2020 Seattle Seahawks Predictions and Season Win Total Picks
Do you know how you can spot the truly special quarterbacks and coaches in the NFL? It isn’t just watching them work and seeing how much more talented and competent that they are than their peers. It isn’t just listening to media bobbleheads guffaw over the Flavor of the Week. And, frankly, it isn’t (nominal, arbitrary, superficial) things like Pro Bowls and playoff wins.
You can spot the truly special ones by the fact that they constantly, consistently defy all mathematical expectations.
Case in point: Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll. Wilson has beaten his NFL season win total number six of the eight years that he’s been a quarterback at Seattle. The last two years he didn’t just beat expectations, he destroyed them, winning 10 games (against a 7.5 season win total) in 2018 and winning 11 games (against an 8.5 season win total) last year.
It isn’t just that Wilson beats his NFL season win total routinely and by multiple wins. It is how he and the Seahawks defy statistical logic such as Expected Wins, turnover luck, yards per point and strength of schedule.
So when I look at this year’s preseason indicators, I’m hesitant to follow the numbers on this squad. Especially when they all suggest that this Seahawks team should be significantly worse.
For starters, the 2019 Seahawks only outscored their opponents by a total of seven points for the season. Seven. That’s it. They were basically even with their opponents last year – which should’ve translated into an 8-8 season, give or take a win. Instead, they won 11 games and made the playoffs.
Not surprisingly, the Seahawks played an extreme amount of close games. They went 9-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less, and they won six games (6-4) in which they trailed at halftime. Prior to last season, Seattle was 29-29-1 in one-score games and 17-25-1 in games in which they trailed at halftime. That makes 2019 a significant outlier.
Seattle has also finished plus-36 in turnovers over the past three seasons. That includes a plus-12 mark in 2018 and plus-15 last year. Turnovers are a notoriously fickle statistic that shows a wild variance from year to year. A regression there will spill over to a lot of other areas for this squad.
You still have to ask yourself: do I want to bet against Wilson and Carroll?
This team still has an extremely deep and talented roster. And they got even better during the offseason, adding Greg Olson at tight end (a premium spot in Seattle’s offense), Carlos Hyde in the backfield and Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar in the secondary. The Seahawks are certainly not ceding the division to defending NFC champion San Francisco.
This isn’t a wager I’m willing to make. I’ve been burned too many times trying to stake a position against Wilson and the Seahawks. A system is only a system if you follow it without exception, though, and my primary futures systems are telling me that this team is going to win fewer games than they did last year.
Take Seattle Seahawks ‘Under’ 9.5 Wins.
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