ESPN recently put out predictions for all 32 NFL teams and how they would fare this upcoming season. The projections have the Seahawks winning just under eight games, which ranks them as finishing third in the division.
First off, these types of rankings should be taken with a grain of salt. Nobody knows how an NFL season is going to play out, especially at this point of the year. Position battles are ongoing, and injuries are (unfortunately) yet to be had. These preseason predictions are fun to look through, but they are far from an exact science.
That said, the ESPN projections for all 32 NFL teams have the Seahawks winning 7.9 games this year. That number is based on the Football Power Index (FPI), hence the decimals. Rounded up, this puts the Seahawks at having a .500 season, which is a distinct possibility. Again, that’s far from guaranteed, but there are numerous factors to consider when analyzing how Seattle will look in the ’18-19 season.
Why only eight wins?
ESPN’s Brady Henderson cites the losses of Richard Sherman and Jimmy Graham as reasons for concern on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball. While both are key losses, it’s possible that a player like Brandon Marshall could fill the red zone void left by Graham’s departure. Ideally, Shaquill Griffin can fill in admirably for Richard Sherman and help ease the pain from losing the veteran corner. While the Seahawks will miss those two veterans, there are players on the current roster that can step up and provide excellent value.
The article also notes that the Seahawks have the fifth most difficult schedule next season based on ’17 victories. The emergence of the Rams and rebirth of the 49ers is cause for concern as well. While the division is improving, the Seahawks are still capable of keeping pace, and again, there’s still plenty of time for things to change before the beginning of the season.
Oh, and by the way, the Seahawks still have Russell Wilson. Few players can carry a team quite like Wilson, so you can never count Seattle out. Ideally, rookie running back Rashaad Penny breaks out and significantly helps the ground game. The running back position has been a revolving door of players as of late, so hopefully, Penny can stop that trend. Defensively, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright will look to continue to grow as leaders.
Keeping it real
Yes, the division is stronger this year; however, that’s not a death sentence. Pete Carroll is arguably one of the best coaches in the league, the defense is still solid despite losing a few players, and again, there’s that Russell Wilson guy. Seahawks fans should remain optimistic regardless of preseason predictions, as they still have the tools to exceed expectations.