Team Capsules: Seattle Seahawks

August 29, 2023

A look at every NFL franchise heading into the 2023 season

Seattle Seahawks

 © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Seahawks were arguably the NFL’s biggest surprise. At least in terms of a positive. Most people expected them to fall apart after shipping Russell Wilson to the Broncos during the offseason. Instead, it was Denver which disappointed, as these two intertwined franchises seemed to be living in a Bizarro world.

Despite losing a quarterback who went 103-54-1 during his first decade in the league, which included nine Pro Bowl appearances, two Super Bowls and one Lombardi Trophy, Seattle didn’t become the cellar-dweller that many predicted. Instead, the Seahawks went 9-8, made the playoffs and reaped the rewards of the Broncos shipping them another top-10 pick.

All is well in Seattle. The Seahawks have moved on and found happiness. But will it last?

What to like about the Seahawks…

  • Kenneth Walker III had a monster rookie season. The Michigan State sensation burst onto the scene with 1,050 yards on 228 attempts, including nine touchdowns. Seattle’s offense is predicated on the run. When they can move the ball on the ground, everything starts to click. For the first time since Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks have the workhorse in the backfield.
  • D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are a dynamic duo. Each hauled in passes for more than 1,000 yards last season. Metcalf is among the most imposing wideouts in the NFL. At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, he’s tough to defend. He caught 90 passes for 1,048 and six touchdowns. Lockett brings speed and superior route-running ability. He snagged 84 catches for 1,033 yards and nine scores.
  • The Seahawks have a talented young defense. Tariq Woolen had a tremendous rookie season, picking off six passes. Quandre Diggs added four more to the team’s total. And Devon Witherspoon, who Seattle took No. 5 overall with one of the picks they got from Denver in the Wilson trade, will bolster the defensive backfield even more. There’s a lot of talent on that side of the ball, perhaps the makings of Legion of Boom 2.0.

What not to like about the Seahawks…

  • Geno Smith was a great story in 2022. The much-maligned, journeyman quarterback filled the shoes left by Wilson’s departure and played well. At 32 years old, he had his best season, completing an NFL-high 69.8 percent of his passes. He compiled a 9-8 record on the strength of 4,282 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. But there’s reason to believe it’s an aberration. Smith is 22-29 as a starter during his career. Plus, he tailed off as last season went along, throwing seven of his 11 interceptions in the Seahawks final seven games.
  • Pete Carroll teams are known for playing good defense. So it’s a bit of a surprise that Seattle finished 26th last season on that side of the ball, giving up an average of 361.7 yards per game. At times, the Seahawks seemed unable to stop anyone. The Lions hung 45 points on them, followed by the Saints putting up 39 the next week. Later in the season, the Raiders put a 40-burger on the scoreboard. Giving up 23.6 points per game is a dangerous proposition when the offense is led by Geno Smith.
  • Last year, Seattle was able to sneak up on teams. Heading into the season, no one expected much from Carroll’s team. Following the Wilson trade, the Seahawks were expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. That created a lot of motivation, as everyone from the front office to the last guy on the roster wanted to prove the naysayers wrong. That’s now gone, replaced by the reality that they’re trying to win in a quarterback-driven league with a guy who has one good season in his entire career.

Steve Quinne’s Pick: Seahawks under 9.0 wins (-120)

Everything went right for Seattle last season. Their quarterback had a career year. A motivated coaching staff pushed all of the right buttons. And a rookie class played at a high level. They still only went 9-8. Sure, they added some good pieces in the offseason. But will young players once again perform at a high level during their inaugural season? That seems unlikely. What seems much more probable is that the clock strikes midnight on Geno Smith, Drew Lock is behind center in the second half of the season and they Seahawks are in the QB derby come draft day.