2019 Seattle Seahawks Preview & Season Win Total
Look for Seattle to take a step back this season. Their top pass rusher (Frank Clark) and most reliable pass catcher in Doug Baldwin from a season ago are gone. Russell Wilson is a miracle worker, but I think this time he’s not working with enough help to make a playoff run.
Offense will likely be Offensive:
Sorry for the cliché heading, but I don’t see how they can possibly duplicate their 2018 total of 26.50 points per game. The offensive line remains in its constant state of rebuild. For the past two seasons Russell Wilson has been running for his life. Wilson was sacked on over 10% (31st ranked) of his pass attempts in 2018, and on over 7% in 2017. With all the protection problems and the reinvestment in Wilson, you would think the front office would throw more resources at the o-line. But in true Pete Carroll form, they decided to draft the WR who is better known for taking shirtless pictures in the mirror than getting open (Google DK Metcalf if you don’t know who I am talking about).
If you read my writeup on the Chicago Bears, you’d recall how important I think play calling and offensive philosophy are in relation to QB performance. While I raved about Nagy’s creativity, I can’t say the same about Brian Schottenheimer who is the coordinator in Seattle. This guy calls more run plays than they do in the Army/Navy game. There’s honestly no aggressiveness and they run an outdated scheme built around power football, but don’t have the power up front nor the explosiveness from the backs. They also have one of the league’s most dynamic quarterbacks, but don’t revolve their system around his skills. The fact that he was brought back for 2019 boggles my mind.
Tyler Lockett factor
Tyler Lockett caught 10 TD’s and caught 81% of passes thrown his way. The problem? They only targeted him 70 times! Here are other notable target numbers for receivers that produce at the top level:
If this doesn’t tell you anything about their offensive scheme, then you just aren’t paying any attention. These other receivers are more talented, but they should not double the amount of times Lockett is targeted.
At the end of the day, Russell Wilson is too good to drop below a mid-level offense, but this is probably the worst surrounding cast of his career. Doug Baldwin, one of his most trusted receivers has retired. I’d look for the Seattle offense to be less explosive.
“Legion of Removed”
The big names on the Seattle defense are all but gone. Bobby Wagner is the last key cog remaining of one of the best defenses I’ve ever seen. He’s surrounded by a cluster of notable Patriots castaways including Cassius Marsh and Barkevious Mingo. They also have a Tre Flowers but it’s not the high paid, pro-bowl pass rusher. Shaquille Griffin looks the part at corner, but there’s not many other proven rotational players in the secondary. Ziggy Ansah was brought in to replace Frank Clark’s pass rush, but he hasn’t shown that he can stay healthy for the past several years. Earl Thomas, one of the best safeties of the last decade, has moved on to Baltimore.
Overall, there’s just not a lot to get excited about on defense:
The Seahawks finished 2018 with the best turnover differential in the NFL last year. I don’t think they have enough playmakers in 2019 to force turnovers at the same rate they did in ‘18. Seattle will remain a difficult environment for road teams, but the limited pass rush and the poor run defense will take the crowd and the noise factor out of a lot of these games.
8.5 Looks to be the win total that is currently available. I see this team’s ceiling at 8-8, so I am on the under. I think there will be a lot of opportunities to fade this team, especially if they are laying heavy points at home. As a home favorite, they are only 4-6-1 against the spread since 2017. While they have been a phenomenal “Prime Time” team under Pete Carroll, I think they will struggle in a lot of these situations in 2019. The Rams should still be a dominant team in the NFC, and the 49ers and Cardinals will likely be significantly improved from last season.
Because of Seattle’s impressive passer rating differential in 2018, they will likely land in the “Money Zone” for the first quarter of the season. However, I would be surprised to see them in there as we get into the heart of the season.