NFL

The Seattle Seahawks Are Super Bowl Pretenders Unless They Make Some Dramatic Changes

The Seattle Seahawks are 4-0. Russell Wilson and the offense are firing on all cylinders. Wilson is deservedly in the early-season MVP conversation. Despite all of the good things happening, it’s not all roses in the Pacific Northwest. There is major trouble brewing with the Seattle Seahawks and unless the organization addresses this problem, there isn’t a realistic chance the team can make a run in the playoffs, much less win a second Super Bowl title

Seattle Seahawks offense ranked near top in 2020

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Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks offense opened the 2020 season with a 38-point performance and win on the road over the Atlanta Falcons. It was a precursor of things to come. 

Since that season-opening victory, the offense has continued to produce at an impressive rate, averaging 35.5 points per contest, good enough for second-best in the NFL. In his ninth season, Wilson is off to the best start of his career. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback has completed 103-of-137 passes for an NFL-best 75.2 completion percentage. He also leads the league with 16 touchdowns.

Second-year receiver DK Metcalf has become Wilson’s go-to target, catching 16 passes for 403 yards, an eye-popping average of 25.2 yards per catch, which is best in the NFL. Metcalf has hauled in three touchdown receptions in four games. He caught seven touchdowns in 16 games last season. 

Seattle Seahawks defense has declined in recent years

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While Russell Wilson has remained a consistent influence for the offense for almost a decade, the Seattle Seahawks defense, led by the Legion of Boom secondary, played complementary football as one of the most-feared units in the NFL for much of that same time period.

From 2012-2015, the Seahawks led the league in scoring defense, allowing the fewest points scored each year for four years straight. They were also one of the stingiest against the pass during that time.

Since the breakup of the LOB, there’s been a steady decline on the defensive side of the ball. After ranking No. 3 overall in team defense in 2016, the Seahawks dropped to 14th in 2017. 

Last season, the Seahawks defense finished ranked 22nd overall, with the sixth-worst pass defense, allowing 263 yards through the air per contest.  

Seahawks defense is league-worst in 2020

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This offseason Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks organization looked to shore up the defense with the additions of All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, cornerback Quinton Dunbar, and defensive end Benson Mayowa. Four games into the season and Adams has posted decent numbers recording a couple of sacks and 23 tackles. He’s missed time due to injury. 

Adams, however, has been the lone highlight for a Seattle Seahawks defense that is the league’s worst in allowing yards, surrendering a staggering 476.8 yards per game, 401 of it coming through the air. Seattle leads the league in allowed pass plays of 20+ yards at 18 and 40+ yards at 6. 

With the Seattle Seahawks defense allowing those kinds of numbers, Russell Wilson might very well earn the first MVP of his NFL career, but it won’t even matter with a defense that porous. As they say, defense wins championships. If the Seahawks have any realistic expectations of capturing their second Super Bowl title, there will need to be some dramatic changes on the defensive side of the ball for that to even remotely be considered a possibility.  

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.