The Seattle Seahawks offense exceeded expectations in 2022, with Geno Smith leading the NFL in completion percentage and posting career-best numbers to justify his contract extension. Kenneth Walker rushed for over 1,000 yards, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving, and rookie tackles Charles Cross and Abe Lucas slotted in very well as Day 1 starters.
With the addition of draft picks Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zach Charbonnet, and Kenny McIntosh, as well as a slight retooling of the offensive line with new starters at center and guard, there’s a lot of reason to be optimistic that the Seahawks offense could be one of the league’s best.
NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund’s projections for the top 10 offenses by win shares has the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs at the top, followed by the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles at No. 2.
For a quick note on Frelund’s win shares metric:
Remember, win share measures the ability of each player, position group and side of the ball to earn or prevent first downs, points and touchdowns.
And now we get to the Seahawks, who sit at No. 7.
PROJECTED WIN SHARE: 7.5
The Seahawks’ 2022 draft class is one for the books, and the 2023 crop looks likely to join it. Quarterback Geno Smith returns, with his late-career ascension having played out like a fairy tale thus far. Figure in a year of experience for tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, who started as rookies last season, add the 2023 NFL Draft’s best route-runner (per computer vision), Jaxon Smith-Njigba, to a receiver corps that already includes DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and bolster the running back depth with second-round pick Zach Charbonnet, and you have a pretty potent team. In fact, considering that Smith led the NFL in completion percentage over expected (4.4), and that Smith-Njigba racked up 1,606 yards in 2021 at Ohio State despite sharing the field with Chris Olave and 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, this seventh-place ranking might be too conservative.
Unless “too conservative” means Seattle would be sixth, the conclusion to make is that the Seahawks could very well be in position to have a top-5 offense. Last year they were 14th by DVOA (8th in passing, 23rd in rushing) so their hot start gave way to a more middling ranking. By EPA/play the Seahawks were 13th, so outside of injury I think there needs to be serious perspective that Seattle becoming a truly great offense involves significant improvement from virtually everyone involved. The potential is there for some fantastic results but there needs to be context for the task Seattle is undertaking to make that leap.
But hey, who’d have thought that a year removed from the Russell Wilson trade that there would be this much national optimism about the offense and the team as a whole?