The Seattle Seahawks enter another season with high expectations, which is expected given the franchise employs Russell Wilson as its quarterback and Pete Carroll as the head coach. In Wilson and Carroll's eight seasons together, Seattle has missed the playoffs just once and recorded seven double-digit win seasons with a Super Bowl title in the 2013 season. As long as Wilson is healthy -- he's never missed a game -- and Carroll are around, the Seahawks are going to be in the Super Bowl conversation every year.
2020 is no different for Seattle, even if the Seahawks play in the loaded NFC West. Seattle bowed out in the NFC divisional playoffs last year (a five-point loss to the Green Bay Packers), but the Seahawks were just one yard away from sealing home-field advantage in the conference on a controversial loss to the San Francisco 49ers -- who went on to Super Bowl LIV - in Week 17. Even with all of Seattle's injuries, the Seahawks would have been an extremely tough out with home-field advantage in the NFC.
Seattle has one of the top rosters in the NFC once again with one of the most underrated offenses in football and a revamped secondary that can draw some comparisons to the "Legion of Boom" heyday. The Seahawks are set for another Super Bowl run as Wilson is in the prime of his career.
So why can the Seahawks win Super Bowl LV, which would catapult Wilson into one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Here are four reasons to bank on Seattle to capture the Super Bowl title:
1. Russell Wilson will have the best year of his career
There's only one quarterback in the NFL to throw 30+ touchdown passes in each of the last three seasons -- Russell Wilson. The Seahawks quarterback has put up numbers despite throwing to receivers like David Moore, Paul Richardson, and a rotating cast of underproductive tight ends post-Jimmy Graham. Seattle's wide receiver unit is arguably the best Wilson has had since the Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin days when the team won the Super Bowl, not forgetting the Seahawks have Greg Olsen as Wilson's security blanket at tight end.
Wilson is the only quarterback in the league to toss 100 touchdown passes over the last three seasons, throwing for 11,541 yards and just 23 interceptions with eight fourth-quarter comebacks and 11 game-winning drives -- which is tied for first in the league over that span. Wilson has put up those throwing numbers despite the Seahawks throwing the ball just 47.56% (2018) and 54.34% (2019) of the time over the last two seasons -- easily amongst the bottom five teams in the NFL.
If Brian Schottenheimer actually unleashes Wilson and the passing game, the Seahawks won't regret banking on the most underrated quarterback in football to win them football games -- and clinch one of the best records in the NFC.
2. The Seahawks running backs are incredibly underrated
When Seattle's backs are healthy, the Seahawks have an impressive stable of horses that add a dynamic to this offense Carroll has never had (even when Marshawn Lynch was carrying the load). Chris Carson has 2,381 rushing yards over the past two seasons, good for fifth most in the NFL. Rashaad Penny was once labeled as a first-round bust, but complimented Carson well in averaging 5.7 yards per carry last season. Penny even had a stretch where he had 29 carries for 203 yards and two touchdowns (7.0 yards per carry) in two games before he tore his ACL and was lost for the season. Seattle's Super Bowl chances diminished last season when Carson and Penny were both out for the playoffs and the Seahawks had to rely on Travis Homer and a 33-year-old Lynch -- who they brought out of retirement -- to guide them at running back.
When Carson and Penny are both healthy, the Seahawks have a dynamic 1-2 punch at the position. Carson should be ready for the start of the season, but Penny is still on the active/PUP list recovering from the torn ACL. The Seahawks covered their tracks by signing Carlos Hyde to a one-year deal. Hyde has rushed for 1,641 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past two seasons, including 1,070 yards last season with the Houston Texans. The Seahawks can use Hyde as the No. 1 back to start the year if Carson isn't 100 percent.
A running back trio of Hyde, Carson and Penny in December and January is lethal enough to take the pressure off Wilson and take Seattle to the Super Bowl. Wilson will be even better as a result.
3. Jamal Adams makes the back seven even more formidable
The Seahawks gave up a premium amount of draft picks to acquire Adams, but the All-Pro safety is the missing piece toward making Seattle's defense a top-10 unit once again. Adams joins a Seattle secondary that had a breakout season from Tre Flowers last year and a Pro Bowl campaign from Shaquill Griffin. Seattle also has Quandre Diggs as the free safety Carroll's Cover 3 defense needs to function, filling the role Earl Thomas excelled in for nearly a decade.
Add Adams to the mix at strong safety and everything he provides to the defense. Opposing quarterbacks targeting Adams had just a 75.2 passer rating and completed just 55.3% of their passes last season and he led all defensive backs with 6.5 sacks and 13 quarterback hits. Not only can Adams excel in coverage, but he is arguably the best safety in the league when he lines up in the box and puts pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Adams can be even better in that role with Diggs playing center field at free safety.
Seattle's secondary is full of talent and the Seahawks have arguably the best linebacker tandem in the league with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. First-round pick Jordyn Brooks will get a crash course lesson in the NFL, but the talent around him can easily disguise any problems he will face in year one.
The Seahawks' back seven was already good, but Adams makes them elite. This unit will harken back to the "Legion of Boom" days and has the talent to get Wilson back to the Super Bowl.
4. The Seahawks have their best receiving corps in years
D.K. Metcalf was one of the best rookie wideouts in last year's class, finishing third amongst rookies in receiving yards and tied for third in receiving touchdowns. He also set the record for rookies with the most receiving yards in a playoff game (160) in Seattle's wild-card win over the Philadelphia Eagles, showcasing his No. 1 wide receiver potential during the Seahawks' playoff run down the stretch last year. That's just Seattle's No. 2 wide receiver.
Tyler Lockett is one of the most explosive players in football when he gets the ball in his hands, recording his first 1,000-yard season in his second year as Wilson's top target. Lockett's 18 touchdown catches are tied for second in the NFL over the last two seasons, so he's a favorite for Wilson. Metcalf and Lockett can rival the top receiver tandems in the league in just their second year together, but the Seahawks have more to offer in their suddenly explosive offense.
David Moore has averaged 17.3 yards per catch in his career, making him a legitimate deep threat for Wilson's strong arm. Phillip Dorsett is a reliable option as the No. 3 wideout in the slot, as his catch rate on short passes is 70.92% for his career. The Seahawks ran "11 personnel" 73% of the snaps last year (per Sharp Football Stats), which was top five in the league -- so there's a role for Dorsett underneath while Metcalf and Lockett stretch the field.
Then there's the addition of Greg Olsen at tight end, the No. 1 option at the position Seattle has lacked since Jimmy Graham departed. Olsen may be 35, but he showed he's a viable option at tight end when healthy (597 yards, two touchdowns in 14 games last season). Having Olsen as a No. 3 option behind Metcalf and Lockett takes a lot of pressure off him to be the focal point of the offense and concentrate on emerging in the red zone, which is similar to how Seattle utilized Graham. Seattle also has Jacob Hollister and Will Dissly as pass-catching options at tight end, allowing Schottenheimer to utilize more "12 personnel" throughout the year.
Seattle doesn't have much at running back when it comes to catching passes, but there's plenty of options around the offense to hide that weakness. Wilson has a golden opportunity to toss 35 touchdowns this year, perhaps recording his first 40 touchdown season.
If Seattle is going to win the Super Bowl, their top options will need to perform come January. This unit will only get better week-to-week and the potential to be one of the top units in football are in place with Wilson tossing the football.