Thursday, September 1, 2016

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - 2016 Season Preview

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS                                                                                  

2015 Record:  10-6-0

Head Coach:  Pete Carroll

New Faces for 2016 -  CB Brandon Browner, DL Chris Clemons, OL J'Marcus Webb, DL Tavaris Barnes, TE Brandon Williams, DL Silver Siliga, OL Bradley Sowell

OFFENSE:  After passing for 4,024 yards with 34 touchdowns and just eight interceptions, Russell Wilson is ready for another season as the starting quarterback. Wilson also rushed for 553 yards (5.4 ypc average) and scored one rushing touchdown. Trevone Boykin will likely be the backup.
Thomas Rawls (830 yards, 5.6 ypc, four TD) takes over as the featured running back after Marshawn Lynch retired following the 2015 season. Christine Michael is back for a second tour of duty with the Seahawks and he averaged 4.9 yards per carry in limited action last season. Rookie C.J. Prosise (Notre Dame) adds even more depth to the backfield.
Doug Baldwin (78 receptions for 1,069 yards and 14 TD) and Jermaine Kearse (49, 685, five TD) will be the primary receivers along with tight end Jimmy Graham, who made 48 grabs for 605 yards and two touchdowns while missing five games. Tyler Lockett (51, 664, six TD), Paul Richardson and backup TE Luke Willson (17, 213, one TD) will also be in the fold this season.

DEFENSE:  Up front in the 4-3 set are tackles Jordan Hill and Ahtyba Rubin along with the ends, Michael Bennett (10 QB sacks) and Cliff Avril, who registered nine sacks. Frank Clark (three sacks), rookie Jarran Reed (Alabama), Chris Clemons and Sealver Siliga will spell the starters.
The linebackers feature Bobby Wagner in the middle along with outside men Mike Morgan and K.J. Wright. Backing up will be Brock Coyle, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Tavaris Barnes.
The secondary has Richard Sherman (two interceptions) and Jeremy Lane (two INT) at the corners along with safeties Kam Chancellor (two picks) and Earl Thomas, who led the team with five picks. Brandon Browner is back with Seattle in the secondary and will fill in where needed along with DeShawn Shead, Kelcie McCray and Steven Terrell.

OUTLOOK:  After falling short of a third consecutive Super Bowl appearance in 2015, the Seahawks carry a big chip on their collective shoulders after seeing Arizona romp past them to the NFC West division title a year ago.
With Russell Wilson leading the offense, Seattle should be solid once again. They averaged 26.4 points per game a year ago (4th in NFL) and finished fourth in total offense (379 yards per game) while finishing third in rushing, averaging 142 yards per game. That's where Rawls, Michael and perhaps rookie C.J. Prosise come into the picture to keep that going in the 2016 season to balance the offense.
On defense, Seattle has no peers around the league as they once again led the NFL in scoring defense, allowing just 17 points per game. They were also number one against the run, giving up 82 yards per game while finishing second overall in total defense (292 yards per game allowed). Seattle finished with 37 QB sacks and 14 interceptions and were a plus-seven in the turnover category.
Head Coach Pete Carroll saw the team have the Super Bowl loser "hangover" last year after the last minute debacle of the "decision" to pass instead of giving the ball to "Beast Mode" from the 1-yard line in Super Bowl 49 defeat against New England.
In fairness, Seattle had injuries to key personnel on both sides of the ball last year, not to mention not having defensive leader Kam Chancellor in the fold as the season began due to a contract dispute.
As long as the defense plays well again and the offense continues to hum along with Wilson being a dual threat passing/running the football, expect the Seahawks to be in the mix when the NFC playoffs begin in January.
Another Super Bowl appearance and possible Super Bowl title could very well happen this season.

Fearless forecast -  12-4 this year (playoff team)

Week 1 - vs. Miami
Week 2 - at Los Angeles
Week 3 - vs. San Francisco
Week 4 - at NY Jets
Week 5 - BYE
Week 6 - vs. Atlanta
Week 7 - at Arizona
Week 8 - at New Orleans
Week 9 - vs. Buffalo
Week 10 - at New England
Week 11 - vs. Philadelphia
Week 12 - at Tampa Bay
Week 13 - vs. Carolina
Week 14 - at Green Bay
Week 15 - vs. Los Angeles
Week 16 - vs. Arizona
Week 17 - at San Francisco

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