The Detroit Lions delivered a butt-whipping out of their bye week. Now, they’ll have to avoid the same fate.
This week, the Seattle Seahawks are coming in fresh and healthy off their bye week, and—much like the Lions—they are trending in the right direction. Having won three of their last four games, the Seahawks are not dead, as many assumed they would be. How have they managed to keep the team competitive despite losing so many key players? Let’s check the weekly scouting report:
9-7 record (2nd in NFC West)
11th in points scored, 13th in points allowed
Overall DVOA: 14th (14th on offense, 13th on defense)
Key free agent additions: TE Ed Dickson, LB Barkevious Mingo, G D.J. Fluker, WR Brandon Marshall, K Sebastian Janikowski, S Maurice Alexander
Key losses: CB Richard Sherman, DL Michael Bennett, DT Sheldon Richardson, DE Cliff Avril, CB DeShawn Shead, TE Luke Willson, TE Jimmy Graham
2018 NFL draft picks:
Round 1, 27 overall - RB Rashaad Penny
Round 3, Pick 79 - DT Rasheem Green
Round 4, Pick 120 - TE Will Dissly
Round 5, Pick 141 - LB Shaquem Griffin
Round 5, Pick 146 - S Tre Flowers
Round 5, Pick 149 - P Michael Dickson
Round 5, Pick 168 - T Jamarco Jones
Round 6, Pick 186 - LB Jacob Martin
Round 7, Pick 220 - QB Alex McGough
This appeared to be the year that the Seattle Seahawks blew up everything and started over. It was only a matter of time before their excellent drafting five years ago caught up with them. They couldn’t realistically sign everyone to an extension, so they seemingly got rid of everyone. Just look at that “key losses” section. There’s a lot of Pro Bowls, All Pro nods and Super Bowls among that group.
The most publicized losses came in the secondary, where the Legion of Boom was declared dead. Gone is Richard Sherman. Kam Chancellor is dealing with a potential career-ending injury. The one guy that’s a holdover from the championship secondary, Earl Thomas, suffered a season-ending injury and remains pissed at the team.
This was as close to a complete overhaul as you can get for one team, but they were aggressive in recouping talent in free agency.
2018 season thus far (3-3)
- 17th in points scored, 5th in points allowed
- 10th in DVOA (20th on offense, 4th on defense, 19th on special teams)
Despite all of the key losses on defense, the Seahawks are managing to keep it together on that side of the ball. In just about every statistical category, the Seahawks rank in the top 10. Here’s a sampling:
- 4th in yards per passing attempt allowed (6.8)
- 3rd in passer rating allowed (79.9)
- 4th in points allowed per drive (1.71)
- t-6th in interceptions (9)
However, you may have noticed I left out one key piece of their defense: their ability to stop the run. That’s because they’ve been uncharacteristically bad at doing so, allowing 4.7 yards per carry (t-25th).
That being said, they still have quite a few playmakers on that defense to fear. The defensive line is headed by youngsters Frank Clark and Jarran Reed, while veteran Bobby Wagner remains a force in the second level.
However, most impressive is the Seahawks’ ability to maintain quality play in the secondary. Safeties Tedric Thompson and Bradley McDougald are playing like top-10 defensive backs right now.
Offensively, Seattle is still working out some kinks. It’s clear they want their identity to surround the running game again, as they run the ball more than anyone else in the league. Their success has been moderate, averaging 4.3 yards per carry with their trio of running backs: Chris Carson, Mike Davis and rookie Rashaad Penny. Carson brings the boom, Davis brings the balance, and Penny brings the quickness.
Russell Wilson remains a big threat, despite the fact that he hasn’t run the ball much at all this year (62 rushing yards). The biggest story here, though, may be that the Seahawks found themselves an offensive line that is much better than it looks on paper. They haven’t been phenomenal—they’ve allowed 19 sacks, second most among teams that have only played six games—but they’ve held together more than expected.
Put it all together, and you have a very good defense and an average offense. That’s a lot more than most were expecting after a tumultuous offseason.
Vegas line for Sunday: Lions by 3