The time of year has arrived when we in the Pacific Northwest can feel summer melting into fall, the country’s sporting attention turns full-bore toward football, and I seemingly spend every non-working hour picking fallen fruit off the backyard grass (OK, backyard weeds).
That can mean only one thing: It’s time for the seventh installment of my annual Seattle Seahawks non-prediction column.
In case you’ve forgotten, allow me to get you back up to speed. I am the world’s worst sports prognosticator. On one end of the predictive spectrum you have the soothsayer stylings of Nostradamus. On the other end you have me. Therefore, I don’t try to predict what will happen, I instead predict what will not happen.
Let’s get to it!
— At some point this season I will not remember the NFL increased its schedule to 17 games. That mistake will accidentally slip into a story I write, and I will look silly.
— Seattle’s offense will not be the same under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. The Seahawks will be playing with more tempo, which suits quarterback Russell Wilson’s style and is something Wilson has been all but pleading for. Waldron will also have Wilson getting rid of the ball faster, which will hopefully prevent Wilson from being sacked as often — he was sacked 47 times last season, 48 in 2019 and 51 in 2018, finishing in the top three in the league each season, and it reached the point where the ever-positive Wilson felt compelled to publicly air his grievance about getting hit so often.
— However, Waldron will not get full rein of the offense. Head coach Pete Carroll made it clear upon the conclusion of last season that he wants the Seahawks to run the ball more. It doesn’t matter how progressive an offensive coordinator may be, if the well-established head coach wants to run the ball, the team is going to run the ball. Just look at how “Let Russ cook” evolved into “Keep Russ away from the grill” following a midseason rash of turnovers. The final say still resides with Carroll.
— We will not get a reprise of the Jake Luton-Jacob Eason matchup Sunday in Indianapolis. When the Seahawks signed Luton last week, it created at least the possibility that the two Snohomish County-bred quarterbacks — who were flag football teammates as tots — might get on the field against one another in the NFL. Those two faced one another in high school when Luton was at Marysville Pilchuck and Eason was at Lake Stevens. They squared off in college when Eason was at Washington and Luton was at Oregon State. With Colts quarterback Carson Wentz recovering from foot surgery, Eason is slated for the backup role Sunday. And Luton as Seattle’s No. 3 quarterback probably won’t dress. But how cool would it be if they somehow end up on the field against one another again, creating an improbable trifecta?
— Seattle’s defense will not be as bad as it was during the first half of 2020. The main reason for that is because the Seahawks seemed to figure out how to effectively deploy Jamal Adams and his unique pass-rushing abilities as a safety, as well as the midseason acquisition of defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Adams is back and happy after getting his fat contract extension, and Seattle convinced Dunlap to return on a more team-friendly deal, so the pieces that created a second-half defensive resurgence remain in place. That said, the defense won’t be as good as it was in the second half of 2020, either, due to questions at cornerback, as well as the fact the Seahawks aren’t going to have the luxury of facing a string of anemic offenses the way they did during last season’s run-in.
— Michael Dickson will not be human. Seattle’s punter does things with the ball that seem to defy the laws of physics. He was amazing in 2020, regularly getting the ball to land inside the 10-yard line and bounce sideways out of bounds. If his unbelievable punt in the Seahawks’ preseason finale against Jacksonville, in which he essentially made the ball stick at the goal line, is an indication, he may be even better now.
UNREAL punt from Michael Dickson 😱@mdcksn | @Seahawks
🎥 @NFL pic.twitter.com/Qcf3jwUmtd
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) August 29, 2021
— Piggybacking on an above item, Wilson will not turn the ball over as much as he did in 2020. He had 17 turnovers last year: 13 interceptions and four lost fumbles. Those turnovers came in bunches, and they were the biggest factor in Seattle’s four regular season losses as Wilson turned the ball over two or more times in all of them. Wilson is a smart guy who has a history of taking care of the ball. He’ll get this fixed.
— Because Wilson solves his turnover woes, Seattle will not have a disappointing season. The Seahawks are going to win more playoff games this season than they have the previous four seasons combined (one). Does that mean a Super Bowl appearance? That I can’t say. But Seattle will at least be a legitimate contender.
Anyway, that’s what won’t happen with the Seahawks in 2021. If you have any issues with it, take it up with Nostradamus. Let’s face it, despite his reputation his batting average wasn’t that great, either.
Follow Nick Patterson on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.
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