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Moore’s 10 Seahawks Takeaways: Seattle’s most overpaid players through 5 games

The Seahawks' defense led by Bobby Wagner has slid in rankings over the past two years. (Getty)

Welcome to Tuesday’s Top Ten Takeaways (TTTT), a weekly column that takes a look back and look ahead with the Seahawks.

Which Seahawks defenders must step up the rest of the season?

• 10) Three unbeaten teams remain – Seahawks, Steelers and Titans – and I’m thinking the Seahawks will last the longest with an unblemished record. Tennessee hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday, and I’m guessing the Steelers win a tough one on the road. Then the Steelers will suffer their first loss at Baltimore next week. The Cardinals have always been a tough matchup for the Seahawks, but they haven’t lost in Arizona since 2012. The Hawks then face the 49ers at CenturyLink Field and will improve their record to 7-0. But the streak will end the following week in Buffalo.

• 9) Pete Carroll has a 7-3 record in games following a bye during his 10 years in Seattle, winning six of the last seven. In those six victories, a Seahawks team that is known for winning close games has beaten its opponents by an average of 13 points. I think it proves that Carroll, just like Andy Reid in Kansas City, is one of the best when given two weeks to prepare for the next game.

• 8) Your weekly reminder as to why the Seahawks should consider replacing Ken Norton as defensive coordinator. As DC in Oakland, his defenses were 22nd in total defense in 2015, 26th in 2016 and 23rd in 2017. In his first year as DC in Seattle in 2018, the defense went from 11th in 2017 to 16th. In 2019 it was 26th, and this year it’s 32nd and last. It can’t always be about personnel, can it?

• 7) Former pro scouting director Mike McCartney ran a Twitter poll over the weekend asking followers which they’d rather have for their favorite team, a great offense or a great defense. We know the Seahawks have one but not the other. Poll results: 53 percent said offense, 47 percent defense. I voted for the defense because I agree with a guy who commented: “A great offense can win games, a great defense wins championships.” The Seahawks appear to be testing that theory this season.

• 6) With Colby Parkinson’s return to practice this week, the end is near for Luke Willson, who has had only seven snaps with the offense in five games. I certainly hope that’s not the case, but that would put four tight ends ahead of him – Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister and Parkinson. Not sure what’s going on with Hollister, who led the Seahawks in receiving in the last seven games last year, which helped him earn a $3.25 million contract this year. Looks like he’s caught up in a numbers game with better players ahead of him. Hollister has only two receptions this year and none in the last two games.

• 5) Who’s on your list of most overpaid Seahawks? If I had a list, B.J. Finney would be at the top. Remember him? He was supposed to be the starting center, taking over for Justin Britt and Joey Hunt, when they signed the former Steeler in free agency. But Ethan Pocic grabbed that job and shows no signs of letting it go. In fact, he’s an upgrade over Britt. Finney has not played a snap this season on offense and only 23 on special teams. The Seahawks gave him a two-year, $8 million contract with $4.5 million guaranteed in what amounts to a swing-and-a-miss of a deal at this point.

• 4) Speaking of overpaid Seahawks, Bobby Wagner has to be near the top of the list too. He is not playing at an $18 million a year level, and yet it’s almost like he’s immune from criticism from a portion of the Seahawks’ fan base because he was such a good player for so long. So good that he might be a Hall of Famer someday. But right now? If you had to put a fair price tag on his level of play in 2020, what would it be? $12 million? $10 million? $8 million? Less than that? Keep in mind that he’s the quarterback of a defense that has not played well for more than two years and has hit the bottom of the barrel this year.

• 3) Yes, the Seahawks face the toughest stretch of their season in the next five weeks – at Arizona, San Francisco, at Buffalo, at Rams, Arizona – but then they have what might be the easiest four-game stretch in NFL history. I don’t think I’m overstating that when you consider games against the Eagles, Giants, Jets and Washington Football Team. They have a combined record of 3-20-1. The Seahawks have the 25th toughest remaining schedule in the league, and it’s nice to know that their NFC West rivals have a much rougher go of it. The 49ers have the second-toughest schedule left followed by the Rams at No. 3 and the Cardinals at No. 8.

• 2) If you’re into daydreaming and getting way ahead of yourself, who would you most like to see the Seahawks face in the Super Bowl? The Chiefs? The Ravens? The Titans? I’d vote for the Steelers to have a chance at revenge for the poorly officiated Super Bowl XL in 2006, won by Pittsburgh 21-10.

• 1) If ESPN’s Mike Greenberg had his way 10 years ago, the 7-9 NFC West champion Seahawks would not have hosted the 11-5 Saints in a first-round playoff game, which means the Beast Quake game likely would not have happened. Greenberg doesn’t think a division champ with less than a .500 record should host a playoff game against a wild-card team with a winning record. I agree with him. Think about it, there’s a chance that the Rams or the Cardinals could win the NFC West at 13-3, edging the 12-4 Seahawks. Would that make sense for the Seahawks to play on the road against a 6-10 Dallas team just because the Cowboys were the least-worst team in the horrible NFC East?

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