With no Seahawks game to grade this week, it’s instead the perfect time to grade the team at midseason.

Well, what counts for midseason in the NFL these days, anyway, with the new 17-game schedule and Seattle having played eight games with nine to go.

So, here’s my assessment of what we’ve seen out of each position group so far.


For all the hemming and hawing over the offense, before he was injured, Russell Wilson had the highest passer rating of his career (125.3) and was on pace to have the highest yards per attempt (9.26) and yards per completion (13.3) as well as his best TD-to-INT ratio (10-1). His TD percentage of 8.0 is also the second best of his career. There was no way Geno Smith was going to replicate those numbers on a moment’s notice, but given everything, he’s been just fine.

Grade: A-minus

Running back

The numbers bear out that the running game hasn’t been as good this year as last season. The Seahawks are averaging 4.2 yards per carry in 2021 compared to 4.8 last year, which was tied for third best in team history. That Wilson isn’t running as much (4.0 yards per carry compared to 6.2 last year) is a factor. So is the loss of Chris Carson for four games — his average of 4.3 is better than the next three running backs who have been used the most (Alex Collins 4.1, DeeJay Dallas 3.5, Rashaad Penny 1.6). The backs also haven’t been quite as active in the passing game as advertised — 3.5 combined receptions per game compared to five last year. While Collins has been solid, Seattle needs Carson back.

Grade: B-minus


The exceedingly high expectations for the offense based on the change in coordinator may be influencing the perceptions of the seasons of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who each are basically on pace for similar seasons to a year ago, when each set team records. Metcalf already has eight TDs compared to his 10 of last year, on pace to break a team record (which is 14). Metcalf is also averaging 4.9 receptions per game (5.2 in 2020) and 72.5 yards per game (81.4 last year). And his passer rating when targeted is a whopping 142.9, far better than his first two years. Lockett’s 72.4 yards per game is the best of his career and 5.1 receptions tied for second best. And Freddie Swain (16-169-2) has already bettered last year’s numbers. And according to NBC Sports, the Seahawks have dropped just two passes, fewest in the NFL.


Grade: A-minus

Tight end

The thought was new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron would also get the tight ends involved more in the passing game. That has yet to happen. Seattle’s tight ends last year combined for 75 catches in 16 games. The TEs this year have 25 in eight games. Gerald Everett (14 catches) missing two games obviously is a factor. Will Dissly has 10 catches for 118 yards and a TD, not far off the 24-251 he had last year. And the numbers show Dissly has been used more as a receiver — he’s been kept in to block 205 times in 407 snaps this year compared to 445 of 768 last year. Maybe the production will pick up in the second half.

Grade: C-plus

Offensive line

Seattle’s offensive line has hardly been the best in the NFL, as the team seemed to admit when it made a change last week to go back to Ethan Pocic at center in place of Kyle Fuller. But by most advanced metrics, it’s also hardly been the worst. Seattle has the 16th best pass-block win rate, according to ESPN, and is 22nd in run blocking. Guard Gabe Jackson has been Seattle’s best pass blocker, via Pro Football Focus, rated ninth of all guards, and right tackle Brandon Shell the best run blocker, 24th of all tackles. What Seattle could use is a consistent return to form from left tackle Duane Brown, ranked 30th among left tackles by PFF compared to fifth last year. But he’s coming off his second-best game of the year against Jacksonville.

Grade: C

Defensive line

This is a tale of two lines. Seattle’s run-stop rate is the best in the NFL, according to ESPN, at 33%, with tackles Al Woods and Poona Ford each rated among the top 17 in the NFL against the run. But the pass rush is another matter as Seattle ranks just 18th in pass rush win rate, via ESPN. Darrell Taylor has the 29th best pass rush grade among rushers, via PFF. But of ends with enough snaps to qualify no one else is above 55th (Carlos Dunlap). And the conventional numbers bear that out as Seattle ranks 26th in the NFL in sacks per game with 1.75.

Grade: C-plus


This has been one of the more interesting groups to monitor so far.

Benson Mayowa has emerged as Seattle’s strongside linebacker, when it uses one, dropping into coverage 55 times this year, via PFF. He’s allowed four receptions on four targets for 28 yards and a TD, via PFF. Second-year player Jordyn Brooks has emerged as the full-time weakside linebacker, playing well against the run but with the team seeming to acknowledge his coverage still needs some work by often taking him off the field on third-and-longs, replaced by Ryan Neal as a sixth DB. And while some locally may question if Bobby Wagner is playing at the same level as the past, PFF seems to think he basically is as he is rated 10th overall of all linebackers — eighth against the pass and 13th against the run.

Grade: B-minus


The raw pass defense numbers are obviously not good — 273.9 yards allowed per game, 26th overall, and 6.5 yards per attempt, 19th. But Seattle has played better when it’s mattered. The Seahawks have given up just 10 passing TDs, 10th best in the NFL. The cornerback spot seems solidified with the move of D.J. Reed back to the right side and insertion of Tre Brown on the left. Quandre Diggs has been the biggest playmaker on defense with three interceptions — though unfortunately, those are the only three Seattle has.

Jamal Adams’ play is the subject of huge debate. After making 9.5 sacks last season, he has zero this year, being used far less as a pass rusher (38 pass rush snaps in eight games this year compared to 104 in 12 games last year). And how well he’s played in pass defense basically comes down to how much blame you give him for the big plays against the 49ers (Pete Carroll did not) or Rams (Carroll basically called it a fluke play). If you take those two out, then Adams has allowed 13 receptions for 109 yards and 1 TD when in direct coverage, via PFF, a passer rating allowed of 83.4, much better than the 121.7 of a year ago.

Grade: C-minus

Special teams

Kicker Jason Myers has had a rockier start to this season, though it’s hard to go a perfect 24 of 24 again. Myers is 7 of 11 this year, including missing 3 of 8 from inside 50. Punter Michael Dickson leads the NFL in punts (43, and OK, not really an accomplishment to be proud of) but also leads the NFL in punts inside the 20 (23), which compares favorably to last year when he had 33 of 63 downed inside the 20. Seattle ranks in the top 14 in both punt and kickoff returns with sizable edges over its opponents in each category, indicating the coverage teams are doing a good job.

Grade: B