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12 Thoughts at the midpoint of the 2022 Seahawks season

A collection of FTR thoughts that weren’t turned into their own articles ...

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Technically, the midpoint of the Seahawks’ season will be halftime of their Week 9 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

Hopefully, Seattle will be up by 3 scores and well on their way to victory #6 on the season (and a third consecutive week alone atop the division).

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though.

Eight games are in the book and the Seahawks have (at least) nine games left to play.

I have thoughts.

Thought #1

Back on September 5th, I wrote the following:

Some of you are going to laugh, but I genuinely think that the Seattle Seahawks could surprise a lot of people this season. And I don’t mean by being so bad that they get the #1 overall pick in next year’s draft.

I think the Seahawks could surprise us in a good way.

The next day, I went through their schedule and laid out a path for the Seahawks to reach double-digit wins, including a 6-4 record heading into their bye.

And then, on September 7th, I said:

Today, I’m going to take things a step further and propose that the Seahawks could win the NFC West title in 2022.

Is this a bridge too far? Perhaps. But I don’t think so.

Through 8 games, Seattle is 5-and-3 and has been alone atop the NFC West for 2 straight weeks.

Which leads us to ...

Thought #2

Regardless of what happens against the Cardinals on Sunday, Seattle will still be all alone atop the NFC West after Week 9 is in the books.

Current standings:

If every single result goes against us in Week 9, the standings would look like this:

  • Seattle, 5-4
  • Santa Clara, 4-4
  • LAR, 4-4
  • AZ, 4-5

Aren’t bye weeks glorious things?

Because they’re off this week, the Niners can’t catch us until Week 10 at the earliest. Likewise, the Rams can’t catch us either because they were off in Week 7.

But let’s be optimistic and assume that things go Seattle’s way in Week 9. In that case, the standings would look like this:

  • Seahawks, 6-3
  • 49ers, 4-4
  • Rams, 3-5
  • Cardinals, 3-6

It’s good to be us right now, ain’t it?

Thought #3

You know who it’s not good to be right now? The Rams.

Ignoring their 3-4 record and 3rd place standing for the moment, consider the following:

  • Their offensive line is a sieve.

    They had the league’s worst pass-blocking efficiency heading into Week 8 and looked pretty porous against the Niners - who beat them for the 8th straight time (in the regular season).

  • Their running game is almost nonexistent.

    L.A.’s rushing attack is ranked 31st league-wide and their running backs average a mere 1 yard before contact (per PFF).

  • Their quarterback has the 2nd-most interceptions in the league and has been sacked the 3rd-most times.

  • Their head coach is ... careless.
    And really f—king lucky that his carelessness didn’t sink their season (even more than it’s already sunk).

To what do I refer?

Sean McVay, in all of his wisdom, chose to leave the NFL’s best wideout in the game with a minute to play and the Rams trailing by 17 points against the rival 49ers in Week 8. With the ball on their own 15-yard line.

Fortunately for the Rams, and for those who have him on their fantasy team(s), Kupp was able to walk off the field on his own and thinks he may have avoided a significant injury.

Thought #4

Against my better judgment, I got up early on Sunday to watch the 2-5 Denver Broncos take on the 2-5 Jacksonville Jaguars in London. Part of the rationale was that I’m going to need to get up early when the Seahawks face the Buccaneers in Germany in Week 10 but, mostly, I just wanted to watch the 2023 draft picks we got from Denver go up in value.

The game was better than expected but, sadly, the wrong team won.

Denver’s struggles and the fate of Seattle’s 2023 draft picks notwithstanding, the reason I have London on my mind is three-fold:

  1. There have now been 34 regular season games played in London and only ONE has featured 2 teams with winning records: New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers, Week 5.
  2. Of the 62 teams that played in London prior to this season, only 12 have made the postseason. It seems likely that the totals will be 14 out of 68 after this year with both the Vikings (Week 4) and the Giants (Week 5) on track to make the playoffs while the Saints (Week 4), Packers (Week 5), Broncos (Week 8), and Jaguars (Week 8) are NOT.
  3. Despite the lackluster product the NFL has historically given them, demand for NFL games in the UK (and overseas in general) is high enough that the league may be considering international expansion.

To that last point, Dear God, please no.

Not unless every single European game kicks off at 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening so that they’re the equivalent of a 1pm game on the East Coast and a 10am game on the West Coast.

Thought #5

The trade deadline is at 4pm ET / 1pm PT on Tuesday and if I could wave a magic wand and add one player to our roster, that player would be ...

Josh Jacobs.

The Las Vegas Raiders running back currently ranks #4 league-wide with 676 yards on 121 carries (5.6 average) with 6 touchdowns. He also has 152 receiving yards with 22 catches on 26 targets across 7 games.

Yes, Seattle has bigger needs and, yes, Seattle has the future Offensive Rookie of the Year in Ken Walker III. But ...

A. 12s know all too well that running back health is a fragile thing.

B. Jacobs could reportedly be acquired for a 3rd round pick (maybe less).

C. He’d only cost us a little over $1M for the rest of the year.

Sign. Me. Up.

Thought #6

If I could wave a magic wand and have any player I wanted without having to give up the requisite draft capital, it would probably be Caroline Panthers defensive end Brian Burns.

Alas, I have no magic wand and the asking price for Burns is S-T-E-E-P.

According to ESPN, the Panthers were offered two first round picks for Burns and said, “No thank you.”

Which ... if true ... is S-T-U-P-I-D.

Yes, Burns is a really good player (hence the reason I would love to add him) but he’s only under contract through 2023 which means, at most, Carolina can get 26 more games out of him without either extending him or tagging him.

Conversely, two R1 players could play a maximum of 85 games apiece; aka 170 games between them.

Or Carolina could package the picks to move up in the draft (and still get a max of 85 games instead of a max of 26).

More to the point though, Carolina is in 4th place in the NFC South, has the 2nd-worst record in the NFC, and would have a top-4 pick if the season ended today.

They’re going nowhere fast.

And they won’t go anywhere in 2023 either.

Take. The. Picks.

Thought #7

Heading into Week 8, Seattle had the 9th-best chance of winning the Super Bowl - per Football Outsiders.

  1. Buffalo Bills, 32%
  2. Philadelphia Eagles, 20.2%
  3. Kansas City Chiefs, 8.5%
  4. Dallas Cowboys, 8.1%
  5. Baltimore Ravens, 6.6%
  6. Minnesota Vikings, 4.0%
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3.8%
  8. Cincinnati Bengals, 3.3%
  9. Seattle Seahawks, 1.7%
  10. Los Angeles Rams, 1.5%

Thought #8

When is the last time you saw three players on the postgame podium together?

Until Sunday, I had never seen it.

Not once.

Then D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Geno Smith took the stage together.

I was gobsmacked.

I’ve watched the 13-minute clip of their postgame group interview 3 times and I am still utterly amazed by it.

I freakin’ LOVE this team!

(Also, Tyler is really small compared to the other two. Like really, REALLY small.)

Thought #9

With Monday Night Football wrapping up Week 8’s slate of games, the Field Gulls staff deserves a shout-out.

Between Mookie, John P. Gilbert, John Fraley, Stan Taylor, and myself, we are a combined 50-8 with our picks this week. That’s an 86.2% success rate which far exceeds our previous season high of 63.8% (51-29) in Week 5.

Note: We all picked the Cincinnati Bengals over the Cleveland Browns so we’ll end the week either 55-8 (87.3%) or 50-13 (79.4%) so kudos to the crew either way.

Thought #10

There’s a new sheriff in town.

For each of the first seven weeks of the season, the answer to the question of who led the league in completion percentage was Geno Smith.

That changed on Sunday.

Meet your new league leader: SAM EHLINGER:

Yep, that’s right. Less than a week after shocking the NFL world by announcing that they were benching Matt Ryan and rolling with their backup quarterback the rest of the way, the Indianapolis Colts look like bona fide geniuses.

Well, except for the fact that they lost to the Washington Commanders on Sunday and currently trail the division-leading Tennessee Titans by 2 games.

But if they secretly wanted to take away the Seahawks’ (and Geno Smith’s) bragging rights ... they succeeded. At least for a week.

Completion Percentage Leaders (min. 20 attempts):

  1. Sam Ehlinger, 73.9% (17 of 23)
  2. Geno Smith, 72.7% (181 of 249)
  3. Bailey Zappe, 70.7% (65 of 92)
  4. Mathew Stafford, 70.5% (182 of 258)
  5. Tua Tagovailoa, 69.9% (130 of 186)

Honorable mention to Joe Burrow (68.9%) who was knocked out of the Top 5 (for now) courtesy of the same player that knocked Geno down to #2.

Thought #11

Speaking of Geno Smith, he’s 2/3rds of the way to a sweep of his former teams.

Chargers ... CHECK!

Giants ... CHECK!

Jets ... CHECK back after Week 17.

Note: Somewhere amongst all the postgame hoopla, I either heard or read that Geno Smith is the first quarterback in over 20 years to beat former teams in back-to-back weeks. I’m not sure how many other players have had that opportunity in the last 20+ years but I’m assuming it’s a fairly low # since you have to have played for at least 3 teams and have them land on your schedule in back-to-back games. Still ... it’s kind of a cool fact/stat.

Thought #12

Seattle’s second-half schedule doesn’t look nearly as daunting as it did a couple months ago.

  • Arizona is beatable - we know this because we beat them 3 weeks ago.
  • Tampa Bay is a mess and the GOAT ain’t gonna save them.
  • The Raiders are headed toward a top-10 pick and it won’t surprise anyone (at this point) if it ends up being a top-5 pick.
  • The Rams are dysfunctional and a shadow of the team they were last year.
  • The Panthers are worse than the Raiders - even though they’d have somehow been in first place in the NFC South if their game against the Falcons on Sunday had ended in their favor..
  • San Francisco Christian McCaffrey is problematic.
  • The Chiefs are the Chiefs.
  • The Jets are 5-3 right now but seem destined to finish the season at either 9-8 or 8-9.

There’s also this to consider:

  • After the Week 11 bye, the Seahawks only have 2 road games; and
  • 4 of Seattle’s final 5 games are at home.

Honestly, as things stand right now, 10-7 seems like it might be the Seahawks floor this season.

Who woulda thunk it?

Go Hawks!