Moore: Predicting Seahawks’ 2020 record based on scheduled opponents
The NFL plans to release the 2020 schedule in the next five or six days, but we already know the Seahawks’ opponents and who they’ll play at home and on the road.
When the schedule comes out we’ll see how many 10 a.m. and primetime games they have. We’ll also find out which parts of the schedule will be the hardest, probably some sort of stretch when they play three of four games on the road. And we’ll no doubt debate whether they got a good bye week or not.
At that point, it will be easier to try to project wins and losses for the Seahawks, factoring in letdown spots and human nature and caliber of opponents. Even at that, it’s a crazy exercise, attempting to predict a won-loss record for a team when there are so many unknown variables.
What’s crazier is attempting to do it now, before the schedule’s revealed. But that’s the plan, and if nothing else, even if I’m way off, I’ll be the first one to give it a shot, and we’ll see how it works out by the end of the season – if there is one.
Home opponents: Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Cowboys, Giants, Patriots, Jets, Vikings.
I’m going to start with an assumption – that the Seahawks will split the season series with every NFC West opponent, and I’ll also assume that all three of Seattle’s wins will come at home.
Going 1-1 with the 49ers might be wishful thinking, but they were inches from going 2-0 against San Francisco last year. Going 1-1 against the improving Cardinals sounds about right, but if you think the Seahawks could go 2-0 against the fading Rams, you might be right. I’m just thinking about the history here – the Rams hold a 9-7 edge since Russell Wilson arrived eight years ago and always seem to give the Seahawks problems even when they’re the inferior team.
As for the other home opponents, I’ll guess that they beat the Jets and Giants in predictably easy fashion. They’ll be favored over the Tom Brady-less Patriots, and I suspect they’ll eke out a close one.
They’ll lose to Dallas and Minnesota, opponents that are favored to win the NFC East and North divisions, giving the Seahawks a 6-2 record after going 4-4 at CenturyLink in 2019.
Road opponents: Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Falcons, Bills, Dolphins, Eagles, Redskins
The Seahawks set a franchise record by going 7-1 on the road last year, but they won’t be nearly as successful this year. I’ve already got them down for road losses to the Cardinals, Rams and 49ers.
Atlanta, Miami and Washington should show improvement, but the Seahawks will undoubtedly be road favorites against all three teams and come out on top.
I’ve got them losing at Buffalo, a team coming off of a playoff appearance and favored to win the AFC East now that Brady has moved on to Tampa.
Finally, I have them winning a tight game at Philadelphia, taking 2019 into consideration – the Seahawks beat the Eagles in regular-season and playoff games on the road last year.
Overall, the 2020 Seahawks should be better defensively even if they don’t re-sign Jadeveon Clowney or sign Everson Griffen or another free agent pass rusher. The acquisition of cornerback Quinton Dunbar should give a boost to the secondary. And they should be about the same on offense, certainly explosive enough to do considerable damage with Russell Wilson, Chris Carson, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
I felt like they were fortunate to go 11-5 last year with their point differential – 405-398, which was more indicative of a .500 team.
I’ve always thought that as long as they have Wilson, the Seahawks should win at least 10 games. That’s exactly where I’ve got them in 2020, going 10-6 and finishing two games behind the 49ers but earning a wild-card playoff berth for the third year in a row.