With the Seattle Seahawks offense off to a hot start, there are legitimate talks of a potential Super Bowl run going around. Although a 4-0 record might indicate that this is possible, it is still early in the season. Let us examine the offensive side of the ball, and how they grade by position up to the season’s quarter-mark.
Grading the offense
Thanks in part to Russell Wilson’s MVP-caliber performance, the Seahawks offense is a score-churning machine. They are top five in all major statistical rankings and have the opportunity to put up huge numbers this year. The ‘Hawks have managed to score primarily through the air. In recent years this was a run-first team. This does not seem to be the case any longer. Seattle leads the league in several pass receiving statistical categories with their revamped offense. Overall, the offense has passed and rushed for a combined 1,665 yards while averaging just under 36 points per game. Here’s a breakdown of the offense, graded by efficiency.
Russell Wilson is enjoying a phenomenal first quarter of the 2020 season. He has broken or tied QB records for passing efficiency and touchdowns for a four-game stretch to open a season. I could have more to write concerning this position’s grade, but the numbers do speak for themselves. Through four games, Wilson has passed for 1212 yards with 16 touchdowns to two interceptions. Perhaps even more impressive is his 75.2 completion percentage and league leading 136.7 QB rating . He’s completed passes to eleven different receivers, eight of which have taken it in to the end zone. Need a ball thrown perfectly into tight coverages? Wilson is serving those up weekly. He is definitely in the kitchen this season, cooking up 20-plus yards almost regularly. The MVP chants are getting louder, and it isn’t just the 12’s making noise.
As mentioned earlier, Seattle seems to have found its identity in the passing game. This comes at the expense of the run game, but it does not mean they have not been efficient in that aspect also – they have been. Chris Carson and company are averaging a respectable 4.2 yards per carrying as a unit. This is without 2018 first-round pick RB Rashaad Penny, who is still on the PUP list. The numbers are middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league, and it will not be a surprise if coach Carroll decides to put a little more emphasis in the run game. Especially after adding veteran Carlos Hyde, I expect this unit to be much better before all is said and done.
This receiving core has the potential to be the most productive unit in all of football by the end of the 2020 season. This is in part due to Wilson being able to distribute the ball so efficiently. A burgeoning star, D.K. Metcalf is leading the league in receiving yards through the quarter-mark at 403 yards. He did this with only 16 receptions. Playing opposite of him, Tyler Lockett is tied second in the league in touchdown receptions with four, to go along with his 298 yards. If both players continue this rate, their projected season totals will be as follows:
D.K. Metcalf: 64 rec, 1,612 yards, 12 TDs
Tyler Lockett: 104 rec, 1,192 yards 16 TDs
There was a lot to like about this unit coming into 2020, some even going as far as saying this might be Seattle’s strongest positional group. They have not been as productive in the passing game as far as receptions and yards go, however. Veteran addition Greg Olsen has been quiet, although he did manage to catch a touchdown pass, as has Jacob Hollister.
Surprisingly, Will Dissly has also had very minimal impact in the passing game. Through four games the Seahawks tight ends have contributed 23 receptions, 167 yards, and two touchdowns. Not exactly a splashy statistical line, but it appears to be effective enough. Where this group does excel, however, is at blocking, particularly with pass protection.
I will go on record and state that this has been the most pleasant surprise of 2020. Coming into the season it was uncertain whether the lack of returning players would disrupt the continuity of the play upfront. Losing pro bowl center Justin Britt did not help matters either. Still, with three starters either new to the team or playing a new position, the Seahawks have found a winning combination. They have allowed 11 sacks on Wilson, which should improve as the team has more to gel with one another in a game. More importantly, however, when they do give Wilson time in the pocket they are averaging 3.03 seconds to throw, fifth-best in the league according to Next Gen Stats. Also, they have been quite efficient at run blocking as well, opening holes for Seattle’s running backs often, allowing Carson and Co. to average 4.2 yards per carrying.
In the next article, I will review and grade the defense and their impact on the team. Seattle Seahawks 1st quarter grades: Defense coming soon. Stay tuned.