The 2020 NFL season is a bit of a fork-in-the-road moment for the Seattle Seahawks since they once again were sent home in the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs, losing at Green Bay 28-23. It was quite the accomplishment for Seattle to get to that point considering how beat up they were by the end of the season. However, the Seahawks and their fans expect more and are looking to see them return to the top of the NFC West.
Russell Wilson heads into the 2020 season as a top candidate for MVP since he has basically carried this franchise on his back while the rest of the team was restructured around him. Wilson threw for 4,110 yards, 31 touchdowns, and five interceptions while carrying a 106.3 quarterback rating, fifth-best in the NFL. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf will be a matchup problem all year long for opposing defensive coordinators. Lockett caught 82 passes for 1,057 yards and nine touchdowns, while Metcalf had a strong rookie season with 58 receptions, 900 yards, and seven scores. Health at running back is a concern heading into the season, as Chris Carson is looking to come back strong after his season ended in December due to a fractured hip. With Rashaad Penny coming back from a torn ACL, the team signed veteran Carlos Hyde in late May for depth and drafted DeeJay Dallas, who has made a strong first impression in training camp.
Controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football is going to swing the direction of the season for the Seahawks. Duane Brown will be back at left tackle with the other four spots fairly wide open. Keeping Wilson upright in 2020 is going to be very important after he was sacked 48 times and only completed 40.6 of his passes under pressure last season. Defensively, the Seahawks have not been able to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney, so they are going to be under the gun to generate more pressure. Last year, Seattle had a pressure rate of 22.9 percent, and their QB contact rate was just 12 percent. These two numbers are a big reason why they only had 28 sacks, which tied for 29th in the NFL. This group as a whole is going to have to make a lot of things happen quickly in 2020.
Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright will be back to anchor the linebacker group that will be a very deep, as first-round pick Jordyn Brooks has performed well in training camp along with fellow rookies Cody Barton (third round) and Ben Burr-Kirven (undrafted). The key for this group is going to be playing in space since the NFC West is filled with offenses that will stress a defense from sideline to sideline.
Jamal Adams should provide a significant upgrade to the Seahawks secondary as a guy who can blitz off the edge and hit like Kam Chancellor did in his heyday. Last season with the Jets, Adams had 75 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and an interception which he returned for a touchdown. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin had 13 pass breakups and earned his way to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career last season.
So, what does Seattle have in store for this upcoming 2020 season? Athlon Sports asked several experts to share their predictions for just how the Seahawks' season will play out and what their record will be when all is said and done.
Seattle Seahawks Game-by-Game Predictions for 2020
Scott Whittum (@ScottWhittum)
It will be very interesting to see how Seattle responds to playing the majority of their games without fans expected to be in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seahawks were 4-4 at home in 2019 with fans present, so who knows, maybe the 2020 season could get rid of the home-field disadvantage that CenturyLink Field provided in 2019. On the flip side, Seattle was 7-1 in the regular season away from home; under Pete Carroll they have always seemed to thrive while playing in hostile environments. The season opener in Atlanta will be played without fans, so it will be a huge challenge for Carroll and his staff to have the Seahawks amped up and ready to go.
Seattle is going to get off to a 4-3 start, as it will take some time for the offensive line to come together. They will pick things up in the second half of the season and win 11 games but narrowly lose out on the NFC West title to the 49ers in Week 17.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
As long as Russell Wilson is healthy and Pete Carroll is calling the shots in Seattle, the Seahawks will be a threat. General manager John Schneider clearly believes this as well after ponying up to acquire Jamal Adams from the Jets. Both the offensive and defensive lines are question marks entering this season, but adding Adams to the mix amps up the anticipation for how the NFC West race will shake out. Making the playoffs shouldn't be much of an issue, but I think the Seahawks will go through some tough sledding early before getting it all together and stringing a bunch of wins together in the second half of their schedule. Don't be surprised if the division title isn't decided until the finale in San Francisco.
Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib)
If the Seahawks had one major deficiency last season, it was their pass defense, but they've seemingly solved that by bringing in the best defensive back on the market: Jamal Adams. But Adams won't just help in coverage, he's one of the most complete safeties in the game. He should help shore up a unit that will miss Mychal Kendricks and Jadeveon Clowney. Meanwhile, the offense should be improved with another year of experience for DK Metcalf, the return of Will Dissly from injury, and the signing of Greg Olsen. Russell Wilson hasn't had this many weapons since the beginning of his career when he had peak Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin, and Golden Tate. The offensive line could be better, but Wilson alone is enough to make this team a contender.