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2018 NFL predictions: USA Today has Seahawks finishing with worst record in NFC

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Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

It’s one thing to predict that the Seattle Seahawks will miss the playoffs in the 2018 NFL season, but this is the first article I’ve seen that pegs Seattle as one of the league’s worst teams instead of somewhere in the 7-9 to 9-7 range.

Nate Davis of USA TODAY picked all 267 games (256 regular season + 11 postseason), and concluded that the Atlanta Falcons will play Super Bowl LIII at home and beat the Los Angeles Chargers to finally win their first Lombardi Trophy. I’m not really seeing Atlanta as a Super Bowl contender, but I do think the Chargers are a darkhorse in the AFC. Then again, the Chargers have been in this spot umpteen times before and have only one AFC Championship Game appearance to show for it under Phillip Rivers.

Now let’s get to the part for Seahawks fans. Not only does Davis have Seattle finishing last in the NFC West, something they have never done since joining the division in 2002, but he has them winning just four games.

Here’s his very brief, lame, and uninteresting explanation:

Seattle Seahawks (4-12): Ex-LOBer Richard Sherman nailed it when he said, “They’ve lost their way.” Russell Wilson could generate 100% of the offense this year, and it won’t be enough for a roster that’s crumbling around him.

The only teams Davis believes will have fewer wins than the Seahawks are the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts, while the New York Jets are pegged to also finish 4-12. That means the Seahawks would pick either 3rd or 4th in the 2019 NFL Draft, having ended 2018 as the NFC’s worst team.

Let’s entertain for a few seconds that the Seahawks do have a spectacular fall and finish in the cellar. One would assume that it’d involve at least one of the following:

—Russell Wilson suffering a season-ending injury very early in the year.

—A healthy Russell Wilson inexplicably regressing so badly that it’d make you question whether he should receive a contract extension after his deal ends in 2019.

—The receivers all come down with a nasty case of the dropsies, a la 2004 Seahawks.

—Brian Schottenheimer and Mike Solari don’t improve the offense at all, creating a complete collapse that renders this unit as bad as the 2008-2009 seasons. The rushing attack is still inept, the blocking is still largely non-existent.

—More devastating injuries to key players on the defense.

—Poor performance from the defense as a whole, even from the likes of Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright and Frank Clark. The offense cannot make up for their bad play and Seattle frequently ends up in high-scoring games, which they tend to lose.

—Zero positive contribution from the rookies and new signings on the team.

—Just completely crappy luck. (e.g. freak plays, awful record in games decided by 7 points or less, a giant sinkhole swallows Doug Baldwin at midfield at Levi’s Stadium)

—Special Teams starts punting backwards and kicking field goals sideways. The longsnapper snaps it forward for some reason. This repeats every week without the coaching staff correcting these mistakes.

I’m not overly optimistic that the Seahawks are going to be a 10+ win team again this year, but I doubt even the most pessimistic of Seahawks fans believes they’re destined to have the third-worst record in the entire NFL.

In case you’re wondering, Davis did have Seattle at 11-5 in each of the previous two seasons, and had the Seahawks winning Super Bowl 50 over the Colts, so it’s not as if he’s been dogging this team forever. His “Patriots go 19-0” 2017 season pick backfired on opening night, so “Seahawks will be dead-last in the NFC” is currently a strong candidate to be his Freezing Cold Take moment for 2018.