Midseason check-in: How Seahawks predictions look through 8 weeks
We’re through eight weeks of the NFL season. With the Seahawks at 4-3 and their bye week in the rear-view mirror, it’s a good time to revisit my preseason over-under predictions. And if you thought this 2018 Seahawks team would turn out the way it has, please allow me to consult you for advice.
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
Right now: OK, the assumption was right. Saying the offensive line has improved is like saying communication technology has improved. The O-line is a REVELATION. Russell doesn’t have to think about running for his life, much less running for yardage. This one’s coming in way 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
Right now: If you see Brandon Marshall, thank him for working with the younger players. They had nothing but great things to say about him. Here’s to a brilliant career and one touchdown in a Seahawks uniform. 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
Right now: Funny thing is, Thomas didn’t have to disguise anything on social media. He just let everything fly out of his mouth. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see what would have happened had he not gotten injured. This saga was a very hard lesson in NFL economics. Can you really blame either side for how they maneuvered through the process of an All-Pro entering his ninth season and the final year of his deal? 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
Right now: Disruptive without a high sack total sounds about right for now. He’s currently at 6.5 sacks, and 13 for the year would be a pretty big statement about who he is, even if that number isn’t astronomical. Pass rush, the one remaining ‘need’ area for the Seahawks, has come up big at times and Clark is the primary reason. Pete Carroll has also mentioned his leadership skills as an asset, so we’ll add that in as a bonus. UNDER (for now).
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
Right now: A few things happened here. Carson became Marshawn Lynch (yeah, I’m making that comparison). The offensive line started pushing everyone around. Penny’s carries have been on the decline. Carson is probably the team’s single most impactful player, and at 457 yards through seven games, he’ll blow past 700 for sure. If anything keeps him from 1,000, it will be the emergence of Mike Davis, not Penny. WAY OVER
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
Right now: There they are at second in the league with a plus-10 give/take differential (16 takeaways and six giveaways). Bradley McDougald and Shaquill Griffin each have two interceptions to go with Earl Thomas’s three. We mentioned Tuesday on Bob, Groz and Tom that Earl doesn’t really seem missed. Will that continue? I’ll say the Seahawks will get over 25.5, but not too much higher. 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
Right now: This is the big question. Has what we’ve seen changed our minds about what their record will be? I ran through the schedule, gave them the benefit of the doubt (3-2 in this next five-game stretch) and then 3-1 vs Kansas City, San Francisco (twice) and Arizona. 10 wins and in! OVER
Considering how the season has gone so far, 2018 may go down as the finest coaching job of Carroll’s career.