Why are the Seahawks in the shadow?
By: Corey Hietpas
Even after winning the NFC West with a 12-4 record in 2020, the Seahawks are not seen as serious competitors by many fans for the 2021 season. Losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round of the Playoffs definitely doesn’t help, as that’s the most recent memory for everyone. That Rams defense was really good though, it’s hard to fault the Seahawks for having a tough time with it. Whatever the reasons, the Seahawks should not be slept on for the 2021 season, and you’ll find three reasons why below.
The rushing attack will be better.
Pete Carroll loves a run-heavy approach, and it has worked well for the most part. Last year was a bit rougher than normal mainly due to injuries. Chris Carson did his usual thing and missed a few games during the 2020 season (4 to be exact). On top of that, Rashaad Penny was lost for the whole year due to a torn ACL, and Carlos Hyde missed 6 games too. As fun as it was, letting Russ cook proved to be less and less effective as the season went on, and it was apparent that the Seahawks’ offense missed being able to rely on their run game. Getting Rashaad Penny back as the home run threat and fill-in for Carson when he inevitably gets injured will be extremely valuable for this offense. It’s also worth noting that the offensive line is returning 4 of 5 starters and the Seahawks traded for Gabe Jackson, who will likely be the 5th starter. There’s no reason to worry about the line.
The defense will also be better.
The Seattle defense was not very good last year, completely due to the weak secondary. They allowed the 2nd most passing yards in the NFL, only behind Atlanta. The Seahawks didn’t make any major free-agent acquisitions in the secondary, but they drafted Tre Brown in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL Draft and Marquise Blair will be returning from an injury-plagued season. I’m not sure how Tre Brown will perform, but Blair returning should be a major boost to the secondary. I don’t think it’ll be a lot better, but it will be better nonetheless. Although choosing to not make a free agent addition to the secondary, Seattle did choose to add Kerry Hyder and also bring Carlos Dunlap back. What was an effective pass rush in 2020 should be even better with Hyder in the mix. More pressures and better coverage should lead to a better season from the defense.
The offense will have higher quality pass catchers.
Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are arguably the best starting duo in the NFL, but behind that, the pass catchers were less than stellar in 2020. A near-retired Greg Olsen and Will Dissly were the top TEs, and David Moore was the WR3 with not much working behind him. No offense meant to Olsen, Dissly, or Moore, but they were nothing special as pass catchers in 2020. With the departures of Olsen and Moore, Seattle made some moves to shore up the weapons for Russell as they added Gerald Everett, a talented and young TE, from free agency and opted to select D’Wayne Eskridge with their first pick in the draft this year. Everett is an instant upgrade to the TE position and D’Wayne Eskridge has a lot of potential and could thrive as the WR3 in Seattle.
With a more effective run game, a better defense, and higher quality pass-catchers, Seattle could be a force in the NFC this year. Don’t sleep on them!