We’re almost exactly three months away from the opening Sunday of the 2018 NFL regular season, and since the draft and major free agent signings are all done, it certainly makes a lot more sense to do win-loss predictions in June than when the NFL schedule comes out in mid-April.
Sports Illustrated’s Jonathan Jones wrote his season predictions (no playoff winners or Super Bowl picks, just regular season only), and his assessment of the Seattle Seahawks is not a pleasant one. He has Seattle finishing a truly Fisherian 7-9, well behind the 12-4 Los Angeles Rams and 10-6 San Francisco 49ers.
Here’s his write-up:
Seattle Seahawks: 7–9
The Seahawks as we knew them are no more, and we should all mourn that. As great as Russell Wilson is, there’s simply not enough around him, and Seattle is headed to its first losing record with Wilson under center. Once built with smart draft picks, the Seahawks had to go out in free agency this offseason to get parts such as Jaron Brown, Brandon Marshall and Maurice Alexander. The Legion of Boom is gone, taking the identity of this team and its juice with it.
Pivotal game: Week 6 at Oakland
Plenty of storylines in this one. Jon Gruden gets to go against a quarterback he gushed about for years on Monday Night Football. Marshawn Lynch faces his former squad. Hey, did you know Russell Wilson and Derek Carr are both shorter-than-average NFL quarterbacks? All this and more in a West Coast tilt between teams looking for their footing.
Well the Legion of Boom isn’t completely gone, it’s just tweaked in the way that rock bands go through lineup changes. Earl Thomas is still here, Shaquill Griffin is replacing Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell was an LOB key member from 2013-2014, and Bradley McDougald has been a fine replacement in the absence of Kam Chancellor.
I imagine a 7-9 record would cause even more of a shake-up than what we’ve already seen this offseason. That would indicate not just a sharp defensive collapse, but also close to no improvement if not even worse productivity out of the offense. Despite the injuries and often mediocre performances throughout 2017, Seattle still finished 9-7. This year’s schedule is daunting on paper, but those are based off of the team records from last season, and you know those don’t uniformly hold up the next season.
Jones’ most shocking prediction is a 2-13-1 mark for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were really bad last year, but I don’t think they’re that awful. And if they are, then I doubt Jameis Winston is their quarterback in 2019, but that’s not for Seahawks fans to worry about. His top picks out of each conference are the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings, both at 13-3.
Once September hits and preseason is over, I’ll compile the top win-loss prediction totals from the major sports websites and see how the Seahawks will fare in 2018. It could end up being (sadly) accurate, or a giant collection of Freezing Cold Takes.