If the Seahawks were 0-2, WHICH THEY ARE NOT, we could be debating how kaput their season already is, pre-drooling over a top 5 pick, and settling in for a season of mostly developmental football, doing grit checks on rookies. Briefly, we can be Jets fans.
And truly, save for a curious field goal attempt and a few scrumptious Uchenna Nwosu Expelliarmus spells on the 1-yard line, we can be justly juxtaposed with the NFL’s other twice-defeated teams. But since we’re not quite yet Sautéed in Seattle, we bozos get to enjoy a number of more weeks of moist fourth-quarter palms. Exactly the way in which we like our Seahawks football: slightly existential.
Within the immediate future, it’s one in all the league’s five season-on-life-support teams, the Atlanta Falcons, who stagger in to Seattle for a gathering between two franchises who know one another well. No less than they used to, within the bodacious days of Russell Wilson-Matt Ryan playoff duels. Before the QBdämmerung blanketed each cities. We’ll get to the Falcons, but not immediately, because — spoiler alert — Atlanta is just not top-of-the-line winless teams on the market.
Admit this much: it’s far more fun to look at the bottom-feeders at once. Who cares if the unbeaten Miami Dolphins are for real? Who cares if the Buffalo Bills open 10-0 and rout their way through the AFC all of the approach to home-field advantage? Who cares if the Philadelphia Eagles’ winning frequency Hurts slightly? Our Seahawks’ present and future company is presently with the franchises in descent, not probably the most incandescent or iridescent.
1. The Cincinnati Bengals
Fun fact: the Bengals represented the AFC in last 12 months’s Silly Bowl, and their roster isn’t any worse. Sure, their flaccid offensive line stays an issue this 12 months, Joe Burrow is a turnover machine at once, and the spark is gone from Evan McPherson’s leg.
Not to fret, this continues to be a playoff team in the event that they can split their division games. Even in the event that they drop to 1-4 after five weeks (they’ve the Jets, then a difficult Dolphins-Ravens two-step) I like their possibilities. All of the ingredients that propelled them through the AFC playoffs last 12 months remain in the combo: Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, the second tier of receivers who would easily start elsewhere, that whole defensive position from end to finish.
Cincinnati has two sacks and no interceptions through three games. The dearth of production is just not sustainable. The takeaways will come.
Speaking of turnovers, the Bengals should’ve won a game where they’d a -5 turnover ratio, however the universe went full Chaote Mode as a substitute. McPherson missed two game-winning kicks, an XP as time expired in regulation and a feeble gimme 29-yarder in extra time. Then Cincy looked bad on the road in Dallas. Teams often look bad on the road. The Bengals are over the worst, barring catastrophic health issues; even though it’ll take them time, they’ll dig out of this little self-inflicted and self-dug hole.
Final projection: 10-7, AFC playoffs seventh seed.
2. The Tennessee Titans
There is no such thing as a shame in getting roasted by the Buffalo Bills, unless you’re the Los Angeles Rams and had designs on repeating until the third quarter of Week 1 brought you back to reality. The Bills are good. How good, historically? About pretty much as good as you’d expect.
It’s surprising to see an NFL team wave the white flag just like the Titans did after they yanked their starters within the third quarter of a Week 2 defeat. I’ll admit to being gobsmacked at first, but then transitioned to an understanding of the situation. The season is 17 weeks long, and the fourth quarter had essentially develop into one other quarter-hour of preseason. Sorry in the event you had Derrick Henry in your fantasy team.
(Secretly, and don’t tell anyone, I kinda wish the Seahawks would have been as aggressive with their substitutions in blowout wins and losses within the Russell Wilson circus decade, which now rests within the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, next to other fossilized artifacts of a bygone era.)
Anyway, within the space of 14 drives against the Giants and Bills, the Titans allowed nine scores for a complete of 61 points. Once more, that is statistical noise that the remainder of the season will cancel out. I find it somewhat unlikely that this particular Tennessee defense will probably be the worst of all time, which is what they’ve performed like since halftime against NY.
End of the day, Titans fans shouldn’t panic. The division is weak and the season is long enough to erase two early boondoggles. Vegas even still likes them to complete second within the division, with +170 odds to Indianapolis’ +135. I don’t consider within the Colts, not for a second. Final projection: 9-7-1, AFC playoffs fourth seed.
It’s 2022, however the Raiders haven’t turned the calendar. They finished 2021 with a -65 point differential, made the playoffs when the Chargers gifted them a Week 17 victory, outdid their Pythagorean win expectation by three.
In 2022 they’re -11 after blowing a 20-point halftime advantage in Arizona — and an eight-point lead with zeroes on the clock. They haven’t held on to the ball (seven turnovers already) and their pass rush is non-existent. Fumble luck will even out, but they’re within the hardest division in football, which is able to not even out.
Plus, it’s not like Josh McDaniels has a hell of a track record to lean on. McDaniels famously began 6-2 with the Tim Tebow Broncos in 2009, and was slated to be the subsequent boy genius, but since then is 5-14 as a head coach.
This was a 7-10 team waiting to manifest last 12 months, they usually might actually hit the mark this 12 months. Final projection: 7-10, no playoffs, no nothing, no soup for them
4. The Atlanta Falcons
There are reasons to consider the Falcons have turned a corner. A one-point loss to Latest Orleans, a four-point setback in Los Angeles to begin the brand new campaign — those are signs of life, right? Scintillas of hope for an additional fanbase that’s had greater than its share of letdowns, right? Eh, perhaps.
Atlanta’s defense is twenty fourth in DVOA, twenty fifth in yards per play, twenty seventh in scoring, and has been price -13 expected points in only two games while the offense and special teams are average or higher. Problem is, in crunch time the Falcons cannot lean on a superb defense or a stud to steer the charge on offense. They’ve Marcus Mariota and a coach playing to not lose in Arthur Smith.
Mariota mishandled the snap on third and 1 when the Falcons needed one other first right down to kill the clock in Week 1. He threw an end zone pick on the last drive against the Rams in Week 2.
Smith punted on 4th and 1 from the Saints 42 after the third-down quagmire. An odious decision, unless you’re attempting to not lose. Guess what happens once you play to not lose? this.
People wish to rag on the Seahawks’ draft selections nevertheless it’s not like other teams are all the time hitting home runs either.
The Kyle Pitts pick by Atlanta was very odd to me on the time. It looks much odder now.
Opportunity cost of Pitts was not taking Justin Fields, Chase, Slater, Sewell, or Micah Parsons.
Took Drake London over Charles Cross this draft. And have weak OL
Weird approach to construct a team.
— Jeff Simmons (@realjeffsimmons) September 20, 2022
The Falcons are still sending a below-average roster out to battle in a midsection-heavy conference crammed with decent and dangerous teams beyond the same old suspects (Packers, Buccaneers). Wins are going to be elusive.
The Seahawks game could be the simplest one left on their schedule. No result would surprise me between two teams constructing for 2023. Including blowouts in either direction. Final projection: 5-12, fifth pick within the draft, one ahead of Seattle
5. The Carolina Panthers
Writing three paragraphs in regards to the Panthers looks as if overkill. Let’s do that the research-free way and get out of here.
Do you follow the Panthers?
- Yes. I actually have Christian McCaffrey on my fantasy team
- No. I wouldn’t have Christian McCaffrey on my fantasy team
That was easy. Final projection: 3-14, perchance the primary pick within the draft
NOTE: Somewhat shoutout here to all of the Twitter peeps who helped me beat author’s block and contributed by adding a random word to the article. You guys are the very best, without you I’d have been lost.
Just wrote three shitty paragraphs to open a @fieldgulls story. It is so bad, so bland I’d have already got clicked out of it because the reader.
Please help by replying with a word you need me to wedge into the introduction, and I’ll see what I can do.
— John Fraley (@johndavidfraley) September 20, 2022
Whitney (@trumplostsuckit) and Dirty D (@akgrl33) — moist
Leonard (@Toblerone_DOTUS) — scintilla
Nathan (@NathanE11) — bozo
Jesse (@TheAxiomatician) — inchoate, which I swapped to Choate
Brendon (@_bkuh_) — feeble
Nathan (@nathan_h_b) — iridescent
Jack (@JackMichaelson_) — boondoggle
Corky (@CorkyKnievel) — gobsmacked
Reid (@reid_josephson) — perchance
Malone (@PropterMalone) — Götterdämmerung, altered with permission
Justin (@JustinM2980) — odious
Ethan (@EthanLudlam) — grit
Will (@beejertron5000) — Smithsonian Natural History Museum
Dave (@Sayers8) — juxtaposition
Pember (@PemberDucky) — bodacious
Thomas (@ThomasL13) — lost (easy!)
Wealthy (@RichPhelps) — scrumptious
Churlo (@TheRealChurlo) — circus
Kent (@KenaiKent) — existential
Tom (@TRCSnow) — sautéed
Corey (@12thmanmondo) — quagmire
Riley (@PBR_Tallboy) — flaciduous, which I swapped to flaccid
You guys. Thanks a lot. Go Hawks, carefully.