The Seattle Seahawks made the 2022-2023 NFL playoffs with nine wins. There is no reason to think they won’t be back this year. The NFC seems the weaker of the two conferences at the moment. While the Seahawks share the division with a bit of a powerhouse in the San Francisco 49ers, the other two teams might be at the bottom of the league standings this season.
I am fully expecting a better season for the Seahawks from last year for multiple reasons, but let’s start with the obvious: Seattle is better than nine teams in the NFC, without a doubt. That’s all they have to be: better than nine other teams. If they maintain that, they are playoff bound. Let’s list the teams they should beat out and why:
1) Tampa Bay – No Brady, big problems.
2) Carolina Panthers – 1st overall pick, early struggles.
3) Atlanta Falcons – Are we really buying into Desmond Ridder?
4) Green Bay Packers – This team hasn’t proved to be successful without Rodgers
5) New York Giants – Daniel Jones has had one good season that likely won’t be sustained
6) Washington Commanders – QB is going to be a major area of concern for this team
7) Arizona Cardinals – Things are a total mess in the desert, and this offseason didn’t help
8) Los Angeles Rams – It’s like a retirement home in that locker room
9) Chicago Bears – Three wins last year and still led by an unproven Justin Fields
I’ll say this, there is even a chance for the Hawks to take the Niners to the very end in terms of winning the West. The Niners have a couple of tough games against teams that the Hawks will not have to face. San Francisco is slated to play a good Tampa Bay defense and a Minnesota team that is a year removed from winning 13 games.
The Hawks are in a great position. They got the most out of Geno Smith a year ago, and there is no reason to think this offense won’t be even better this time. The Hawks added a deep threat in Jaxson Smith-Njigba, and by all accounts, he has been a stud early in training camp. Here is what RotoBaller has to write about him:
“He looks like he’s already been here for two, three years with the way he runs his routes and the way he’s picked up the offense,” fellow wideout DK Metcalf said. “Every day at practice, how he tracks balls and how he runs his routes, everything. I think he’s going to be an exceptional player.” Quarterback Geno Smith called him “a natural receiver.” ESPN’s Dan Graziano thinks the team has real plans for him and that he won’t necessarily be brought along slowly. He also thinks Smith-Njigba is a legitimate sleeper for Offensive Rookie of the Year.”
There is a real chance that he and DK Metcalf will be one of the best wide receiver duos in the league, and that seems like a total nightmare to have to try and defend against opposing defenses. Let’s not forget that Tyler Lockett will now become one of the top third options at the position in the game. Oh, and it gets even better with the running backs providing massive sparks last year. Kenneth Walker seems to be the real deal after over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie year, and I would assume he will only build on that this season.
This Hawks offense is more exciting than any other that I can remember in recent years, including Geno Smith. He has finally found a team and system that fits him and was rewarded for his efforts this offseason.
The defense was their weakness a year ago, but the Hawks added major reinforcements that should produce more wins this season. For starters, Bobby Wagner is back in Washington, which is a huge deal for this defense to have his voice and leadership. Adding him back to the fold is exactly what these younger players need, and he will be the mentor that this defense so desperately needs.
Let’s not forget that they went defense-heavy in the draft and came away with a couple of studs. Devon Witherspoon should contribute to the secondary almost immediately. Meanwhile, Derick Hall, a third-round pick, is showing off in camp as well.
“During pass-rush drills, Hall showed off both power and speed to win several one-on-one reps, then when he was on the field with the entire defense, he had at least a couple of sacks.”
Both sides of the ball have been upgraded, and the rest of the NFC potentially got weaker, with many teams having no real option at quarterback. This is the right conference to be in right now for a team capable of winning 10-11 games.
Hawks fans should start booking their tickets to the postseason.