On Sunday, the Seahawks begin another season with Super Bowl aspirations. An offseason of projections and prognostications will finally give way to real-life football — in front of real-life fans!
But until then, all we have are our best guesses as to how the season should play out. And national media members have been very split on how they think the Seahawks’ season will play out. As one analyst put it: “They’ve been really good for a long time, it’s been a long time though since they’ve been great.”
The prevailing wisdom from most is that Seattle will be up against the league’s stiffest competition in the NFC West, but should grab one of the three Wild Card playoff spots. And most pundits think the Seahawks are a step below the Rams and the 49ers in the division.
Will Russell Wilson lead the Seahawks to the playoffs for the ninth time in his ten seasons under center? The predictions run the gamut, from Super Bowl contender to a below .500 team that misses the playoffs.
Here’s how national media members predict Seattle’s season will go.
Seattle Times Staff picks: 7 of 10 predict playoffs
The Seahawks are a good team, but not a great team. They are loaded offensively personnel-wise, but the fact that they couldn’t put up points in the second half of last season is concerning.
CBS Sports: 6 of 7 predict playoffs
There was a lot of disagreement over the Seahawks among CBS Sports’ seven NFL writers, as Seattle received at least one vote to finish in first, second, third and fourth in the NFC West. Only one, Jonathan Jones, picked the Seahawks to win the NFC West. And five of the remaining six picked them to finish as a wild card. Only Pete Prisco predicted Seattle would miss the playoffs with a fourth-place finish in the division. None of them picked the Seahawks to make the Super Bowl.
ESPN FPI projection: Seahawks start 0-5, finish 5-12
In this simulation, Seattle started the year with a loss … then another loss … and then another. By midseason, the team was the shock of the league, staring at an 0-8 record. Six of those losses were by one score, though the Seahawks were pummeled in Week 6 by the Steelers in a 29-point loss. As the season passed its midway point, no other team stood winless. Seattle lost again in Week 10 to drop to 0-9, ensuring a losing season for the first time since 2011, before finally getting a 26-20 win in Week 11 against Arizona. The ball started bouncing the Seahawks’ way down the stretch, and Seattle ultimately closed the book on the season at 5-12. But it wasn’t enough to avoid major shake-up on the coaching staff and the roster.
FiveThirtyEight: Seahawks have 56% chance at playoffs
Five Thirty Eight’s predictions, which are “based on 50,000 simulations of the season” and use “Elo ratings (a measure of strength based on head-to-head results and quality of opponent),” give the Seahawks a 56% chance at making the playoffs, a 27% shot at winning the NFC West and only an 8% chance at a first-round bye. Their average simulated record comes out to 10-7 with a +40.5 point differential. As for the Super Bowl, the site gives Seattle only a 4% chance at hoisting the Lombardi. But those come in as the seventh-best odds, tied with the Browns, 49ers and Titans. Those odds trail the Bucs, Chiefs, Bills, Packers, Ravens and Rams.
Deadspin: ‘Seahawks could legit finish last this season’
With the Seahawks being in such a tough division like the NFC West it wouldn’t be a shock to see this team take a step back and potentially fall into third or even last place within the division. If Wilson ever hopes to garner any MVP votes he’ll need to be great through an entire season. Like last season, there seems to be a point every year where Wilson tends to fall off or run out of steam around the same time other QBs begin to ramp up. Russ might want to start eating his Wheaties again and continue to eat them through the entire season. Maybe this strategy will produce a different outcome in January. If they get there.
The Guardian: Seahawks are NFL’s most underrated team in 2021
Melissa Jacobs writes: It’s weird to think of the NFC West champs as underrated but many don’t see Seattle repeating. Sure, others in the division improved but Seattle should have an upgraded defense, a receiving corps that rivals that of any other team, and most importantly, Russell Wilson.
Four of the Guardian’s five writers predict the Seahawks will make the playoffs, with no one picking them to win the NFC West. And no one sees Seattle advancing to the NFC title game.
NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund: Seahawks projected to miss playoffs
With an 8.6 projected win total, Frelund projects the Seahawks to miss the playoffs in 2021. “I realistically think that all four of these teams have a chance … to make it to the playoffs,” she said on a recent segment. “But for me, the Seahawks are last. 8.6 (wins) forecasted due to the defense, not Russell Wilson.”
FOX Sports’ Kevin Wildes: Seahawks win the NFC West
SI’s MMQB staff: 6 of 8 predict playoffs
While four of the MMQB writers predict an NFC West team will make the Super Bowl, and two pick them as winners, it’s not the Seahawks getting any of that love. The Rams and 49ers are overwhelmingly more popular in this batch of predictions with runs to the NFC Conference Championship for at least one in each writer’s picks. As for the Seahawks, six of the eight writers predict they’ll make the playoffs by securing a wild card — with none choosing them to win their second straight NFC West title. None of the six have the Seahawks making the NFC title game, and only three see them advancing past the first round.
‘Good Morning Football’ host Peter Schrager: Wilson will win MVP in 2021
“Russell Wilson is going to be amazing this year,” Schrager said on Wednesday’s episode. “New offense with Shane Waldron, a different type of offensive line. And what I love the most — DK another year, Lockett another year, and Russell Wilson with a chip on his shoulder that is as big as Mount Olympus.”
ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson: ‘Seahawks will lead the NFL in sacks’
They led the league in sacks over the final 12 weeks of last season and return all but one of their top pass-rushers from that group. The addition of DE Kerry Hyder Jr. in free agency, and DE Darrell Taylor’s return from his lost rookie season, should be more than enough to make up for Jarran Reed’s departure. With Taylor taking over at strongside linebacker and a scheme adjustment to their defensive front, the Seahawks will have an extra pass-rushing threat on the field most of the time.
USA TODAY: 7 of 7 predict playoffs
It’s more of the same from USA TODAY’s NFL experts. While all seven predict the Seahawks will make the playoffs, only two are picking them to win the NFC West. None of the experts select a Seattle player or Pete Carroll to take home any of the year-end awards, though. And most importantly, the Seahawks aren’t picked to win the NFC or the Super Bowl.