As the Seahawks finally head into their bye week after playing for ten straight weeks, they find themselves at the top of the NFC, and are a legitimate contender for a top seed in this year’s playoffs. But obviously, if you have watched a game this year, they are not a perfect team by any measure. So what area has been good for the Hawks, and what areas do they need to improve if they want to make a run at another Super Bowl? I will be going through a few of the most important position groups and give them a letter grade based on how I have perceived their performance this season.
After signing him to the largest contract in NFL history, Russell Wilson has been everything the team has hoped for and then some. He is the front runner for NFL MVP honors and holds an absurd statline of 23 touchdowns with only two interceptions. It is very hard to imagine where this team would be without him leading the offense. Let’s also not forget backup QB Geno Smith’s coin toss skills in overtime, where he has won both chances to give us the ball.
It has been the Chris Carson show in the Seahawks backfield thus far, where he is currently the 4th leading rusher in the NFL. While he has had a phenomenal season, he struggles to hold onto the ball, with six total fumbles on the year. Former 1st round pick Rashaad Penny has not played up to his potential yet, and still sits behind Carson on the depth chart. This position group would be in a better spot if they had more production from Penny, but right now it is all Carson.
This has the breakout season of fifth year wide receiver and fan favorite Tyler Lockett. The connection between him and Wilson has been one — of if not the best — in the league. Rookie DK Metcalf has also shown that he can be a reliable target Wilson can trust and has big play potential almost every time he touches the ball. Outside of Metcalf and Lockett there has been minimal production from the position but that will most likely change after the Seahawks added former all-pro Josh Gordon after New England released him.
The defensive line has been mediocre at best thus far in the year. That was until the Monday night game in San Francisco, where Jadaveon Clowney single handedly made the 49ers’ life a living nightmare where he finished the night with five tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. If Clowney continues this type of play and we finally start to see production from free agent signee Ziggy Ansah, then the second half of the season will be a much different story for the D-Line. In order for the Seahawks to see past the second round of the playoffs, they will need a consistent pass rush from these two.
As fans know, the days of the Legion of Boom are long gone, and now we are watching a younger group of defensive backs manning the secondary for the Hawks. So far, the results on the field have been what was expected out of this group. Shaquill Griffin has showed signs of being a #1 corner and the addition of safety Quandre Diggs will help but there will need to be significant improvement out of this group if a Super Bowl will be in the Hawks’ future.
The Seahawks will need significant improvement from their defense if they want to make a legitimate run at another Super Bowl. However, if Wilson continues the historic pace he is on, he himself can carry the team through the playoffs — he has been that good. They face one of the toughest stretches of schedules in the league to finish off the regular season including playing three of their next four on the road. These games will be the perfect test of whether the Hawks are legitimate contenders, or are simply just pretenders.