Last-place Seahawks? Why that’s what Colin Cowherd predicts

May 20, 2024, 11:17 AM

Seattle Seahawks Arizona Cardinals 2024...

James Conner of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 7. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Could the Seattle Seahawks really finish behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West basement? That’s what FOX Sports host Colin Cowherd is predicting.

What are experts predicting for Seahawks’ 2024 record?

Most NFL experts peg the Seahawks as the third-best team in the NFC West for the 2024 season, ahead of the Cardinals and behind the 49ers and Rams. There has been a sizable gap between Seattle and Arizona the past two years, with the Seahawks posting back-to-back 9-8 campaigns and Arizona struggling to back-to-back 4-13 seasons. Since joining the NFC West in 2002, Seattle has finished in last place only once.

However, Cowherd thinks the Cardinals will leapfrog the Seahawks this year and send them to a fourth-place finish. During a conversation Monday with Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, Cowherd explained his reasons, pointing to the unknowns with the Seahawks under new head coach Mike Macdonald. He also perceives as a quarterback advantage with Arizona’s Kyler Murray over Seattle’s Geno Smith and likes what the Cardinals did in last month’s NFL Draft, highlighted by their selection of wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 4 overall.

“I think Kyler is a really special player, when he has time (to throw),” Cowherd said. “I liked what I saw out of (the Cardinals) last year. I thought they had a very, very strong draft. Outside of the receiver Harrison, it wasn’t a lot of what you would think of as high-profile players, but a lot of really key players for them to fill in some holes.

“I don’t know what to make of Seattle. I have more questions than answers. Could they have a young Sean McVay as a defensive head coach (in Macdonald)? Don’t love defensive coaches, but you can win with them, too. … There’s a lot of unknowns. I also think it’s sort of a transition year at quarterback. The sport is getting more quarterback-centric and more offensive coach-centric. The last several years, the final four coaches (in the playoffs) are all (offensive coaches). The league, the rules, everything is geared toward that.”

Murray has missed 15 of 34 games with injuries over the past two seasons, including the final nine games of last season with a torn ACL. With a healthy Murray, Arizona could be much-improved.

“If it’s a coin flip with Seattle and Arizona. I’ll just go with Kyler, because I’ve watched Kyler go up against (Rams coach Sean) McVay and I’ve watched Kyler go up against San Francisco and give them problems,” Cowherd said.

“I think (the Seahawks) will be capable,” he added. “I think they could win nine to 10 games potentially. But I think the NFC is much stronger today than two years ago. … This coach (Macdonald) could change things. He’s younger. I thought it was time to move off Pete (Carroll), but I just don’t know a lot about Seattle. Now, by mid-October, I could feel differently.”

Seahawks ‘blew an opportunity’

Cowherd thinks Seattle missed a favorable window of contention in the NFC in recent years. The NFC was notably weaker than the AFC over the past two seasons, with most of the star quarterbacks residing in the AFC.

Cowherd believes the NFC will be much stronger this season. He pointed to the youth-laden Packers, who caught fire at the end of last season and reached the NFC divisional round with rising quarterback Jordan Love. He mentioned the upstart Lions, who nearly reached their first-ever Super Bowl last year. He thinks the Rams will take another step forward after a surprising playoff appearance last season. And he also pointed to teams like the Bears and Commanders, who drafted talented young quarterbacks in No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams and No. 2 overall pick Jayden Daniels, respectively.

“The NFC is different,” Cowherd said. “Green Bay was too young. Now they’re not. Detroit was good. Now they could be great. I think the NFC is just going to be better. Maybe not AFC (level of) dominant because of the lack of great quarterbacks, but I think the time (to get) good in the NFC was the previous two years. Outside of the New York Giants and Carolina maybe, I don’t see a lot of (bad teams) in the NFC. The previous two years, there were four or five teams at the bottom.

“I just think the last two years was the time if you had kind of a good quarterback,” he added. “I think that time has passed. I think some of these new quarterbacks – Jayden Daniels, Caleb – will hit. Lions (and) Packers, ready to go to a new level. I thought the Rams had another great draft. I think they’re going to be in a Super Bowl bubble. So I just think Seattle … blew an opportunity the last two years.”

Listen to the full conversation from Brock and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

• Did schedule makers make it easy for Seahawks? Insider explains
• Ranking the Seahawks’ 2024 games from hardest to easiest
• Bump and Stacy: Six takeaways from Seahawks’ schedule
• What are Bobby Wagner’s comments about Hawks getting at?
• Brock: How Seattle Seahawks’ defense will create ‘illusion of complexity’

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Last-place Seahawks? Why that’s what Colin Cowherd predicts