The Seattle Seahawks are 6-6 after starting out 6-3. This is eerily similar to last year’s team, which started 6-3, dropped to 7-8, but made the playoffs with a 9-8 record. If last year’s team wasn’t even supposed to win six games to begin with, this year’s team feels like a disappointment.
I was looking back at our staff predictions before the season, and while I usually get a ton of things wrong, it’s looking pretty accurate right now.
Mookie Alexander: I think it’s very possible the Seahawks look better and perform better statistically than last season and still end up with an identical or worse record. The schedule looks tougher on paper than last year, which looked tough and then turned out to be mostly overhyped. I’ve banged on about this all offseason, but if the Seahawks have any chance to really contend, the offense has to be more consistent and more dynamic. Geno Smith basically can’t regress or else they have no shot. I am very skeptical that this defense will be anything better than average, and the lack of depth along the defensive line and linebacker could crater this team.
Floor of 6-11 when factoring injuries, close game variance, and possibly Geno regression/lack of rookie development/lack of improvement from second-year standouts. The ceiling is 12-5 with an NFC title game appearance. I’ll go with 10-7, lose out to the 49ers on a tiebreaker, win a road playoff game against whichever team wins the NFC South, and get bounced in the Divisional Round.
10-7 is still on the menu (barely) but the NFC West race is probably lost, and the No. 5 seed is almost definitely lost because they dropped the Dallas Cowboys game. The offense is not more consistent, Geno Smith has not been as good as last year, and the defense has managed to be worse than I feared.
So this week’s mini-bye question is about Super Bowl contention. How far away do you believe this team is not necessarily from winning a championship, but at least being viable Super Bowl contenders capable of reaching a Conference Championship?
Seattle has not been to the NFC CG since the 2014 season, and they have fallen behind 36-13, 31-0, and 28-10 in their three subsequent Divisional Round appearances. That was under Russell Wilson in his best years, albeit with the Legion of Boom steadily declining and then disintegrating. Perhaps that 2019 team had a chance to make a run if they didn’t have Duane Brown injured and lose literally every running back, but the Seahawks defense was a mess. Seattle was a yard short from winning the NFC West and simultaneously a missed Greg Zuerlein field goal away from missing the playoffs completely.
How you determine the Seahawks’ closeness to championship viability is up to you. A quarterback who’s better than Geno Smith might net a couple more wins, but a defense this bad is going to require maybe the best offense in the NFL to contend. Maybe you believe Pete Carroll is still the man to lead Seattle back to glory, or he’s maxed out and there is no contending until the Seahawks get another coach.
The only thing I’m confident in is that the Seahawks are not “a young franchise quarterback away” from being Super Bowl contenders again. That was mostly true in 2012 when the Seahawks had an ascending Marshawn Lynch and a defense on the rise to historical greatness. As talented I believe this team to be now, there are too many glaring holes on the team to think a deep playoff run is imminent.
Speak your mind on the comments!