With training camp just over a month away and preseason games soon to follow, the 2021 season is right around the corner. The Seahawks will be looking to build off of a 12-4 season that came to an early end with an embarrassing loss to the Rams at home in the wild card round. Now, they look to have the pieces in place for another, perhaps deeper, run.
Let's take a look at 10 over/under scenarios for the upcoming 2021 season.
Over/Under: 10.5 wins
Starting in 2021, teams will play 17 regular season games. This makes this bet a little easier to make. Seattle has won at least 10 games in eight of Pete Carroll's 11 seasons at the helm. They have exceeded 10 wins on five occasions. With an extra game on the slate, it should be easier to eclipse the 11-win total.
The Seahawks should still be considered one of the top 10 teams in the NFL, coming off of an NFC West division title and 12 wins. They retain Russell Wilson at quarterback despite some offseason turmoil. That should be enough to go at least 11-6.
Over/Under: 4,200 passing yards for Russell Wilson
Another consequence for a 17th game added to the schedule is that it gives players an extra game to rack up stats. Wilson eclipsed 4,200 yards in both 2016 and 2020. His career high is 4,219. Though it remains to be seen how Shane Waldron's new offensive attack will affect Wilson's passing stats, it's a safe bet that he will hover around that number again, especially with an extra game now on the slate.
Waldron spent the last three seasons as Los Angeles' passing game coordinator and the Rams were fifth in passing yards in 2018 and fourth in 2019. Plus, he has never coached a quarterback talent like Wilson. It's fair to expect big numbers once again.
Over/Under: 1,000 rushing yards for Chris Carson
In the last two seasons, the Rams have taken a "running back by committee" approach. While Carson is clearly the best running back Seattle has on the roster, that doesn't mean other backs will not get a chunk of the carries. Rashaad Penny, Deejay Dallas, Travis Homer, and Alex Collins all could see numerous touches that might prevent Carson from reaching the millennium mark.
Carson played in 12 games and amassed just 681 yards, his lowest total since 2017. His injury history also suggests he may not last the full 17-game schedule. This is the biggest toss-up yet on this list. With Wilson putting up big numbers and several other talented backs on the roster, it's close.
Over/Under: 2,200 receiving yards combined between DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett
Last year, a popular topic was whether or not this duo could break 2,000 yards together. That was answered emphatically with DK Metcalf breaking the franchise record with 1,303 receiving yards while Lockett also passed the 1,000-yard mark. The two tallied for 2,357 yards, becoming one of the best duos in the league.
Now, with another year under their belts as well as an added game to the schedule, 2,000 combined yards seems like a low bar. Either one or both of these players could exceed 1,100 yards receiving. Metcalf is one of the best receivers in all of the NFL and Lockett has been a reliable target for over half of a decade.
Over/Under: 7.5 games played for OT Stone Forsythe
The Seahawks coaching staff is excited for the rookie Forsythe's potential along the offensive line. Listed as a tackle, he likely will need to wait his turn while the former Pro Bowler Duane Brown and last year's starter at right tackle, Brandon Shell, hold down both spots. That doesn't mean he won't play. At 6-foot-9, 315 pounds, he is a human Redwood tree. Pete Carroll and offensive line coach Mike Solari will likely look for ways to get his feet wet. However, it likely won't merit him appearing in almost half of the season's games barring injuries in front of him.
Over/Under: 40 sacks as a team
A year ago, this would have seemed like a bet made by a lunatic. Seattle was coming off of a 28-sack campaign in 2019 and had lost Jadeveon Clowney. However, things evened out and Seattle's sack numbers were much more normal in 2020. Seattle ended up seventh in the NFL with 46 sacks.
Over the last three seasons, they produced an average of 39 sacks. This year, they have added several pieces to suggest they can have an equally strong year in the pass rush as they did in 2020. Kerry Hyder, Carlos Dunlap, Benson Mayowa, and Aldon Smith all have plenty of experience sacking quarterbacks in the NFL. Plus, the pseudo-rookie year of Darrell Taylor will add a nice boost.
Over/Under: 250 tackles between Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks
It is well known all over the Puget Sound area as wellas across the NFL that Bobby Wagner is a tackling machine. He lives and breathes high tackle numbers. He has led the NFL in tackles in three separate seasons and is the Seahawks' franchise leader in takedowns for a reason. The six-time All-Pro linebacker now has a new sidekick with immense upside, as former first round pick Jordyn Brooks will take on a much bigger role in year two.
Wagner collected 138 tackles last year and has averaged 145 takedowns the last three seasons. Brooks amassed 57 tackles in just 32 percent of the snaps on defense last year. Imagine what he can do with double the amount of snaps.
250 combined stops might be conservative with the talent of these two.
Over/Under: 14.5 interceptions as a team
Interceptions are always a tough number to predict. There is a randomness to them that suggests it could drastically change year to year. That being said, it certainly helps to have trained ballhawks at defensive back on your squad. This year, it remains to be seen if Seattle has a sufficiently turnover-minded secondary.
Jamal Adams is elite in other aspects, but not at catching the football. On the flip side, fellow safety Quandre Diggs led the team last season with five interceptions. They could have two new starters at cornerback in Tre Brown and Ahkello Witherspoon, depending on how training camp goes. Witherspoon has four interceptions in four seasons.
Typically, this number ebbs and flows regardless of how good a team is. Seattle has averaged 14 interceptions in the last three seasons. Even with an extra game this year, it's tough to see them having gaudy interception numbers with possibly two unknowns at cornerback.
Over/Under: 5.5 Pro Bowlers
The Seahawks have been one of the most consistent teams of the last decade and consequently, that has led to many Pro Bowl bids for players. They boasted seven Pro Bowl players last season and have averaged around four per season since 2018.
Seattle has perennial Pro Bowlers in Russell Wilson, Jamal Adams, and Bobby Wagner. DK Metcalf looks on his way to becoming a mainstay on the Pro Bowl roster as well. The Seahawks need two more to cross the threshold. That can come from a variety of players. Quandre Diggs earned his first Pro Bowl bid last season and looks to build on that strong season. Specialists Jason Myers and Michael Dickson were both snubs in 2020. Tyler Lockett is always a strong candidate and that won't change this year.
It will be close. Six Pro Bowlers is a tall order.
Over/Under: 1.5 playoff wins
This is the most important bet on this list. Nothing else matters if the Seahawks continue to disappoint in the playoffs. They have not won more than one game in the postseason since they got to a second straight Super Bowl following the 2014 season.
Last year was a massive disappointment. Getting beat at home at the hands of a hated division rival leaves a terrible taste in their mouths. They will be anxious to be rid of it this year.
Winning two playoff games means making at least the NFC Championship Game. That is a tall order, no matter the talent on the roster. Only two out of 16 teams in each conference get there. The Bucs, Rams, 49ers, Cardinals, and Packers all will stand in the way of Seattle's goals in the NFC. Good thing Seattle will have an MVP candidate at quarterback with a rejuvenated offense and a few All-Pro candidates on defense. They're beyond due.