Seahawks underrated among NFL nation
The Seattle Seahawks have been very underlooked this offseason. The Seahawks boast arguably a Top 3 quarterback in the league, an elite wideout in D.K. Metcalf, and two players near the top of their position on the defensive side of the ball (Bobby Wagner, Jamal Adams).
Pete Carroll’s Seahawks are clearly coming off a successful 2020 season with 12 victories, they are holding together an elite QB and high-end roster, and vengeance is on the horizon. Yet, many reputable analysts and outlets are placing the Seahawks Super Bowl chances and team ranking behind other elite teams in the AFC and NFC.
Odds Shark just placed the 12th man at number 12 in odds of winning the Super Bowl. In front of the Hawks were the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, and multiple NFC West squads (LA Rams, SF 49ers).
CBS Sports just put out an NFL Super Bowl odds that also places the Hawks at number 12. There were many questionable choices ahead of the Seahawks, including the Brees-less Saints in the NFC.
I believe the outlook on Seattle’s Super Bowl chances is whacky and blatantly false. The Seahawks didn’t only win the division by two games in 2020, but only six other teams had 12+ wins last year.
In the second half of the Seahawks season, the defense also turned the tide and evolved into an above average unit. Over the past ten weeks of the regular season, the Seahawks defense led the NFL in sacks. Carlos Dunlap, who was the pass rusher that helped turn things around, reached a two year contract to return to the Seahawks. Jamal Adams, who was an absolute star in his first year in Seattle last season, will be aiming to take the next step in year two of the system.
I also believe it’s fair to say that the reigning, still elite NFC West champions won’t drop easily to the likes of the LA Rams and SF 49ers. The 49ers will either run out the shaky Jimmy G or they will be holding a rookie QB against the fiery Seahawks pass rush in their early Week 4 matchup. It will be a huge task for the regressed Garopollo or the rookie Lance, who has been viewed as a product QB, to come out and light up the scoreboard against SEA and fellow NFC West defenses.
The 49ers are largely getting so much praise because a couple stars at TE and DE are returning healthy, combined with a hyped up rookie QB (despite being a surprise pick). The 49ers should take a step up from last season, but they still don’t have the same defense as the team that reached the SB in 2020.
The Rams appear to be a very serious threat to the Seahawks in the NFC West and playoff seed race, but Matthew Stafford has had his own durability issues and poor turnover habits. He could pose a problem to the Seahawks secondary, but the Hawks have the pass rush to force Stafford into erratic mistakes. Outside of Stafford, there isn’t a huge makeover on the Rams roster. The Seahawks and Rams should be tight down the wire for NFC West gold in my opinion, but I don’t see a sizable difference between the Rams and Hawks.
Seahawks should at least be a step ahead of the 49ers in their divisional pre-season rankings until Lance shows a spark or Jimmy G shows something not seen in training camp/or pre-season. If Lance proves to be a difference maker and capable of running the offense early, the 49ers should deserve the praise that a talented roster with a talented QB carry.
I don’t foresee the likes of the Colts, Patriots, Saints, or Broncos ahead of the Seahawks in the overall pursuit of Lombardi. The Saints team has sputtered in the past few years, but now they will have to be elite in the long season without the HOF QB and their best defensive player Trey Hendrickson (left in FA) from a season ago.
It will be hard to envision an “above average” QB performance from Cam Newton or the rookie Mac Jones amid a Patriots team that lost its historic defensive unit from years ago. The Colts QB situation is the biggest gamble in the league, while the Broncos still don’t have a quality signal caller running out of the tunnel next season.
The Seahawks deserve to be recognized as a Top 6 team. They hold an MVP QB in Russell Wilson on a hungry, proven roster. Not to mention that the Hawks possess the most lethal home field advantage: The 12th man.