Last year, Sports Illustrated predicted doom for the Seattle Seahawks in the form of a losing record and a failure to make the playoffs. Well there’s a different columnist this year who’s gone through the trouble of predicting all 256 regular season games, and doing up the standings afterward. Upon this incredibly taxing bit of “what-if”-ery, Conor Orr forecasts a good season for Seattle, but no NFC West title.
This team is deep in spots, even if they might be a little dependent on some high risk veteran additions at others. I have them winning some big games early, like the Saints matchup at the end of September and splitting with the Rams. Though, if they don’t show up in some of their early premiere matchups (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Cleveland) the 49ers could have a chance to edge ahead.
Eleven regular season wins would be the most for Seattle since the 2014 season, which saw him go 12-4 and win the NFC Championship. Subsequent seasons have ended 10-6, 10-5-1, 9-7, and 10-6.
Orr has the Los Angeles Rams repeating as divisional champions for a third straight season, finishing at 13-3, tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for best record in the league. Within the rest of the division, he sees the San Francisco 49ers at 8-8, while the Arizona Cardinals stay rooted to the cellar at 3-13. Joining Arizona in the race for the #1 pick would be the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
One “surprise” of sorts from Orr is the Atlanta Falcons beating out the New Orleans Saints for top spot in the NFC South, although I don’t think a few steps down for New Orleans is inconceivable. The Falcons were 7-9 last year but dealt with numerous injuries and other bad luck such as existing in the city of Atlanta.
Maybe the early optimism concerning the Seahawks’ 2019 season is in part because of those oh so erroneous proclamations of Seattle’s demise.