SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (12-6)
New faces: S Jamal Adams, RB Carlos Hyde, T Brandon Shell, C/G B.J. Finney, T Cedric Ogbuehi, G Chance Warmack, LB/DE Bruce Irvin, DE Benson Mayowa, CB Quinton Dunbar, TE Greg Olson, WR Philip Dorsett, LB Jordyn Brooks, DE Darrell Taylor, G Damien Lewis.
Key losses: C Justin Britt, OL George Fant, G D.J. Fluker, T Germain Ifedi, DL Quinton Jefferson, S Bradley McDougald.
Strengths: Seattle already had two of biggest stars in game with QB Russell Wilson and LB Bobby Wagner, then went out and made aggressive move to add SS Jamal Adams. Wilson, emerging WR DK Metcalf, veteran TE Greg Olsen and stable of running backs make Seahawks' offence balanced. With some of Wilson’s late-game magic it should keep Seattle in every game.
Weaknesses: Biggest question all off-season had to do with Seattle’s lagging pass rush. Seahawks added Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa but lacked impact move to bring in elite pass rusher and appease fans expecting improvement from unit that ranked at bottom last year in sacks. Despite major upgrades in secondary with addition of Adams and Quinton Dunbar, pass rush remains biggest question.
Pandemic Development: How quickly can Seattle’s overhauled offensive line develop after going without in-person off-season program? Seattle will have at least three new starters on offensive line, including rookie Damien Lewis at right guard. It could be clunky start for offence if that group struggles early.
Fantasy Player To Watch: Metcalf had breakout rookie season in which he had 58 receptions, 900 yards and seven touchdowns. Expectation is he’ll be even more favoured target of Wilson and featured prominently in second year.
Vegas Says: Win Super Bowl: 20-1. Over/under wins: 9.
Expectations: Seattle was mere inches from winning NFC West in 2019 and likely changing its post-season outcome. That was with makeshift group of running backs, weak pass rush and defence that gave up too many yards through air. Some of those issues have been addressed in off-season , but NFC West is deeper than year ago. With Pete Carroll in charge and Wilson running offensive show, Seahawks are always going to be contenders. But it’s been six years since Seattle appeared in Super Bowl and time may be running short on winning another title with Carroll-Wilson combo.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
The Associated Press