Seahawks Preview Capsule
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-7)
New faces: RB Rashaad Penny, OL D.J. Fluker, WR Jaron Brown, WR Brandon Marshall, TE Ed Dickson, TE Will Dissly, DT Tom Johnson, DT Shamar Stephen, LB Barkevious Mingo, LB Shaquem Griffin, DE Rasheem Green, QB Brett Hundley, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., offensive line coach Mike Solari.
Key losses: TE Jimmy Graham, WR Paul Richardson, RB Eddie Lacy, DE Michael Bennett, DE Cliff Avril, SS Kam Chancellor, CB Richard Sherman.
Strengths: Despite changes, still have one of best quarterbacks in NFL. Russell Wilson tied career high with 34 TD passes last season. Offense should rely less on Wilson with recommitment to run game. RBs Chris Carson and Penny are major upgrade. Defense will be massively different but still have two of top LBs in Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.
Weaknesses: Defense has major questions after departures of Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor. Holdout of safety Earl Thomas clouded entire preseason. Wagner and Wright provide stability, though Wright may miss start of season after knee surgery. Big issue will be pass rush outside of Frank Clark. Most holes on defense since 2011, last time Seattle finished with below .500 record.
Fantasy Players To Watch: RB Chris Carson. Seattle committed to run under new OC Schottenheimer and with Penny suffering broken finger in preseason, Carson will get bulk of work early. He could be big value selection later in drafts.
Vegas Says: Super Bowl 60-1. Over/under wins 7.5.
Expectations: Seahawks continue to say roster turnover is part of reset — latest move was acquiring backup to Wilson from Green Bay in Brett Hundley — but looks more and more like rebuild. This does not look to be team capable of winning NFC West. Wilson and Wagner give Seattle hope of being competitive in every game, but amount of questions give pause. If new offensive focus clicks and defensive losses aren’t as significant, Seattle could contend for wild-card spot. If concerns about roster prove accurate, could be longest, least successful season of Pete Carroll’s tenure.