What’s the opposite of crystal?
If the soothsayer of the past was adept at predicting the future by gazing into a crystal ball, then whatever I’m looking at must be made out of obsidian, with a blackness so dark that rather than catching a glimpse of tomorrow, the only thing I’m staring into is the void.
A void that signals it must be non-predictions time again.
With the Seattle Seahawks’ preseason concluding Thursday with their 17-15 victory over the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field, it means the time has arrived for my fifth annual Seahawks non-predictions column.
Non-predictions? Indeed, I am the world’s worst sports prognosticator, which means I figure I have a better chance at getting something right if I predict what won’t happen rather than what will. Thank you Adam Schefter, because if he hadn’t broke the news about Andrew Luck retiring, I probably would have put money down on the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback winning the MVP this season.
So without further ado, here are my non-predictions for 2019:
— Russell Wilson will not come out for the first offensive snap of the season clutching a soccer ball. Seattle’s quarterback traded in his Seahawks blue for rave green earlier this month when it was announced he’d joined the Seattle Sounders FC ownership group. While I figure there’s no danger of Wilson getting his sports wires crossed when Seattle hosts the Cincinnati Bengals in their opener next Sunday, I do have a slight concern about the Sounders’ future. Wilson’s involvement at the ownership level in other sports ventures — backing Chris Hansen’s unsuccessful attempt to build an NBA arena in SoDo, investing in the group that has yet to lure Major League Baseball to Portland — hasn’t exactly proven to have the Midas touch.
— Tyler Lockett will not be an overlooked performer anymore. With the departure of Doug Baldwin, Lockett inherits the mantle as Seattle’s No. 1 receiver. Last season Lockett had a quietly spectacular campaign, as his 57 catches on 65 targets for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns resulted in a perfect quarterback passer rating of 158.3 on balls thrown his direction. Now that he’s the main man he’ll break the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time in his NFL career and be selected to the Pro Bowl.
— Speaking of Baldwin, Seahawks press conferences will not be as illuminating now that he’s gone. Injuries have forced Baldwin from the game, and because of that we’re going to miss his regular insightful perspective on issues big and small, football related or not.
— Seattle will not be effective rushing the passer. Frank Clark, the Seahawks’ best edge rusher from last season, is gone after being traded to Kansas City during the offseason in a cost-saving move. Jarran Reed, the team’s best interior pass rusher, was suspended by the NFL for the first six games over an alleged domestic violence incident. Ziggy Ansah, the free-agent signing and former Pro Bowler, may be productive, but he’s always going to be an injury risk. L.J. Collier, Seattle’s first-round draft pick, is more of an all-around defensive end rather than a pass-rush specialist. And while there has been talk about the Seahawks blitzing more this season, that’s not coach Pete Carroll’s preferred method. Therefore, the pass rush, or rather the lack of it, is going to be a topic of discussion all season long.
— Last-ditch kickoff coverage will not be as hilariously inept with Jason Myers as Seattle’s kicker instead of Sebastian Janikowski. Who can forget Seabass’ “attempt” at tackling San Francisco’s Richie James on a touchdown return last December?
— The Ringer (@ringer) December 16, 2018
— Carroll will not suddenly transform into Sean McVay. McVay, the head coach of the NFC West-rival Los Angeles Rams, is among those who are transitioning the NFL into ever more of a pass-based league. But Carroll is a run-first guy, and he’s going to remain that way — much to the chagrin of the analytics folks who consider running the ball bad strategy.
— DK Metcalf will not spare cornerbacks from looking silly. I don’t know how much impact the rookie receiver will actually have this season, and I fear he may have been hyped to the point where it will be difficult for him to live up to expectations, especially considering he just had minor knee surgery. But he is such a physical specimen that there will be at least one moment this season where he goes up for the ball and makes the defender look like a Pee-Wee player.
— The Seahawks will not supplant the Rams atop the division. They will be among the teams fighting for a wild card playoff spot again this year, which is pretty good for a team that’s almost completely turned its roster over since reaching back-to-back Super Bowls in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. But another trip to the big game will remain outside the team’s grasp.
There you go, everything that won’t happen during the Seahawks’ 2019 season. At least that’s what this obsidian ball told me. And heck, given my track record, I was probably misinterpreting the messages anyway.
Follow Nick Patterson on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.