Seattle Seahawks preview 2023: Over or under 9 wins? Chances to claim NFC West title?

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) and wide receiver DK Metcalf walk on the field during the NFL football team's training camp, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

It’s NFL team preview time, and today we’re looking at the Seattle Seahawks. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from July 25 through Sept. 8, we will take an in-depth look at each team in the NFL with a 7- to 10-minute video going through impactful additions and departures, last year’s rankings and strength of schedule in 2023.

Home Field Sports analyst Jim Derry will then make a prediction on the team’s record this season and where they will finish in their respective division, along with the over/under win total, as posted at Caesars Sportsbook.

These stories are a brief summary of the accompanied preview videos – powered by the Dattitude Podcast (which will review each division every Friday until the season begins). The schedule for when each team will run is listed below with a link to each story and video that already has run.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Coach: Pete Carroll (14th season)

2022 record: 9-8, 2nd in NFC West; lost to San Francisco, 41-23, in wild-card round.

Last season in a nutshell: Much better than almost anyone expected – likely including Pete Carroll.

Maybe we exaggerate a little bit, but the Seahawks had every excuse in the book to be terrible in 2022, and we certainly took the bait in this same spot last season. Hell, at this time last year, we didn’t even know whether Geno Smith or Drew Lock would start at quarterback.

Well, Geno took the job and ran with it. (Not literally, because he doesn’t run very much.) Today, coming off a 9-8 season in which he passed for just shy of 4,300 yards and 30 touchdowns, optimism is high. In fact, the Seahawks are a trendy pick to unseat the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC West crown.

Don’t be fooled: the 31-year-old quarterback had a lot of help. Rookie Kenneth Walker took over when Rashaad Penny got hurt and never looked back. He rushed for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns, while DJ Metcalf and Tyler Lockett each had more than 1,000 yards receiving with 258 combined catches and 15 scores.

If the defense could have been just a little better, who knows how far this team could have gone. They gave up 41 points in the playoff game against the 49ers, and they allowed 27 or more points in six other games during the regular season.

In all, they were 26th in overall defense but were 30th against the pass. In their defense, they were much better in the second half of the season and allowed fewer than 300 yards in each of their last three games against the Chiefs, Jets and Rams, respectively.

2023 bye week: 5

2023 Draft: 1 (5th overall) CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois; 1 (20) WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State; 2 (37) LB Derick Hall, Auburn; 2 (52) RB Zach Charbonnet, UCLA; 4 (108) G Anthony Bradford, LSU; 4 (123) DT Cameron Young, Mississippi State; 5 (151) C Olsegun Oluwatimi, Michigan; 6 (198) S Jerrick Reed, New Mexico; 7 (237) RB Kenny McIntosh, Georgia.

Free-agent signings: DE Dremont Jones (from Denver), 3 years, $51.53M; S Julian Love (from NY Giants), 2 years, $12M; DE Jarran Reed (from Green Bay), 2 years, $9M; LB Bobby Wagner, 1 year, $5.5M; LB Devin Bush (from Pittsburgh), 1 year, $3.5M; G Evan Brown (from Detroit), 1 year, $2.25M; DE Mario Edwards (from Tennessee), 1 year, $1.32M.

What needs to go right: Well, a lot of things. First off, Smith needs to be at least as good as he was last year, and that is asking a lot of a guy who had never really done much before 2022. (Of course, it helps when you have guys like Metcalf, Lockett and now Smith-Njigba.)

Also on offense, Walker needs to take the next step in his progression. Can he avoid that professional sophomore slump? How much will Charbonnet get on the field, and will he need to?

Can this offensive line be better than they have been? Ranked 27th by Pro Football Focus, that number will not allow Smith to find his receivers, especially on deep routes.

On defense, they HAVE to improve. Getting Wagner back and Jones from the Broncos helps, but they cannot have lapses like they had in the first half of last year.

The schedule is easier this season (11th easiest in the league), and the first four games could get the Seahawks out to a good start (against the Rams, Lions, Panthers and Giants), but the early bye is not a good thing.

If they don’t start at least 3-1, they could have a problem with a much tougher second two-thirds, including the AFC North, San Francisco twice, defending NFC champ Philly and at Tennessee.

Key moments in video: Everything went right for Geno Smith and company in 2022 (1:35); What did the Seahawks do to upgrade their offensive line? (3:05); Rankings from last season, and will they improve on them? (3:45);  Easiest and toughest parts of schedule (5:20); Over/Under win totals, predictions and projected record and finish in division (8:03).

PREVIEW SCHEDULE / LINKS

AFC SOUTH

July 25: Houston Texans

July 26: Indianapolis Colts

July 27: Jacksonville Jaguars

July 28: Tennessee Titans

NFC WEST

Aug. 1: Arizona Cardinals

Aug. 2: Los Angeles Rams

Aug. 3: San Francisco 49ers

Aug. 4: Seattle Seahawks

AFC WEST

Aug. 8: Denver Broncos

Aug. 9: Kansas City Chiefs

Aug. 10: Las Vegas Raiders

Aug. 11: Los Angeles Chargers

NFC EAST

Aug. 15: Dallas Cowboys

Aug. 16: New York Giants

Aug. 17: Philadelphia Eagles

Aug. 18: Washington Commanders

AFC EAST

Aug. 22: Buffalo Bills

Aug. 23: Miami Dolphins

Aug. 24: New England Patriots

Aug. 25: New York Jets

NFC NORTH

Aug. 29: Chicago Bears

Aug. 29: Detroit Lions

Aug. 30: Green Bay Packers

Aug. 30: Minnesota Vikings

AFC NORTH

Aug. 31: Baltimore Ravens

Aug. 31: Cincinnati Bengals

Sept. 1: Cleveland Browns

Sept. 2: Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC SOUTH

Sept. 5: Atlanta Falcons

Sept. 6: Carolina Panthers

Sept. 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sept. 8: New Orleans Saints

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