2013 Seattle Seahawks Predictions and NFL Futures Odds
by Alan Matthews - 8/22/2013
Maybe Pete Carroll can coach pro athletes after all. He was not good with the Jets and decent with the Patriots, but once he was fired by New England after the 1999 season it was thought Carroll's NFL days were over. Of course, then he turned USC into a powerhouse -- not necessarily following the rules in doing so -- and Seahawks owner Paul Allen was able to lure Carroll with a boatload of money and plenty of personnel control in Seattle. I'm not saying Carroll would have been fired had the Seahawks had a third straight losing season under him last year, but he would definitely have been on the hot seat. Now he looks like a genius after last year's 11-5 mark. You could argue that from top to bottom, no team has more pure talent than the Seahawks. It's amazing what finding a rookie quarterback gem in the third round can do for a franchise.
If there was one weak link on the offense in 2012 it was the wide receivers. Seattle figured it solved that by trading for Minnesota's Percy Harvin, as good of a multi-purpose threat as there is in the NFL. He, not Adrian Peterson, was probably the Vikings' MVP last season before Harvin got hurt. It was Harvin's injury issues, along with his desire for a new contract, that led Minnesota to deal him. It's looking rather smart right now for the Vikings as Harvin had to undergo hip surgery early in camp. Seattle isn't giving him a timetable but is hoping he can bet back around Thanksgiving. Really, this team is built for the playoffs anyway, so as long as Harvin is 100 percent and in sync with QB Russell Wilson by then, all should be well.
Wilson was a huge surprise last year and was arguably the NFL's best quarterback in the season's final eight games -- Wilson had a rating under 104.4 just once in that stretch. If he played in Washington and Robert Griffin III in the relative media blanket of Seattle, Wilson would have been your Offensive Rookie of the Year over RG3. Wilson has one of the NFL's best lines and running backs in Marshawn Lynch. "Beast Mode" had a career-high 1,590 yards last season while rushing for 11 scores. Seattle should be OK at receiver as long as Sidney Rice and Golden Tate stay healthy. Not sure if Rice can -- he had some secret knee procedure done in Switzerland early in training camp. That doesn't sound good. I think Tate will have a monster season.
The league's best defense lost coordinator Gus Bradley but should only be better in adding a very good cornerback in former Viking Antoine Winfield and two excellent ends in Cliff Avril (Detroit) and Michael Bennett (Tampa Bay). Seattle was No. 18 last year with 36 sacks, and Avril and Bennett combined for 18.5 sacks. They'll be needed, especially the first four games with end Bruce Irvin suspended. He had eight sacks as a rookie in 2012. Winfield only improves what is the NFL's best secondary, led by cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner and safety Earl Thomas. Those guys are so good that Winfield won't start but be the nickelback. That's where he should be at age 36.
2013 Seattle Seahawks Schedule Analysis
The Seahawks have the 11th-toughest schedule with an opponents' 2012 winning percentage of .516. Really tough opener in Carolina against a Panthers team I think is playoff-caliber. It's never easy for West Coast teams to play in the East at 1 p.m., but at least Carroll can have his guys prepared for it in the preseason. That could really be a trap game times two with a huge showdown vs. San Francisco in the Seahawks' home opener in Week 2. A 0-2 start is very possible, while a 2-0 one would probably stamp Seattle as a Super Bowl favorite. I'd take the Jaguars and the points in their Week 3 visit to the Pacific Northwest with the Seahawks likely to suffer a huge letdown after the Niners. Then five of the next seven are on the road, including trips to 2012 playoff teams Houston, Indianapolis and Atlanta. The bye week is Week 12, and I imagine the Seahawks are aiming to have Harvin back right afterward. Four of the final six are at home, but the road games are back-to-back at San Francisco and the Giants. If Seattle is 9-5 entering Week 16 it should be in good position to win the division by finishing at home against the Cardinals and Rams.
2013 Seattle Seahawks Futures Odds
Odds courtesy of BetOnline and Sportsbook.ag: Seattle has an “over/under” of 10.5 wins, with the over a -135 favorite. The Seahawks are +120 to win the NFC West, +350 to win the NFC and +750 to win their first Super Bowl title. Wilson is +1500 to win NFL MVP and +2500 to lead the league in passing yards. Wilson is +1.5 TD passes against Colin Kaepernick and +3.5 against Cam Newton. He's a whopping +9.5 against Matt Ryan. Lynch is +2000 to win NFL MVP and +1200 to win the rushing title. His rushing yardage is set at 1,475.5, with the under a -130 favorite. Lynch is +3 rushing touchdowns against Adrian Peterson and +2.5 against Arian Foster.
2013 Seattle Seahawks Predictions
Harvin's injury hasn't affected Seattle's futures -- after all, the Seahawks were pretty darn good without him in 2012. I am not 100 percent sold on Wilson yet. Do I think he's good? No question. But not perhaps the superstar he looked like in the second half of 2012. He has enough around him where good might be enough to win a Super Bowl.
I have to lean under the wins simply because of the schedule. Seven against playoff teams, plus facing what should be better Panthers and Saints teams. The NFC West rival Cardinals and Rams also look to be better. I would take Wilson on that Newton prop, only because Newton probably runs for eight scores to lower his TD throws total. I'd go under Lynch on the yards but love him on that prop against Foster, who is dealing with back issues. If Seattle overachieves and can win something like 12 games and get home-field advantage in the playoffs, I do think the Seahawks can reach the Super Bowl. But win a playoff game in San Francisco or Green Bay? Can't see that.
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