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The 12s: Magic Number for Seahawks

Will Seattle Surprise with Double-Digit Wins in 2023?

Following a surprise playoff appearance in 2022, the Seattle Seahawks could defy expectations once again. They passed the offseason with flying colors, led by a strong crop of rookies and upgrades on defense. The sportsbook has Seattle’s projected win total at 8½ ahead of the season. The Seahawks finished 9-8 last season. With an improved roster, reaching double-digit wins seems realistic.

Seattle is often attached to the number 12. Its fan base was dubbed the “12th Man.” The Seahawks retired the No. 12 jersey in 1984 in honor of their rabid, over-the-top fans.

The 12s: Magic Number for Seahawks
Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks - Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP

Fun fact: Seattle remains the only professional team to retire a number for its fans. Reaching 12 wins would make for an incredible story. Are the Seahawks capable of reaching the iconic number? Check out how Seattle’s offseason could impact your NFL predictions.

Seahawks Thrive in the Offseason

The Seattle Seahawks were led by a strong offense in 2022, finishing 10th in points per game. However, its defense was a major weakness, ranking 25th in allowed points per game and 28th in surrendered yards per game. The Seahawks made big upgrades on the defense through free agency and the draft.

Defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones joined Seattle on a three-year, $51 million deal. The Seahawks needed to address its weak interior defensive line. Jones is a solid 3-technique pass rusher that will push the pocket. Seattle also drafted edge rusher Derick Hall of Auburn in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Hall is a perfect fit as a stand-up rusher in a 3-4 defense. His length and physicality drew high praise from scouts.

The Seahawks also reunited with eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner, agreeing to a one-year, $5.5 million deal. Don’t let age fool you, the 32-year-old recorded 140 tackles last season with the Los Angeles Rams and was one of the best off-ball linebackers in the league yet again. Wagner’s presence will be a major upgrade for the middle of Seattle’s defense.

Replicating the Legion of Boom is a tall task, but the Seahawks could have something special on their talons. Cornerback Tariq Woolen had a fantastic rookie season in 2022. Seattle found Woolen a running mate in rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who was drafted with the No. 5 overall pick. According to NFL lines, Witherspoon has the fourth-shortest odds to win Defensive Rookie of the Year (+800). Woolen, Witherspoon and safety Quandre Diggs could quickly turn into one of the league’s best secondaries.

The Seahawks should be a more balanced team with an improved defense. They also upgraded their offense with center Evan Brown, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and running back Zach Charbonnet. Smith-Njigba is one of the favorites to win Offensive Rookie of the Year among NFL picks (+700), and Charbonnet should form an excellent one-two punch with Kenneth Walker III.

Seattle had one of the best offseasons in the NFL. Common sense would say it’s only up from here, but not everything goes as planned in this league full of parity. How will the Seahawks fare this season?

Weak NFC West Gives Seahawks a Chance

The NFL conferences are extremely lopsided entering the 2023 season. The NFC will likely be even weaker than last season. Most NFL expert picks view the Philadelphia Eagles (+325) and the San Francisco 49ers (+375) as the clear favorites to win the conference, with the Dallas Cowboys not far behind at +600. However, will Dallas ever break through? It fails every season and bettors should finally learn the trick.

Outside of the Eagles and 49ers, the conference is wide open. Along with the Detroit Lions, Seattle is one of the teams that could strengthen the NFC.

The NFC West could have two of the worst teams in the league with the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. In fact, both teams have a projected win total of 6½ or lower. The Seahawks will play each twice, giving them a great chance for four comfortable wins. Seattle also has several winnable games on the schedule, including clashes with the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Washington Commanders, Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Reaching double-digit wins will come down to winning some games as an underdog. The Seahawks have plenty of challenging games, like primetime road trips against the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, an away game against the Cincinnati Bengals and two meetings with the 49ers. If Seattle pulls off a couple of surprise wins, it should reach the double-digit win total.

The Seahawks have the tools to pull off upsets. They have an explosive passing attack, led by Geno Smith, who signed a three-year, $75 million deal in the offseason. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were already one of the league’s best receiver duos. Adding Smith-Njigba makes this unit terrifying. The rookie wideout is a perfect fit out of the slot. Defenses will be in a bind. Metcalf and Lockett are constant vertical threats while JSN is a wizard in the middle of the field.

Seattle’s upgraded pass rush and secondary should also spell success. Don’t overlook coach Pete Carroll, either. He comes off one of his best seasons, proving he is one of the best coaches in the NFL.

With their schedule and upgraded roster, the Seahawks certainly look capable of double-digit wins, but 12 could be out of reach. If Seattle reached this mark, it could win the NFC West, which few expect. NFL odds have the Seahawks at +225 to win the division. The 49ers (-170) are the favorites.

At the bare minimum, the over for Seattle’s projected win total of 8½ feels like a lock (-135). The 2023 season could be another exciting time for the 12th Man.


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