The Seahawks started last season 5-0 for the first time in franchise history with Russell Wilson and this offense cooking, and their hot start propelled them to their first NFC West title (+220) since 2016. They also had their most wins in a season (12-4, 8-8 ATS) since 2014, and they did it while being the only team that didn’t have a player test positive for COVID-19 in 2020. Russ and the Seahawks’ offense got off to a blistering start before ending the year with a whimper. Wilson threw for 28 touchdowns through Week 9 (eight games) and Seattle led the league by averaging 34.3 points per game in that span. Russ threw for just 12 scores and the offense averaged just 23.1 points per game in their final eight games. Seattle’s offensive downturn culminated in the Seahawks losing their first home playoff game under Pete Carroll — they were previously 6-0 at home in his 11 seasons — with Wilson completing just 40.7% of his passes in a Wild Card Round loss to the Rams.
The Seahawks scored the eighth-most points per game (28.7) and they allowed the 15th-fewest points per game (23.2), which resulted in a 9-7 mark toward unders. Seattle ended the year with an impressive 8-3 record in one-score games and it won it’s only game that was decided by three scores or more. They also finished with the league’s ninth-best point differential (+88).
Seattle’s 2021 win total (10) moved up by half a win after yet another season with double-digit victories. The Seahawks cruised past their 2020 win total by 2.5 victories and they passed their total with their 10th victory of the season over Washington in Week 15. Entering this season, I have the Seahawks power rated as the ninth-best team in the NFL (+2200 to win Super Bowl LVI), as the fifth-best team in the NFC (+1000 to win the conference), and as the third-best team in the NFC West (+275).
Spreads are first-look lines from the SuperBook, which were released in early June.
|4||@San Francisco 49ers||+3.5||4:05|
|5||Los Angeles Rams||PK||8:20 (Thurs)|
|7||New Orleans Saints||-3||8:15 (Mon)|
|10||@Green Bay Packers||+3||4:25|
|12||@Washington Football Team||-2.5||8:15 (Mon)|
|13||San Francisco 49ers||-1.5||8:20|
|15||@Los Angeles Rams||+4||4:25|
The Seahawks will face the 11th-easiest schedule this season based on 2021 win totals (per Sharp Football) thanks to matchups with the Jaguars, Texans, and Lions. Their schedule is front-loaded with tough matchups before easing up starting in Week 8 with the Jaguars. The Seahawks will look to finish strong in the final five weeks with matchups with the Texans, Bears, Lions, and Cardinals surrounding a big game against the Rams in Week 15. Seattle also gets matchups against the Rams and Bears in Weeks 14-15 in which both of their opponents will play on MNF the week before.
Seattle has a gauntlet of difficult matchups to open the season before its schedule gets much easier to finish the year. They open with seven consecutive matchups with teams lined at 8.5+ wins in the Colts, Titans, Vikings, 49ers, Rams, Steelers, and Saints. The Seahawks are one of 10 teams to face two opponents off of their bye weeks as they’ll take on the rested Saints and rested Jaguars in Weeks 7-8. The NFL also scheduled Seattle for five primetime games in 2021, including road trips to Pittsburgh for SNF in Week 6 and Washington for MNF in Week 12.
Key Off-season Moves
|Gerald Everett (TE)||D’Wayne Eskridge (WR)||Carlos Hyde (RB, Jax)|
|Gabe Jackson (OG)||Tre Brown (CB)||David Moore (WR, Car)|
|Kerry Hyder (DT)||Jacob Hollister (TE, Buf)|
|Al Woods (DT)||Greg Olsen (TE, retired)|
|Ahkello Witherspoon (CB)||Mike Iupati (OG, retired)|
|Pierre Desir (CB)||Jarran Reed (DT, KC)|
|Aldon Smith (OLB)||Bruce Irvin (LB)|
|K.J. Wright (LB)|
|Shaq Griffin (CB, Jax)|
|Quinton Dunbar (CB, Det)|
|Phillip Dorsett (WR, Jax)|
2021 Season Odds
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
|Season Win Total (O/U)||10 (+100/-120)|
Season Prop Movement
Win Total: 9.5 (-110) in late March to 10 (+100)
Super Bowl: +2200 in early February to +2200
Reasons to Bet Over the Season Win Total
The combination of Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll has been a money-making machine during their nine years together. The Seahawks have gone over their season win total in six of Wilson’s nine seasons while Carroll owns a 7-3-1 record to the over in his 11 seasons in Seattle. They’re currently riding a three-year streak of overs entering this season. Wilson-led teams have reached at least nine wins in each of his first nine seasons, with eight of those teams reaching double-digit victories and the playoffs. The Seahawks also currently hold the league’s longest streak with nine straight winning seasons, which have all come with Wilson at quarterback.
One of Wilson’s biggest complaints coming out of last season is that he’s been hit too much in recent seasons. GM John Schneider listened when he pilfered OG Gabe Jackson from the Raiders for a fifth-round pick. His play has slipped a bit in recent seasons but he’s still regarded as a good interior pass blocker. Jackson should help give Wilson more time to find dynamic downfield receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Seattle’s defense also started to play much better in the second half of the season, which coincided with their acquisition of DE Carlos Dunlap in late October. He helped their non-existent pass rush come to life and the Seahawks signed DE Kerry Hyder from the 49ers to give Dunlap and S Jamal Adams more help getting to the quarterback.
Reasons to Bet Under the Season Win Total
The Seahawks will try to hold off a loaded NFC West after their offense faded hard down the stretch in 2020. Wilson butted heads with Carroll and the coaching staff over the direction of the offense at the end of the season, and he was also frustrated with how many hits he’s taken in recent years. His issues boiled over to the off-season when Russ tried to force his way out of Seattle with his agent giving Adam Schefter a list of four teams Wilson would like to be traded to.
We’ll see if there are any lingering effects from the public spat between Wilson and the organization, especially if the Seahawks get out of the gates slowly. They open with seven consecutive matchups against teams lined at 8.5 wins or better in the Colts, Titans, Vikings, 49ers, Rams, Steelers, and Saints. New OC Shane Waldron will have a difficult task keeping run-heavy Carroll happy while also letting Russ do enough cooking to keep him content. Seattle’s offense imploded down the stretch with Carroll trying to re-emphasize a ball-control approach, which culminated in Wilson completing just 40.7% of his passes against the Rams in the Seahawks’ first home playoff loss under Carroll.
Seattle’s roster has become a bit top-heavy and they had just three selections in the draft to improve their depth after trading picks for Jamal Adams, Carlos Dunlap, and Gabe Jackson over the last year. Adams was a better pass rusher than a pass defender last season, and the once-vaunted Legion of Boom has become one of the league’s weakest coverage groups. It’s also a bad sign when a safety leads your team in sacks as Adams did last season so they could have some issues defending some strong passing attacks in the NFC West.
Notable Player Props
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Russell Wilson: passing yards (4250.5), passing TDs (33.5), MVP (+2000), most passing yards (+2000), most passing TDs (+900)
Fantasy Points Projection: passing yards (4100), passing TDs (35)
Best-Case Scenario: Like the first half of 2020, new OC Shane Waldron puts the offense back in Wilson’s hands and he gets back to being a top contender for his first MVP.
Worst-Case-Scenario: Wilson’s woes from the second half of last season creep into 2021, and Pete Carroll can’t help himself and he inserts himself into the offensive decision-making once again.
Chris Carson: rushing yards (1000.5), rushing TDs (7.5), most rushing yards (+2500)
Fantasy Points Projection: rushing yards (960), rushing TDs (7)
Best-Case Scenario: The Seahawks re-signed Carson to a two-year deal this off-season to be their feature back, and he gets back to being a 1000-yard rusher for the third time in four years.
Worst-Case-Scenario: Carson fails to play a full slate of games for the fifth straight year to start his career, and a finally healthy Rashaad Penny is more involved than anticipated.
D.K. Metcalf: receiving yards (1255.5), receiving TDs (9), receptions (84.5) most receiving yards (+1200), most receiving TDs (+1400)
Fantasy Points Projection: receiving yards (1280), receiving TDs (10), receptions (88)
Best-Case Scenario: Metcalf continues to show he’s one the biggest freaks in the league, and he continues to ascend in Year Three after 80+ catches and 1300+ yards last season.
Worst-Case-Scenario: Pete Carroll has his way and reins in the passing game for the entire season, and opposing defenses sell out to stop Metcalf from beating them over the top.
Tyler Lockett: receiving yards (1000.5), receiving TDs (7.5), receptions (86.5), most receiving yards (+5000), most receiving TDs (+2000)
Fantasy Points Projection: receiving yards (890), receiving TDs (8), receptions (79)
Best-Case Scenario: Lockett finds more consistency after his volatile 2020 campaign and he finishes with his third straight season with 80+ catches and 1000+ receiving yards.
Worst-Case-Scenario: Lockett’s 24% target share slips a little more with D.K. Metcalf bogarting more targets and with Gerald Everett stepping into a double-digit target share.
Gerald Everett: receiving yards (505.5), receiving TDs (4)
Fantasy Points Projection: receiving yards (585), receiving TDs (4)
Best-Case Scenario: Everett is finally fully unleashed in his first season away from Tyler Higbee, and he’s used as a threat down the seams by Russell Wilson after he averaged only 6.2 yards on his depth of targets last season.
Worst-Case-Scenario: Everett is once again stuck in a timeshare in his new offense, this time with Will Dissly and he once again fails to reach 500+ receiving yards for a fifth season to start his career.
Seattle Seahawks under 10 wins (-110, FanDuel) — The Seahawks have been a strong bet to go over their win total since Pete Carroll took control of the team 11 years ago with his 7-3-1 mark toward overs. I have my concerns with the Seahawks this season after their offense rotted to the core at the end of last year. New OC Shane Waldron will be asked to marry Carroll’s desire to run the rock with Russell Wilson’s desire to cook, and it could be a tough ask for a first-time offensive coordinator. The Seahawks could still have one of the league’s worst pass defenses too, which could be trouble in an NFC West that just landed Matthew Stafford and Trey Lance this off-season. The Seahawks are a step behind the 49ers and Rams in the division, but I can’t get to the window on this bet since Wilson-led teams have reached at least nine wins in each of his first nine seasons, with eight of those teams reaching double-digit victories and the playoffs.