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Seahawks wrap-up: Tom Wassell revisits his 2018 season predictions

Bradley McDougald and the Seahawks had a total of 26 takeaways in 2018. (AP)

Remember all the predictions you made before the Seahawks 2018 season began? I didn’t think so. Luckily, mine are stored online where everyone can mock them. Let’s see how I did.

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Russell Wilson: 400 rushing yards

Prediction: 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

Result: There are long periods of time where I kinda forget what it looks like when Russell takes off with the ball. It’s shocking that he found his way to 376 yards. UNDER

Brandon Marshall: 4.5 touchdown receptions

Prediction: 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

Result: Brandon Marshall joined an illustrious list of formerly great pass catchers (Terrell Owens, Antonio Bryant, Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, Jerry Rice) from whom the Seahawks tried to squeeze one last drop, and he finished with one TD before being released at midseason. One TD – UNDER

Earl Thomas: 2.5 cryptic social media posts

Prediction: 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

Result: This was one of the strangest non-storylines I can think of. Thomas plays well for four games and after getting hurt, we watch the secondary struggle without him – and yet we rarely mentioned his name the rest of the way. I don’t remember hearing anything from him, either. Good luck in free agency, Earl. You’re a warrior. Zero cryptic posts – UNDER

Frank Clark: 10.5 sacks

Prediction: 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

Result: If Clark’s career continues to improve at this rate, he’s gonna be up there with the great pass rushers of the game. He might even be there already; 13 sacks is gonna get you paid. Let’s hope Seattle can pay him and find one more pass-rusher. Suddenly that D-line goes from tough to lethal. 13 sacks – OVER

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More rushing yards: Chris Carson or Rashaad Penny

Prediction: 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

Result: After Penny’s 12-carry, 108-yard performance in Los Angeles against the Rams in Week 10, it appeared that he might have a shot to catch Carson, but things never materialized again for him. The future remains bright for the 2018 first-round draft pick, and after watching the remaining playoff teams all batter their last opponents with a two-running back attack, it made wonder how much more dangerous the Seahawks could be with more carries for Penny. Carson 1,151 yards; Penny 419 – CARSON

Defense: 25.5 takeaways

Prediction: 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

Result: Gotta say, I nailed this one – 26 takeaways for the year. One thing to remember here is that 16 of them came before Week 8. Seattle went the next three games without one while committing a pair of turnovers (Chargers and Rams). With 10 more to close out the season, the Seahawks got the job done, and to the credit of the entire team, they were first in turnover differential at 15. 26 takeaways – OVER

Seahawks: 8.5 wins

Prediction: 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

Result: My last sentence above is certainly true. It did start slow and now we’re excited. If the Seahawks were only as good as the eight-win team I predicted, I’m thinking that they wouldn’t have won the games against Carolina and Kansas City. The victory over the Panthers on the road showed that they weren’t going to fold when things got a little difficult. The Week 16 defeat of the Chiefs in front of a national audience demonstrated their ability to not only hang with the best, but to outclass them on a given night. 10 wins – OVER

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