Seattle Seahawks 2019 Season preview

By Scott Geelan


Despite the vast personnel changes since the Pete Carroll-led Seattle Seahawks first took the league by storm, they are still one of the NFL’s most respected teams. Carroll remains one of the best Head Coaches in the NFL. In Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, the Seahawks have two elite players at critical positions. 2019 will be a fascinating year to follow the Seahawks. Their offense will take on increasing importance. Importantly, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has had another summer to familiarise himself with the Wilson’s idiosyncrasies. Meanwhile on defense, Carroll and DC Ken Norton Jr’s adjustments in a post-Earl Thomas world lacking an elite rusher will be intriguing.

Off Season

Unlike division foes the 49ers and the Cardinals, it’s difficult to look at the Seahawks’ offseason on paper and believe that the team got better. Thomas was always on his way out but his departure will likely enforce more of the coverage tweaks we witnessed in his injury-enforced 2018 absence. Wholesale changes in the Seahawks’ preferred coverage should not be ruled out. 

Frank Clark’s loss and a failure to adequately replace him could be the the real killer however. Alongside the effervescent Wagner, Clark was the key piece for the team to build around. Ziggy Ansah, his replacement, has produced an impressive career. He has however, been injured often and is certainly not the player Clark was. Clark is special as a run defender and pass rusher. Furthermore, he has more polish and variety than Ansah as a pass rusher.

The most exciting addition in the draft for the Seahawks was receiver D.K. Metcalf. With Wilson’s deep ball as well as his talent for making off schedule plays, Metcalf’s combination of size and speed will be a mouthwatering prospect for OC Schottenheimer. 

Look out for linebacker Cody Barton and safety Marquise Blair as well. Barton could quickly become Wagner’s new running mate at linebacker with K.J. Wright ageing. Blair meanwhile, is physically a totally different strong safety than the Seahawk’s previous incumbents. That pick alone could be the clearest indicator that change is afoot in Seattle. The effectiveness of that change will ultimately come down to the coaches. You wouldn’t bet against them.



OC Schottenheimer was widely criticised last season, but this was too harsh. As talented as quarterback Russell Wilson is, he is totally unique in his approach which certainly requires some adjustment. With an offensive line finally capable of doing its job under Mike Solari, it actually made a lot of sense to focus on establishing the run, even if Schottenheimer was a little enthusiastic on early downs. This approach forced teams into heavy boxes. Those boxes need to be even heavier due to the additional the threat Wilson carries with his legs, opening up a lot of space on the back end that Wilson can exploit with his arm and accuracy on the run. Not only that, but time of possession can be shifted heavily into the Seahawks’ favour.

The space created can be exploited by rookie D.K. Metcalf and breakout candidate Tyler Lockett. Lockett has always been well regarded, especially as a special teamer. Nevertheless, this is the first season where he’s the likely wide receiver one in Seattle. Whilst he’s unlikely to match last season’s historic perfect passer rating when targeted, there is a really good chance the former Kansas State speedster passes 1000 yards receiving for the first time in his career. The only question may be how far beyond 1000 yards does he go?

Given the emphasis on running the ball, the Seahawks’ versatile stable of backs will also be crucial. Chris Carson is likely the first option, but behind him it’s all to play for. Rashaad Penny will hope to improve on a disappointing rookie season, but he has the all round game to be successful in the NFL.


The departures of Clark and Thomas will really hurt. Resultantly, Carroll and Ken Norton Jr will have their work cut out to produce a defense capable of living up to those that preceded them. In Thomas’ absence, we will likely see a move away from the type of cover 3 they played for years whilst he patrolled the back end. Other safeties just can’t do what Thomas did. Whether they move significantly towards quarters or introduce further quarters elements to their cover 3 looks will be interesting. 

In Bobby Wagner though, Seattle does still have the NFL’s best linebacker, a crucial position in this scheme. The linebackers always have enormous responsibility. There’s a chance they will carry an even heavier load this season if the team plays more quarters. That makes the pick of Cody Barton even more important. The former Utah man has reportedly looked very good so far in Seahawks colours. It will be interesting to see how quickly Barton gets into the lineup. If Wagner and his partner can hold the fort down underneath, the Seahawks will be able to allow their young defensive backs to help each other out more on the back end.

It’s the defensive front where things become much more murky. In the absence of Clark, the Seahawks lack a truly special pass rusher. Whilst Ansah is good, there appears to be a fundamental lack of pass rushing quality anywhere else along the defensive line. First rounder L.J. Collier looks likely to need significant development before he can become a consistent NFL threat. Furthermore, there is a distinct lack of quality inside. Without a pass rush, it won’t matter much what the Seahawks have behind them.

the verdict

Could this be the first time since 2011 when the Seahawks do not have a record better than .500? Talent wise, this looks like the weakest Seahawks team since then, though Wagner and Wilson are arguably better than they ever have been. Those two, along with their coaches are the key reasons people are still looking at the Seahawks as a playoff contender. The fortress that is CenturyLink Field is another strength of the team. Additionally, the Rams’ Super Bowl hangover perhaps means they too may regress slightly after a phenomenal 2018 season. As a result, whilst the Seahawks are not as strong as they have been, they have a solid chance in what could be an extremely competitive NFC West in 2019. Nevertheless, I think they’ll likely be around .500.

Record Prediction: 8-8

Scott Geelan


Scott is a law student and will be covering the nfc west for the touchdown. you can also find his work at niners nation & Nothing but niners. He lives in Birmingham


Image Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports