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2015 NFL Season Preview- Seattle Seahawks
Seattle was one play away from repeating as Super Bowl champions.
After struggling to a 3-3 record, they went on a 9-1 run to finish the season. They repeated as NFC West champions and finished in a three way tie with the Packers and Cowboys for the NFC's best record, but earned the number one seed based on tiebreakers, securing home field advantage for the second consecutive season. This was the first time that a defending Super Bowl champion retained the number one seed in the next season since 1990. Seattle opened the playoffs with a win over the Panthers in the Divisional round, becoming the first defending champion since the 2005 Patriots to win a playoff game the following season. In one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, the Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl by defeating the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime after trailing 16-0 at halftime and 19-7 with less than three minutes left in regulation. In Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks were defeated by the Patriots 28-24 on a last minute interception that would have won the game for Seattle.
Quarterback Russell Wilson continued his emergence as one of the most dangerous run/pass options in the NFL and earned elite status by leading Seattle to their second straight Super Bowl. There are still questions about his passing, but his results on the field say it all as he has a 36-12 record in three seasons as a starter. Running back Marshawn Lynch had his best season as a Seahawk as he was the heart and soul of the offense. The team traded wide receiver Percy Harvin midway through the year after having locker room altercations with teammates and sitting himself out, refusing to go back on the field. Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse are dependable receivers but aren't game changer by any means. For the second straight season, the offensive line was a mess as the team started eight different lineups throughout the year.
The defensive line played better against the run than in 2013 despite losing three key players to free agency. The linebacker unit that was thought to be the leagues best was off balanced early on before coming into their own. The secondary was still the best in football and should stay that way with key members under contract through 2017. Richard Sherman had his best season as he established himself as the best cornerback in football. Safety Earl Thomas has such imposing speed, he rarely gets tested. Kam Chancellor struggled with health issues for much of the year but played as well as any safety down the stretch.
The rookie class was average at best. Wide receiver Paul Richardson was productive towards the end of the year before going on IR. Tackle Justin Britt did enough to earn the starting right tackle job and should retain that going into next season.
Seahawks 2014 Rankings
Opponent Passing Yards
Opponent Rushing Yards
NFL Rank- 27th
NFL Rank- 1st
NFL Rank- 1st
NFL Rank- 3rd
NFL Rank- 9th
NFL Rank- 1st
Despite finishing the year with a heartbreaking Super Bowl loss, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider know the team is still in contention to make it back to the big game. The big improvement Seattle must make is adding weapons for Russell Wilson as the passing offense ranked towards the bottom of the league.
Notable Additions- TE Jimmy Graham, CB Will Blackmon, CB Cary Williams
Notable Departures- TE Zach Miller, TE Tony Moeaki, G James Carpenter, C Max Unger, DT Kevin Williams, OLB Malcolm Smith, CB Byron Maxwell
Seahawks 2014 Highlights
2015 NFL Draft
Seattle didn't have a pick until the second round, because they traded the 31st overall pick and center Max Unger to New Orleans for tight end Jimmy Graham. They had many positions that needed to be addressed including wide receiver, offensive linemen, defensive tackle.
Percy Harvin was traded midseason, Paul Richardson may not be ready for the start of the season, and Kevin Norwood progressed slowly. A dominant presence at wide receiver is needed.
Max Unger is now in New Orleans, James Carpenter is in New York, and Russell Okung has a documented injury history. Seattle needs more depth on the offensive line.
Kevin Williams is now in New Orleans and Brandon Mebane was injured most of last year. The Seahawks need at least two big bodies in the middle.
Seattle ended up selecting Michigan defensive end Frank Clark in the second round. Clark is a downhill defensive end who can play on the other side of the line. The big knock on him is he had multiple off field issues during his time at Michigan and was dismissed from the football team in November after being arrested on domestic violence charges.
The Seahawks also notably drafted Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett in the third round. Lockett has smooth speed to stretch the field vertically and has the added dimension of being a return specialist. The concern with him is his shorter than ideal size as he has short arms and small hands with a limited catch radius.
Tyler Lockett Highlights
What to Expect
This team is capable of doing what Buffalo did in the 90's, only they can win the big game.
Russell Wilson will enjoy having Jimmy Graham as a downfield target. Marshawn Lynch should be able to continue his "Beast Mode" ways but either Christian Michael or Robert Turbin has to prove they can be the successor one day. The wide receiver corps has to step and improve on last year's inconsistencies. Tyler Lockett has the potential to have a Percy Harvin like type of skill set, but without all of the attitude issues.
The defense should remain dominant as long as the key pieces of the "Legion of Boom" are in place and healthy.
Despite losing some offensive linemen and not adding ideal playmaker on the outside, Seattle is still in a great position to return to the Super Bowl and win it.
Best record they can hope for: 13-3