NFC West: Seattle Seahawks

If there's been one story to come out of Seattle this off-season it's that nobody's job is safe. The Seahawks have had more turnover this year than any other team. The biggest issue for this team has been the turmoil. New head coach who brings in several new position coaches including a line coach who implements a new blocking system and then quits. 

Draft:
Round 1: Russel Okung, OT
Round 1: Earl Thomas, Safety
Round 2: Golden Tate, WR
Round 4: E.J. Wilson, DE (Cut)
Round 5: Kam Chancellor, Safety
Round 6: Anthony McCoy, TE
Round 7: Dexter Davis, DE
Round 7: Jameson Konz, RB (Cut)

Of their draft picks--Earl Thomas is exciting to watch. He's inconsistent and can give up the big play but he also has the ability to make the big play (against the Vikings he had an 86 yard interception returned for a touchdown). If he can settle down he'll be a big addition to the team. 

Free Agent Signings/Re-signings:

Leon Washington, RB
Chester Pitts, G
Michael Robinson, RB
Stacey Andrews, OT (presumably will start on the right side)
Evan Dietrich Smith, G
Kentwan Balmer, DE
Raheem Brock, DE

Offense Review:

Matt Hasselbeck can still throw the ball. The problem is knowing who he's going to throw it too.  Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh accounted for over 50% of the Seahawks receiving yards last year and they're both gone. Theyve got some young rookies who could be good, and Mike Williams looked good in the pre-season but he's not done much thus far in his pro career so it seems a stretch to me to rely on him to replace Housh or Burleson. Losing those two is going to hurt them badly. On top of that their offensive line has been decimated.

The worst loss is the sudden retirement of Alex Gibbs, the man who was brought in to replace Mike Solari and fix their issues. His replacement is Pat Ruel (who was an Alex Gibbs protege). They got rid of Rob Sims who was a starter last year, and rumors are that Locklear is going to be on the chopping block soon. They did bring in Chester Pitts (who presumably will start at RG) as well as Stacey Andrews (who will presumably be starting at RT), but that means two new starters on the right side and a rookie on the left side. In other words, bad news for protection.

They do have good depth at RB in Leon Washington and Justin Forsett, and Julio Jones took a pay cut to stay with the team, so there's potential there. It's going to be rough for them though, especially with Okung missing one or two weeks at the start of the season. 

The offensive line struggled with pass protection and struggled with 3rd down conversions. However Hasselbeck still can deliver the ball on the money and you don't ever want to write off Forsett (whom I really like) or Leon Washington (whom I also like). They have some potential but it's going to be very hit or miss. If Hasselbeck misses any time this year I don't think Whitehurst can win games for the Hawks (he did look good in the pre-season but winning in the regular season is a different story). 

Defense Review

Earl Thomas is going to be exciting when he figures things out. Right now he's making some big mistakes (trying to jump balls and giving up big plays), but he's also making some big plays (he had a nice 86 yard pick 6 against the Vikings). They got rid of Josh Wilson which was a bad mistake as he was one of their best CBs. Thomas' INT was made possible because Wilson tipped the ball and Wilson had his own INT during the pre-season. Marcus Trufant can be good, but struggles against bigger WRs and TEs (Jermichael Finley ate him alive).

There's a weak spot in the center of their deep pass protection that was easily exploited by Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. They'll need to fix that or they'll be destroyed during the regular season. Their underneath stuff was defended pretty well for the most part and their linebackers made some good plays on the ball. 

On the defensive line they struggled to get any kind of pass rush at all. I lost track of how many times I counted 4 seconds for protection for the offense. On one drive in Minnesota the Vikings converted 4 out 5 3rd downs (and three of those were 3rd and long). 

However, all that being said I think that the defense is probably going to be the bright spot for the Seahawks (or at least the less dark spot) this year. I think watching Earl Thomas develop could be fun, but their CBs are going to get tested over and over again. 

Special Teams

If Andy Lee is God then I think we can nominate Jon Ryan as a saint. The dude can boot it which is a big help for the Seahawks coverage units. They're not as bad as the Rams units, but they're not great either--I'd put them at middle-of-the-road, but that should improve. On returns they do an ok job as well--this is another area where they're going to miss Josh Wilson who was a pretty good return man. 

Schedule

Week 1 SF @ Sea: First week of the season, Okung out and Chester Pitts probably filling in at LT? Seahawks are going to be destroyed

Week 2 Sea @ Den: I really don't like what McDaniels is doing in Denver but I think that team is better than the Seahawks. Loss for the Hawks

Week 3 SD @ Sea: Seattle might be able to win this one. It's early in the year and San Diego won't have found it's groove yet. Close game but I think Seattle pulls out a win

Week 4 Sea @ St. Louis: I think Seattle loses this for the reasons I indicated in the Rams thread. Sam Bradford's accuracy will pick them apart.

Week 5: Bye

Week 6: Sea @ Chicago. Cutler will lose this one for Chicago. Thomas will have a big night picking him off. Win

Week 7: Arizona @ Seattle. I predict a close Seattle win here. Seattle gets the edge due to it being a home game.

Week 8: Seattle @ Oakland. Seattle wins this one. I think the Raiders defense will be ok this year, but their offense will struggle

Week 9: NYG @ Sea: Easy win for the Giants who have too many weapons for Seattle to contend against.

Week 10: Sea @ AZ. I think the Cardinals will be hunting for revenge. It's at AZ so they'll get the win.

Week 11: Sea @ NO This is going to be a bloodbath. New Orleans will slaughter the Seahawks

Week 12: KC @ Seattle Seattle could win this one--it all depends on the ground game of the Chiefs, since I think their passing game is suspect.

Week 13: Carolina @ Seattle: Another home game for the Hawks and that gives them the edge. The Panthers QB situation is worrisome.

Week 14: Sea @ SF: SF decimates the Hawks. We're playing at home, by Week 14 we'll be playing for homefield advantage in the playoffs . . .

Week 15: ATL @ Sea: Schaub picks apart the Hawks. This will be a beat-down like we got last year.

Week 16: Seat @ TB. Win for Seattle. Two teams with about as much talent facing each other, only the Hawks have a better QB

Week 17: STL @ Sea: Win for the Rams

I can't see the Hawks with more than 6 wins. If they have a surprise upset or two they might stretch it to 8, but I'll be shocked. I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish with 4 (which should put them in fine position to draft Jack Locker). 

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