Last year around this time the Seattle Seahawks were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. While they did well in the draft on paper, the 2022 class was as yet unproven on the field and most analysts were projecting this to be a five or six-win team at best.
This year the analyst community thinks much more highly of Seattle – in no small part thanks to that stellar rookie class and the rise of Geno Smith to top-10 quarterback status. Most of the post-draft league-wide power rankings have placed these Seahawks somewhere between No. 10 in the league and No. 15 – most often at No. 12.
Today we have two more entries in this category. First, ESPN’s latest NFL power rankings are now out and Seattle came in at No. 11 on the list.
“It was actually the strength of Seattle’s defense last season, even with Jamal Adams suffering a torn quad tendon in Week 1. The Seahawks made it a lot stronger by adding safety Julian Love (two years, $12 million) in free agency, then drafting cornerback Devon Witherspoon with the No. 5 overall pick. Witherspoon and Tariq Woolen give the Seahawks maybe the NFL’s best young cornerback tandem. Love — whom they view as an upgrade over Ryan Neal — gives them the ability to play with three safeties and some insurance in case Adams isn’t ready by Week 1…”
This echoes what we heard last week from Pro Football Focus on their list ranking all 32 teams’ rosters. The Seahawks also placed No. 11 on that one with a warning about Geno Smith’s inconsistent second half of the season.
“The Comeback Player of the Year had an excellent 2022, but there are signs that regression could be coming. It’s challenging to repeat outlier-level deep ball performance year over year. The Seahawks should lean more on the run game and easier throws if they want to improve on last season’s success. Smith will also have to be more consistent. His passing grade in Weeks 1-8 last season was 84.4, third best in the NFL, but that number dropped to 64.0 in his last 10 games…”
Our best-case scenario for these Seahawks is an 11-6 record during the regular season and a win at home in the playoffs. However, we expect them to butt their heads against the ceiling of the NFC pretty hard. They clearly do not match up well with the 49ers – nor the Eagles on paper. Until they have proven that they have vastly improved at the line of scrimmage a divisional-round exit from the playoffs will be their ceiling.