Seattle Seahawks 2011 NFL Predictions
Here is our 2011 NFL prediction for the Seattle Seahawks.
Never before has a team benefited from being in a weak division more so than last year’s Seahawks. New head coach Pete Carroll led the team to the division title and took them to the playoffs with a record of 7-9. The Seahawks then went on to host the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints and beat them in a shootout. They lost in the second round to the Bears. In the offseason the team lost their veteran quarterback and the heart of the defense. Carroll was brought in to rebuild the team last season and made the playoffs by a fluke. That is likely not going to happen this year.
The Seahawks troubles run deep. They do not have a proven starting quarterback. Long time backup Tarvaris Jackson was brought in as the likely starter, but he will compete with Matt Leinhart who has never lived up to his high draft pick status. The Seahawks are likely to be a sub-five hundred team again this year, but I would not look to them to return to the playoffs.
Offense: Pete Carroll brings with him the system that helped lead UFC to national titles and also made a star out of Leinart. Perhaps under this system Leinart will be able to find that form again and thrive. If not Jackson may live up to the hype that was heaped on him in Minnesota, but was never given a chance to show because of the signing of Brett Favre. The offense did add all-pro TE Zach Miller and G Robert Gallery from the Raiders.
The passing offense was never terrible in Seattle with Matt Hasselbeck and is likely to suffer a little with his departure. The real problem is that last year the Seahawks had almost no running offense. They finished the season ranked 31st and did very little to improve on that. The lack of a running game will potentially hurt the development of whoever eventually wins the starting QB job. Don’t look for the Seahawks to light up the scoreboard this season.
Defense: The loss of Lofa Tatupu is huge. He was a fan favorite, a very good player and the heart and soul of the Seahawk defense. The defense is young and will lean heavily on defensive coordinator Casey Bradley. At times last year the Seahawk defense showed signs that they can be special. They have some speed and twice last year held teams to under 10 points, but they still have a ways to go.
Special Teams: Special team’s coordinator Brian Schneider has some decisions to make in the preseason. The team brought in veteran PK Jeff Reed to compete with young, strong legged, Brandon Coutu to see who will replace now departed veteran Olindo Mare. Current veteran punter Jon Ryan will also have some competition from rookie John Gold. The special teams return and kick teams were both bright spots for the team last year so look for that to be one of the areas that the team will thrive in this year.
Coaches: Head coach Pete Carroll had mixed results the last time he was an NFL head coach. He twice took the Patriots to the playoffs, but left the team after disputes with the ownership. He had amazing success at USC and is bringing the aggressive style that worked for him there to the Seahawks. With most of the veterans of the past Seahawk successes now gone this is wholly Carroll’s team. His hiring of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell who is very familiar with Jackson and new WR Sidney Rice should help the development of the passing game. The team is young and will look to Carroll and Bevell for leadership.
Prediction: 6-10 third, NFC West
Odds of winning the Super Bowl – 60/1
Odds of winning the NFC Championship – 30-1