STACY ROST

Bump & Stacy’s bold predictions for Seahawks and rest of NFC West

Aug 19, 2023, 10:34 AM | Updated: 10:34 am

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Nick Bosa of the 49ers pressures Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith on Dec. 15, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With less than a month to go until the start of the NFL regular season for the Seattle Seahawks, we took a look on Friday’s edition of Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy at the four teams in the NFC West to share our biggest, boldest predictions.

Carroll: What Seahawks expect from Geno Smith in second year as starter

Will the 49ers stay healthy? Can Matthew Stafford make up for defensive losses in Los Angeles? And can the Hawks win the West?

Here are the bold predictions from me and my co-host, Michael Bumpus.

Arizona Cardinals

Bump: WR Michael Wilson has a 1,000-yard season.

What’s this? A former wide receiver named Michael supporting a current wide receiver named Michael? Still, even in the face of an underwhelming Cards season, Bumpus is high on the former Stanford standout.

Stacy: The Cardinals finish last in the division… and with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Arizona already owns Houston’s first-round pick, and I’m not expecting great things for the Texans. But how many teams can we confidently say will be worse than the Cardinals?

A quiet quarterback battle between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask in Tampa Bay doesn’t stir up excitement ,but the group still has two stellar receivers. I don’t think the Bears are anywhere near contention but have enough faith in Justin Fields for him to continue to, at times, carry the offense. A healthy Jonathan Taylor, if he ends up playing, paired with Anthony Richardson makes for a surprisingly fun Colts offense. And even Jordan Love and Sam Howell stir up more optimism than a Kyler Murray-less Cards squad.

Murray himself makes this potential outcome fascinating. If the Cardinals end up with the No. 1 overall pick, would they really trade away a chance to take someone like USC’s Caleb Williams?

Los Angeles Rams

Bump: Stetson Bennett will start at least five games.

“These guys are looking to bounce back from the worst season in Sean McVay’s career,” Bumpus said, referring to the Rams head coach. “To do that, you need this defense to outperform their roster. You’ve still got Aaron Donald, you still have Earnest Jones. But Bobby (Wagner) is gone, Jalen Ramsey is gone, Leonard Floyd is gone. So my bold prediction: My man Matthew Stafford, 35 years of age, battled an injury last year… may not make it through. This team is turning to the rookie.”

Stacy: The Rams finish as the league’s worst rushing team… but still get nine wins.

Nine wins feels especially unlikely for a Rams team that finished 5-12 last season, but the goal was to be bold, right? This is also a team that made the playoffs in four of the last six years, with two Super Bowl appearances including a Super Bowl win in 2021. Still, there are questions. They had some key injuries last year, but I don’t know that a healthy Stafford and Donald make up for the loss of other starters who have since departed in free agency.

This offense was abysmal last year, ranking 27th in points per game and 32nd in yards. I don’t feel great about their running back depth, but if Stafford and Cooper Kupp can tap into the magic they found in 2021, this passing offense could do enough to muster up more wins in 2023.

San Francisco 49ers

Bump: Trey Lance will not be on the roster by Week 4.

“It seems like Trey Lance is on the verge of being a backup for the next couple seasons unless he’s used as trade bait. You hear about how they’re talking about Sam Darnold and how they love him — the players love him, the coaches love him. If he were in a better situation when he got drafted, he might be one of the ballers in the league right now. San Francisco wasted a pick at No. 3 and Lance won’t be on this roster in November.”

Stacy: Brock Purdy doesn’t miss a start.

The 49ers have had horrible injury luck at quarterback. Who knows what might’ve happened if they had a single healthy passer in last season’s NFC title game. The last time a 49ers quarterback made every start? It was 2019 – and that San Francisco team went 13-3 before falling to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

It may not bode well for the Seahawks, and a far safer bet may be Sam Darnold starting at least a pair of games, but at some point the bad luck has to end… right?

Seattle Seahawks

Bump: Geno Smith will have another season with over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.

He’s proving the haters wrong!

Smith set franchise records for passing yards, completions and completion percentage for the Seattle Seahawks last year, but that 30-touchdown marker may be even more impressive. Just three quarterbacks last year surpassed 30 touchdowns, and Smith was the only passer in the NFC to do so. Will an improved offensive line and a third elite receiver in first-round rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba let him repeat the feat?

Stacy: The Seattle Seahawks win the west.

This is the least exciting of my bold predictions and may not even be bold for the most stubbornly positive fans.

The 49ers had one of the league’s best defenses, and they outpaced Seattle in just about every category that matters. They’ll have the upper hand over the Hawks until that personnel gap narrows. But what if that starts this year?

The Seahawks look poised to have among the league’s top secondaries and wide receiver groups, and a step forward on defense would provide a massive boost to an offense that was already top 10 in scoring for 2022. I’m already comfortable they’ll get the over on their Vegas win projection (8.5), so why not take it a step further?

Listen to the full segment from Bump and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the audio player near the top of this post.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Ray Roberts: Why Jarran Reed is ‘the key’ to Seahawks defense
Jaxon Smith-Njigba: Lockett, Metcalf ‘made the transition very easy for me’
K.J. Wright: Seahawks edge rusher Darrell Taylor has 15-sack potential
Bump: Where Seahawks’ young, dynamic defense must shine in 2023
K.J. Wright: Why Jackson is most likely Seattle Seahawks DB to get traded

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Bump & Stacy’s bold predictions for Seahawks and rest of NFC West