Seattle Seahawks 2018 NFL Team Preview
2017 Record: 9-7
2017 ATS: 6-9-1
2017 Over/Under: 7-9
2018 Regular Season Wins Total: 7.5 wins
After averaging nearly 11 wins per season since 2012, the Seattle Seahawks are projected to take a big step back in 2017. Currently priced at 7.5 wins, the Seahawks are favored in only three games according to Las Vegas’ look-ahead lines. The storyline this off-season was the loss of defensive talent as Sheldon Richardson, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor all departed. And after playing one of the easiest schedules in the league in 2017, Seattle’s preseason strength of schedule grades out as top 5 in the NFL.
Offensively, quarterback Russell Wilson will be asked to carry the load and some. An elite-level quarterback can at times cover point spreads on his own but Wilson’s surrounding talent is suspect at best. It starts with a run game that was sub-par in 2017 (31% success rate which was 13% below league average) and doesn’t project to improve. They drafted San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny in the first round which seemed like a reach. Even more of a reach was the hiring of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer who in nine seasons of running an offense, finished in the top 15 only once. The Seahawks want to run the ball and even went so far as to put three fullbacks on the roster — an unheard-of practice in the modern NFL. While they’ll rely heavily on the run, the passing game is probably going to lead to a lot of improvising from Russell Wilson.
As mentioned, the defense was gutted. They recently received good news as safety Earl Thomas ended his lengthy holdout. However, stud linebacker KJ Wright is doubtful for Week 1’s opener vs. Denver. Defensive end Frank Clark has a chance to shine but he’s one of only a few truly upper-tier players remaining on the stop unit. The Seahawks’ defense was hit hard by injuries a season ago but still finished a respectable 13th in DVOA. With such a mass exodus of talent, they’ll be very hard pressed to finish in the top half of the league.
General Manager John Schneider was quoted as saying this will be a “reset” year. This is a franchise that is paying the price for the “win now” attitude it rightfully subscribed to during a five-year run of double-digit wins that included a Super Bowl title. That window has officially closed and it there’s real potential for this team to have a rock bottom-type of season.
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