4 reasons Seahawks will be better at end of the season than they are now
The Seahawks haven't been as good as they could be, and they've been pretty good
For a long time, the signature of Pete Carroll’s Seahawks was that the team would always be the best versions of themselves by the time the playoffs came around than however they were playing to start the year. It was often slow starts that cost Seattle opportunities to get homefield advantage in the playoffs, but the Seahawks are 3-1 coming out of their bye week and with the Bengals on deck.
However, I do think there are reasonable concerns to be shared with regards to how the Seahawks have won, how they lost in Week 1, and who they’ve beaten, with the exception of the 4-1 Detroit Lions.
For example, the Seahawks have one of the highest third-and-long rates in the NFL and the second-worst rate of converting those plays.
And this is a concern on “the better side” of the football.
Coming out of the Bye, the Seahawks rank 31st in third down conversions, 31st in third down conversions allowed, and 32nd in red zone defense. The defense is on the field for the most plays per drive of any team in the NFL, which is even worse than a concerning 25th ranking of defensive plays in 2022 after ranking 30th in 2020 and 31st in 2021.
The last two teams that the Seahawks have beaten have a combined record of 1-9.
But maybe Pete Carroll is saving the best for the fourth quarter once again.
Dating back to 2010, the Seahawks have won 35 games in December (fifth-most in the NFL), 29 games in November (6th-most), and eight regular season games in January (tied for the most).
Seattle won their last five games in 2012, nine of their last 10 in 2014, six of their last seven in 2015, six of their last seven in 2018, and six of their last seven in 2020. They came just one point away from winning five of the last six in 2021.
I know the Seahawks have been pretty good. I think the Seahawks could be a lot better. Here’s why:
Injuries are a give-and-take each season, so while the Seahawks will surely get a few back, we know that the Devil will take a few away. I simply can’t predict who that could be, nor would you want me to try, so I’m left with predicting which will return and that’s much easier (and more pleasant) to do.
OT Charles Cross, OT Abe Lucas
The Seahawks are 3-0 without their starting tackles, but they’d love to not have to keep adding to that win-loss record in either direction. Cross could return in Week 6, Lucas could return in Week 7. Seattle may yet give Jason Peters some run.
Jake Curhan gives up one of the highest rates of pressures-per-pass protection snap in the league, yet some would say he’s still better than Stone Forsythe. They’ve been admirable as replacements. They’d be “damn fine” specimens to appreciate if they return to being backups.
Cross is practicing this week; Lucas could need a few more weeks based on Carroll’s latest comments; Peters is right on the cusp of being able to play in a game at either guard or tackle.
WR Dee Eskridge
Eskridge is serving a six-game suspension, so that puts him on track to be activated in Week 8, if healthy. There was hype all offseason of Eskridge being the best version of himself ever, which means he could catch as many as 11 passes for 65 yards this season!
The Seahawks could use a speed threat to add to the offense. I don’t have high expectations for Eskridge, but could also see how he may have a better chance to contribute in the second half given the added dimensions and wrinkles to the Shane Waldron offense that we’ve seen this season.
S Jamal Adams
I knew that the Seahawks had a safety named Teez, but I didn’t know that the Seahawks had a safety who would turn out to be such a tease. Nine snaps? Well, there’s still some hope that Adams will return and not leave the field so soon next time.
WR/FB/ST Dareke Young
Young’s potential contributions could be more subtle, but at least as valuable as bigger names like Eskridge or Adams. He had over 200 special teams snaps as a rookie and may be able to play some fullback, giving Seattle an added dimension to the offense that they wouldn’t get from anyone else. Young’s timetable isn’t clear, I would be surprised if he missed the entire season though.
RB Kenny McIntosh
Only a seventh round pick, like Young, McIntosh’s offseason was impressive enough to think that he could have a role with the offense late in the year. Especially when you consider the war of attrition at running back and the value of having depth in your back pocket like McIntosh.
On Monday, Pete Carroll noted that Young is “real close”, so he could be activated in the next week or two. He said that McIntosh is not as close as Dareke, but didn’t sound like it would be more than a month.
DT Bryan Mone
He didn’t return from a torn ACL as fast as Jordyn Brooks—nobody does—but the timetable should allow for Mone to come off of PUP at some point this season. Few players need more than a year to heal from that injury and the Sehaawks could definitely use depth at defensive tackle. Jarran Reed is ailing and Cameron Young is his only backup.
DB Coby Bryant
He’s missed the last three games and could return as soon as this Sunday against the Bengals. If not, it doesn’t sound that Bryant is that far away.
The Seahawks were ranked as having the fifth-youngest roster in the NFL after final cut downs, a number that is sure to shift after Jason Peters is activated, but still this some slack, some patience, some understanding that development time is needed with so many draft picks and signings in the past two offseasons. Perhaps none under more pressure to do something—and he likely will eventually—than the first round rookie receiver.