Seattle Seahawks Team Preview

  • The Pete Carroll era in Seattle is over. After almost a decade long run of success the Seahawks decided to move on from their longtime coach and culture-setter this offseason. They also may be moving on from quarterback Geno Smith (QB19) if can’t replicate the magic from two seasons ago. The acquisition of Sam Howell (QB12) this offseason has led to speculation that Smith may have a shorter leash than expected. Smith was able to revive his career with the Seahawks the last two seasons. Many haters wrote him off after his start to his career but Smith famously said, “They wrote me off, I ain’t write back though”. However, the fear for Smith is that the Seahawks may be entering a rebuild. Seattle has a new coach, signed a new young QB, the writing could be on the wall for a mid-season QB transition or even earlier if he stumbles. Last season was almost doomed from the start as the Seahawks lost both their starting tackles in Week 1 and offense ground to a halt as they finished with only 180 total yards of offense.  They were able to get back on track, scoring 74 points combined over the next two games, but protection issues continued to haunt this team and as a result Smith never got comfortable in the pocket and followed up his breakout 2022 campaign with a letdown season where his numbers dropped across the board.

    This team isn’t perfect, but it’s ready to fly and it just needs a reliable QB at the helm who can the ball out to its three-headed receiving dragon while the young defense gels.  The running game was and has been an issue since Marshawn Lynch left and while Kenneth Walker III is a beast, his yards-per-carry dropped from 4.6 to 4.1 and he didn’t necessarily leave defenses in his dust with only seven rushes of 20+ yards and four of 30+ after having 11 30+ yard breaks as a rookie.  This season will likely be much more of a timeshare as the Seahawks will try and restore balance to an offense that finished 29th or worse in rushing attempts, rushing yards and rushing TDs last season.  Zach Charbonnet remains one of the most impressive backup RBs and will be a potential fantasy sleeper if Walker can’t stay healthy.  As much as this team wants to run the ball, all eyes are on Jaxon-Smith Njigba as he is clearly destined for a huge role jump after having a mediocre rookie campaign when compared against expectations.  If JSN makes the leap and Smith can regain his confidence, this could be one of the more potent offenses in the NFL.  There aren’t as close as they want, but they aren’t as far away as others might suspect.

    The strength of the Seahawks lies in their receiving core. DK Metcalf (WR15), Tyler Lockett (WR33) and Jaxson Smith-Njigba, are one of the most formidable wide receiver trios in the league. If you were to create the perfect wide receiver build in Madden, it would probably look something like DK Metcalf, 6’4, 235 pounds, extremely fast and all muscle. Metcalf’s physique has enabled him to stay relatively healthy over his first five seasons in the league and post over 1,000 receiving yards in three of the last four seasons. His big frame makes him an easy redzone target and I could see his touchdown totals improving from the last couple of seasons. He scored six receiving touchdowns in 2022 and only eight in 2023, he is likely a candidate for some positive TD regression.  Metcalf has all the tools to be mentioned among the best WRs in football, but he still hasn’t earned a place at the table.  Part of the reason is volume, he only received a 22.9% target share last season, but was able to counteract that by finishing fifth in red zone targets with 23.  The only thing holding Metcalf back is elite QB play and whether it’s Smith or Howell this season, he remains on the verge of the supernova breakout that has seemed like his destiny since he entered the league.

    Their most experienced wide receiver on the team is Tyler Lockett. Lockett is entering his 10th season and similar to Metcalf has stayed relatively healthy his entire career. However, unlike Metcalf I believe his health is not due to his physique but rather his desire to not get hit. Lockett has one of the lowest YAC of any receiver and that is due to his determination to protect himself and drop to the ground after catching the ball. At this rate you can’t argue with the sure-handed receiver, it has kept him healthy and playing all these years. Although injuries have not caught up to Lockett, age may have. He posted his lowest receiving yards total (894 yards) since 2017 last year despite playing all 17 games. This is where JSN comes in. Playing mostly as the third-option in the receiving game JSN put up modest stats last season. The stats do not show the true story JSN is a year removed from being a top-20 pick and still possesses all the tools and upside to be a difference-maker at the NFL level. As the season progresses, I expect JSN to eat into Lockett’s snap count and target share.

    Seattle Seahawks: Win Prediction 7-10

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