could be one of the best D-Lines in the league. I really am excited for Ford. I really think he’s going to be special. NFL Rank- 1-3 (…by the end of the year)

Linebacker- With Bobby Wagner widely regarded as the best, or at worst, second best linebacker in the NFL a healthy KJ Wright, and an un-jailed Mychal Kendricks plus a very impressive rookie in Cody Barton this could be the best linebacking unit in the league. NFL Rank- 1-2

Defensive Backs- Safety Bradley McDougald is the only player here the team can positively consider good and dependable. However, I do expect second year corner Tre Flowers to improve on his very impressive rookie season. Third year corner Shaquille Griffin needs to perform better and more consistently. I think he can. But will he? The other safety position seems to be going to Lano Hill. But by the end of the year unless Hill performs up to his high draft position status from 3 years ago he could be replaced by one of two rookies; second round pick Marquise Blair or 4th rounder Ugo Amadi. Both Blair and Amadi have shown fleeting glimpses of promise. And don’t be surprised if the important Nickel corner position doesn’t go to Parry Nickerson. Why else would Schneider trade one of his beloved 2020 draft picks to acquire him on cut-down day last Saturday? Fortunately with the d-line and linebackers expected to put good pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season the secondary may not need to cover receivers for extended stretches of time. NFL Rank- 20-25

Special Teams

Punter- Michael Dickson is the best punter in the NFL. NFL Rank- 1

Kicker- Newly signed Jason Myers was the AFC Conference Pro Bowl kicker last year when he was with the Jets and set a record for the number of 50+ yard field goals made. NFL Rank- 1-3

With six position groups (including punter and kicker) among the very best in the league, and a coach with a history of great success, and a quarterback who knows nothing but winning this Seattle Seahawks team will be no worse than 9-7. At best I think they can go 12-4 and challenge for home field advantage, which is the only way Seattle has ever made the Super Bowl. I’m counting as losses road games against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Los Angeles and a home loss to New Orleans. The loss to the Saints coming only because its the 3rd game of the season and Reed will still be suspended and Clowney will not yet be completely comfortable with his new team (remember he didn’t go through training camp or ANY off-season program with Houston).

Will Seattle go to the playoffs, win and go to the Super Bowl? I definitely think they can. Home field advantage is key. It will be an exciting season.

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Seahawks will be in the playoff race!

By the time late December rolls around Seattle Seahawk fans will once again be dreaming sweet dreams of playoffs, and victories and Super Bowls. All the Pete Carroll

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks return from the dead

detractors will be silenced and Tavaris Jackson will have some people wondering if HE shouldn’t be our quarterback of the future. The Seahawks will be on a five game winning streak, and have a winning record. And if you believe that…you’re not a dreamer…just a knowledgable football fan.

Yesterday’s surprising win over the playoff bound Baltimore Ravens didn’t make me delirious. There is really good cause to predict that the 3-6 Seattle football team will reverse its thus far lackluster season and become a playoff contender. Let’s look at the evidence.

  • In the past 7 games Hawks are an unremarkable, but not embarrassing 3-4
  • They should be 4-3 having had the Cleveland game stolen from them by a bad officiating call that took away a late game touchdown.
  • They lost two of their last four losses by a combined 5 points.
  • They’ve been competitive in every game.
  • They beat a playoff bound NY Giants team in New York.
  • They beat division leader Baltimore one week after the Ravens beat the defending AFC Champion Steelers in Pittsburgh.
  • The Seahawk defense has been stout all year.
  • The Seattle offense is improving in exactly the areas in which it needs to improve.
And, the number one reason for my optimism that the Seahawks can become playoff contenders by the week before Christmas…their schedule. Seattle plays its next four games against teams with an equal or worse record and three of them are at home. Seattle’s schedule gets considerably easier from this point forward. Seattle plays four of its last seven games at home at CenturyLink Field (still doesn’t feel right calling it that). They play two of the next four games against the St. Louis Rams, who have won only 2 games this season. After next weeks trip to St. Louis the Washington Redskins travel across country with their losing record, and Mike Shanahan‘s job slipping from his fingertips. Then on a Thursday night primetime game when the Seattle sellout crowd will be at its most fever pitch the 3-6 Philadelphia Eagles and Michael Vick come to town. I am quite certain that the Puget Sound’s dog loving, liberal protest-loving, environmentalist wacko population will rain some seriously bad karma down on the Philly QB, with a history of animal abuse. And the Seahawks defense will make Vick’s erratic throwing pay big dividends for the home team, with turnovers. Following Philadelphia the Hawks will be riding a four game losing streak and will be hosting the Rams. They won’t lose THAT game.
That takes us to late December; December 18th specifically. On that date Seattle will be in Chicago playing the increasingly tough Bears. And it WILL BE COLD!!! I do expect Seattle’s win streak and playoff hopes to end in the Windy City. But if they don’t….if they somehow manage to pull that game out of their hats…well…Seattle could run the table. The 49ers will be in Seattle the next week, having long ago clinched the division crown. Then they close the season in Arizona. Win!
Ultimately though I don’t think Seattle will make the playoffs, I do think they can make the late season interesting since they now seem to know how to run the football, and Jackson will continue to play at a level that will compare reasonably well with the Matt Hasselback of the past couple years. And having something to cheer for late in any sports season in Seattle is a Christmas present no matter what the time of year.
Go HAWKS!
11/19/11- Since writing this post the Seahawks have lost the right side of their line. It doesn’t change my opinion. Since starting right guard John Moffitt and starting right tackle James Carpenter were declared out for the year the Seahawks have received news of the Rams losing a starting tackle and another cornerback. The Rams have 9 count ’em, NINE cornerbacks on the injured list this year. And as was pointed out above the Seahawks play the Rams twice in the next four games.
Since the blog was originally posted it’s also been revealed that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has cracked ribs. Seattle plays Vick and the 3-6 Eagles in 2 weeks.
Seattle WILL be in the playoff race four weeks from now riding a five game winning streak. Then who knows…
Optimism beats pessimism.
11/20/11- One down, three to go. Did you see anything today that would lead you to believe St. Louis could beat Seattle when they come northwest December 11? Nope. So with great confidence in that game the Seahawks still need to win home games against a 3-7 Redskins team, and a 3-6 Eagles. I may be crazy but I think the 4-6 Hawks can beat those teams, both of whom are flying all the way across the country.