3 Reasons the Seattle Seahawks Can Still Win the NFC West in 2018

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson NFL NFC West
(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Reason No. 1: Russell Wilson, Russell Wilson and Russell Wilson

It’s important to tier quarterbacks. Most of the NFL’s established starters fall somewhere in that middle tier — players who’ll win you games if they have an excellent supporting cast around them.

And then there are the elite ones, who raise the level of play from the guys around them. Only a few belong in this category, such as the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, who is the sole reason why his team is a perennial playoff contender each and every year he’s healthy.

Just look at Rodgers’ injury-plagued 2017 campaign last year to see why he’s so important to Green Bay.

Wilson is on the cusp of that elite level. And 2018 will be a true test to see if he belongs in the top tier. The Seahawks defense isn’t the stout force it once was. Yet it’s not a complete liability either, which bodes well for Wilson. Still, Wilson’s playmaking abilities will have to reach unfound heights if Seattle hopes to reclaim the NFC West crown this season.

It’s reasonable to think it happens too.

First, let’s dispel the idea Wilson will struggle with the lack of offensive line protection (if you aren’t convinced already from the previous slide). In 2018, no other quarterback was pressured more than Wilson. His 271 under-pressure dropbacks were most in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus, and yet he still managed an accuracy percentage of 66.5. Rodgers, one of the league’s best QBs operating under pressure, was only two-tenths of a point higher at 66.7.

And if Seattle finds itself in the thick of things during the latter half of the season, that’s good for Wilson too. His career passer ratings in the months of November and December are 102.3 and 101.7, respectively, compared to in the 90s during September and October.

Wilson got by without an established ground attack (other than his own) the last two seasons too. He tossed for over 4,200 yards back in 2016 and nearly hit 4,000 yards again last season, while leading the league in passing touchdowns in 2017 with 34.

Stat-wise, there’s little to deny the idea Wilson could put this team on his shoulders this year. True, the context is entirely different and the supporting cast that made up the Seahawks for much of Wilson’s career has changed significantly.

Still, it’s a bad idea to bet against Wilson. Because of that, and the other reasons listed, it’s perfectly reasonable to see Seattle returning to the top of the NFC West again once this season is finished.

6 Comments

  1. It is ok to vote MMQB opinions. BUT it is imperative to remember that those opinions are of a micro-relevance because MMQB and others of that sort are almost always wrong such how they predicted that the Eagles and MVP Foles stood no chance against the Patriots. And they would have been correct except for those many missed penalty calls on illegal Eagles plays. But the bottom line is the Eagles still won the Super Bowl and MMQB was all wrong again.
    Seattle has just as good a chance to compete for the championship than any team, even with MMQB citing what they believe are reasons why Seattle or any other will fail to win out.

  2. LOL at “Still”. The season hasn’t even started yet! The upcoming season bears a lot of resemblance to the Seahawks’ 2012 season, and I’m optimistic the next 3 seasons will turn out in a similar way to our last SB run. Anyone dismissing Seattle as a contender this year hasn’t been paying attention, and I’m looking forward to the “experts” trying to rewrite history (again) when they’re proven wrong (again). It’s a great time to be a Seahawks fan. =D

  3. The defense lives or dies on its d-linemen stopping the run and putting pressure on the opposing QB. I don’t see reason for that optimism so far. The offense must control the clock and not fall behind in scoring to make this run-emphasize offense be relevant. I again don’t see that happening often. Misdirection and read option plays will be the key to winning. 6-10 if Wilson stays upright; 3-13 if he goes down early in the season. Wish we had those two picks back!

    • JoeB just watch the starting units during the first two preseason games. If not for a total ticky tack call on Dissly we start with two scoring drives. Earl has to come back and when he does he solidifies the back end and our new pass rush is going to be powerful. See Green 3 sacks and Clark really getting into game shape. Jordan will return and be a force so the playoffs are coming this year. The ground game will explode with the one two punch of Penny and Carson and if Procise is back he can be a huge factor. Marshall better than Graham in the entire field and red zone. Chin up or are you even a fan of the Hawks? Trolling.. probably

      • Not a troll. Just a semi-depressed fan. Here’s hoping that your predictions are right and the pieces come together.
        I’d rather be awful for a few years while reloading new talent, like in 2010-12. Just not a slew of 8-8 seasons.

  4. The Seahawks have outstanding athaleets! They need to find ways to play together and make the player next to them even better!!! Robinet

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