What was thought to be a rebuilding season for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks, turned into a 10-6 finish with a wildcard playoff loss to the Cowboys. Let’s take a look at what went right, what went wrong and what needs to change in 2019.
What Went Wrong?
A loss in the wildcard round to the Cowboys is nothing to be ashamed of, but if they had changed up the gameplan a bit, they could have won and moved on to play the Rams.
Not a lot went wrong for the Seahawks this season. The biggest disappointment was probably the injury to safety Earl Thomas who went down with left leg fracture. But it was what Thomas did next that will always be remembered.
On the stretcher being taken from the field, Thomas raised his middle finger towards the Seahawks bench after an offseason contract dispute with the front office. This seems to have sealed his fate for next season and surely he looks to be picked up during free agency by another organization.
Penny rushed 85 times for 419 yards and two touchdowns. These numbers are even less impressive as 108 of those rushing yards and one of those TDs came in the Week 10 loss to the Rams. Along with the development of Chris Carson as a feature back, it’s time for Penny to step up and make his mark.
What Went Right?
Russell Wilson continued to play at an elite quarterbacking level. He has very little to work with and has almost no protection in front of him. He was sacked more times than most QBs this season, yet still had a QB rating of 110. Give this man some more options and the Seahawks will go deep into the playoffs.
Tyler Lockett was incredible this season, finding himself among the best receivers in the game. He was a clear standout for the Seahawks with 57 receptions for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was well ahead of Doug Baldwin who added five touchdowns to the tally but took a backseat to Lockett this season.
The emergence of rookie punting sensation Michael Dickson had tongues wagging all across the NFL this season. The Australian born, former University of Texas punter was a revelation for the Seahawks, allowing them to push their opponents back into their own end all season.
Frank Clark is a man among boys. In a contract year, Clark turned everything he touched into gold. His 13.0 sacks for 52.5 yards lost, puts him 11th overall this season. An incredible effort from a guy who was on the chopping block a few years ago. Surely he is considered to be a leader of the reformed Seahawks defense and should be offered a new contract before free agency starts.
Bobby Wagner is another who made his stats count in 2018. He was signed to a huge deal by the team in 2017 and showed this year why. He made 138 total tackles, placing him 4th overall this year. These numbers are hard to argue with. The ‘Legion of Boom’ maybe be dead, but the Seahawks have a bright future on defense.
What Needs To Change For 2019?
They need to better protect Wilson. Being sacked 51 times through 16 games is a horrible stat. This puts him fourth most this season behind Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott, and Derek Carr. The Seahawks need to invest in players to protect the man with the football.
A 10-6 season is great, imagine if he had been protected better. They lost four games this season by less than a touchdown. Maybe if he was protected better, they win half those games and push the Rams all the way for the top spot in the NFC West. Fans could be sitting here this week talking about the Seahawks versus Patriots in the Super Bowl instead.
Baldwin needs to step up and be on par with Lockett for this to work. Give Wilson more targets to throw to. He has an incredible arm on him. They need to bring in a good tight end or a young wide receiver to open the field up more.
All in all, the Seahawks achieved great things this year that no one predicted. The rebuild is off and the Seahawks look to contend again in the NFC West.