Are the Seahawks Really Contenders This Season?

For the last few years we find ourselves thinking the Seahawks are in it to win it for the first eight weeks of every season and every season they sputter out. Pete Carroll and John Schneider made a point to upgrade the offensive line and to add some juice to the pass rush. This is the best pass rush duo in Washington since Frank Clark and Michael Bennett in 2017. I would even argue this offense is the most explosive in the Pete Carroll era. I still have major concerns however. So let’s see if the Seahawks are contenders or pretenders.

The defense is different from years before seeing that there is some pass rush juice in the building. Starting up front, Kerry Hyder Jr. and Carlos Dunlap off the edge is very encouraging to me. They bring veteran presence and power to the pass rush that they didn’t have with L.J. Collier and Rasheem Green last year. I am however discouraged by what I see from the interior of the defensive line. There is a bevy of average run stuffing one techniques and I can’t look at anyone on this roster and definitively say they have a starting three technique. There is no one capable of getting to the quarterback from the interior and the run stuffers are looking like a group of backups so the edge rushers are gonna have to carry this front four.

The linebackers are looking like a fairly complete core. At weak-side linebacker they have 2020’s first rounder Jordyn Brooks. Whether or not he’s worth a first rounder is yet to be seen but I liked him as a prospect and I think he can be a great weak-side backer. He can run, cover, and hit which are the three most important traits when playing the weak-side and I expect him to prove some people wrong this year. As for their starting MIKE and the captain of their defense, Bobby Wagner is one of the best linebackers in the history of the NFL. He is the best read and react backer in the league and is the brain of this defense. He can rush the passer, cover, read the run, shoot the gaps, and stop any offense in their tracks. Wagner is the least of the worries for the Seahawks. Last year’s second round pick out of Tennessee, Darrell Taylor, is going to be a monster at SAM. After putting his injury struck rookie season behind him, Taylor is ready to be a do it all guy for Seattle. Darrell Taylor played as a defensive end for Tennessee and he is set to play as a hybrid SAM linebacker similar to how Bruce Irvin was for the Seahawks. Pass rush, coverage, run stuffing, Taylor is going to be a real chess piece.

This Seahawks secondary is a sad situation. The safety duo of Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams is one of the best in the league. Diggs is a ball-hawk who is not afraid to come from deep centerfield and lay the hit stick in the run game. Jamal Adams is one of the best defensive weapons of this generation and the payment Seattle gave up for him is worth it. He is a pro at pre-snap play recognition, run defending, zone coverage, and is the best pass rushing safety of all time. As for this cornerback core, it’s not pretty. Ahkello Witherspoon and Tre Flowers are their starters on the outside which is concerning considering Justin Jefferson, DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, DaVante Adams, and Allen Robinson are just a few of the receivers that are going to embarrass them this season. D.J. Reed, Ugo Amadi, Tre Brown, and Marquise Blair are competing for the slot corner position. The slot situation is much better than the outside liabilities but it is still not great.

This Seahawks offense is their saving grace. They have Russell Wilson under center who is one of the best quarterbacks of this generation. Russ is the least of their problems. Chris Carson is back after an extension this offseason to carry the load on the ground, along with former first round pick Rashaad Penny. Barring injury, this is a talented Seahawks rushing attack and they should do very well. D.K. Metcalf is the WR1 in this offense and he is an absolute beast. Metcalf recently competed in an olympic track qualifier and is also a 6’4″ 230 pound behemoth of a receiver. He should solidify himself as a top ten receiver this season. Tyler Lockett is one of the most reliable receivers in the league and he would be WR1 in most offenses. Lockett is a crafty route runner and a fierce deep threat with incredible hands. 2021 second round pick D’Wayne Eskridge will man the slot this year and was one of my favorite prospects in the draft so I expect him to tear it up in Seattle. He is a shifty deep threat who will be one of the most elusive playmakers in the league from day one. At tight end the Seahawks added Gerald Everett in free agency. Gerald hasn’t even scratched his surface potential and he is an extremely athletic two way threat. This is an incredibly explosive and talented group of play makers who can slug it out with the best.

Seattle’s offensive line has been their achilles heel the last few seasons but this may just be the best group of blockers they’ve had in a long time. At blind side blocker is the great Duane Brown who, when healthy, is an absolute rock. Brown is a premier left tackle and should continue to serve pancakes and keep Wilson clean. At left guard is second year stud Damien Lewis from LSU’s 2019 championship team. Lewis had an incredible rookie season and he was a cornerstone in both facets of the offensive game-plan. Center is the weakest position on this line with Ethan Pocic being the starter. Pocic is a backup in my mind and a liability in pass protection. Seattle made a trade with the Raiders for right guard Gabe Jackson this offseason and he is arguably their best offensive lineman. Jackson is a top three right guard in the league and is going to dominate in Seattle. Brandon Shell is the capstone on the right side of the line and is just above average at best. Shell is a decent run blocker and is a good pass blocker and will be fine as starting right tackle. Nothing special there.

The outlook of this team is good. They have an MVP caliber signal caller with some incredible play makers on offense. This is the best offensive line Russ has had in awhile and they will give him more time and Chris Carson bigger holes. The front seven on defense is fierce and skilled at getting to the quarterback. Running the ball doesn’t come easy on a defense with Bobby Wagner either. The safeties are great but this is one of the weakest cornerback cores in the entire NFL. No doubt in my mind this is a playoff team but I don’t know how far their going with a cornerback room this weak. They simply cannot hang with the receiver talent of other playoff teams. The Seahawks are built for shoot outs but they can’t score fast enough to beat the likes of the Rams, Bucs, or Packers passing attacks.

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