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2018 Seahawks preview: Tom Wassell’s over-under

Will the Seahawks have to rely on Russell Wilson again in the running game? (AP)

We had a lot of fun before the Mariners’ season began with over-unders, and at some point I’ll go back and revisit which numbers were right and which were wrong. For now, it’s onto the NFL.

O’Neil: Dear Seahawks, play Earl Thomas right away in Week 1

We had one major question answered Wednesday about Earl Thomas and whether or not he would play. Let’s dive into some others, shall we?

Russell Wilson: 400 rushing yards

Early in Wilson’s career, he ran the ball on his own because he was darn good at it. As time has gone on, he’s done it more out of necessity (he’s still good at it, by the way). After a steady decline, those rush numbers shot back up in 2017 because if they hadn’t, the Seahawks wouldn’t have had a running game at all. Wilson was the running game. Let’s assume the offensive line has made some progress and the Chris Carson/Rashaad Penny duo shoulders the load assigned to them. OVER

Brandon Marshall: 4.5 touchdown receptions

Jimmy Graham caught 10 TDs last season, and nobody is saying that Marshall has to equal that total. It would be nice if he emerges as a ‘go-up-and-get-it’ guy in the end zone, but how much can you really expect out of a receiver who is near the end of his career and coming off a major injury? He worked his tail off to make the team and has already shown himself to be a good influence on others in the locker room, so maybe the impact will be felt on the field as well. UNDER

Earl Thomas: 2.5 cryptic social media posts

Since most things he says on social media are cryptic, let’s restrict this only to posts that concern his contract or his future in the league. We’ll leave out social justice, what he had for dinner, who he’s hanging out with, etc. (unless it’s a photo of him and Jerry Jones). The question right now is whether he’ll shut up and work or if something may pop up here and there that could reignite this whole saga. OVER

Frank Clark: 10.5 sacks

A defensive end who’s looking to get paid in the 2019 offseason should have plenty of motivation. Clark’s talent has shown itself in flashes, but is he a guy that offensive coordinators have to alter their gameplan for? Granted, his playing time was limited earlier in his career behind veterans, but it feels like if he were truly the pass-rushing monster he’s supposed to be, he would have forced his way on the field by now. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’s disruptive, even without a super-high sack total. OVER

More rushing yards: Chris Carson or Rashaad Penny

The Seahawks didn’t spend a first-round pick on a running back to sit him behind a seventh-rounder. The question is, how long will it take for Penny to push Carson aside? Probably a while, given an injury to Penny and a good camp for Carson. I’m curious as to what everyone thinks Carson’s ceiling is, though. Is he a 1,000 yard guy? If they can get 1,500 total yards between the two of them, that should do. I’ll go Carson 700, Penny 600. Can we get C.J. Prosise to throw in 300? CARSON

Defense: 25.5 takeaways

The Seahawks weren’t too bad in this area last season, ranking ninth in the league with 25 takeaways (14 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries). For what it’s worth, they gave the ball away 17 times for a differential of plus-8, ranking eighth in the league. Thomas is back, so that should make us feel a lot better. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin is in Year 2 with his whole career in front of him. Linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are still in their prime. Rookie defensive end Rasheem Green had as impressive of a preseason as any player on the defensive side. OVER

Seahawks: 8.5 wins

Names like Sherman, Avril and Bennett are gone. Other names like Carson, Thompson, Griffin, Clark and Lockett have another year of experience. While Green, Penny and Michael Dickson have yet to establish themselves, there’s a lot to like. Oh, and Russell Wilson is still getting better. I’m thinking we end up excited about the team by the end of the year, but there are too many growing pains out of the gate. UNDER

If there are other categories you think I should have included, feel free to write them in below. If I’m off my rocker, let me know that as well. I’ll try to do better next time.

Clayton: Making sense of Seahawks’ roster for Week 1