Seattle Seahawks: 3 Reasons the Hawks will be better in 2016

The Seattle Seahawks nearly pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history against the Carolina Panthers, but just fell short. It was a comparatively tougher season after two straight Super Bowl appearances and a slow start.

However, there’s a number of reasons to believe that the Seahawks will be back and better than ever next season. Here’s three of them.

  • Jimmy Graham

In the last seven games of the regular season Russell Wilson amassed 1,949 passing yards, 22 touchdowns (only two interceptions) and a 124.4 quarterback rating without Jimmy Graham. Imagine Wilson running an offense with Graham.

Injuries to running backs Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls forced Seattle to throw more, and it worked out brilliantly. Wilson was historically good, and the team excelled when leaning on passing plays.

Graham’s injury was particularly unfortunate, because it seemed as if he had finally adjusted to playing with the scrambling Wilson after years of catching passes from the stationary Drew Brees.

After so much success, Pete Carroll and company aren’t likely to abandon the prolific passing attack anytime soon. This increased number of throwing plays will only benefit Graham. The combination of the towering tight end, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett will give opposing defenses nightmares.

  • A Healthy Run Game

Whether this is Lynch, Rawls or a bit of both, the Seahawks’ star running backs will both likely be fully healthy in 2016/2017 after each missing significant time due to injury. The combination of a dominant run game, regardless of the back, with a dynamic passing attack will make Seattle one of the league’s best teams.

  • The Continued Improvement of Russel Willson

By all accounts, the Seattle signal caller had a career year in 2015. Wilson set career highs in the following categories:

  • Completions
  • Completion Percentage
  • Passing Yards
  • Passing Touchdowns
  • Yards Gained Per Pass Attempt
  • Adjusted Yards Gained Per Pass Attempt
  • Passing Yards Per Game
  • Quarterback Rating
  • QBR
  • Net Yards Gained Per Pass Attempt
  • Adjusted Net Yards Per Pass Attempt

As time goes by, Wilson continues to get better and better, showing steady improvement. He’s already one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but he has the potential to grow his game even more considering his track record. With more control in the offense next season, expect Russell Wilson to continue to grow and the Seattle Seahawks to come back strong in 2016.

Seattle Seahawks: Even as Six Seed, Hawks Remain Poised for Another Super Bowl Run

Another season, another playoff appearance for the Seattle Seahawks. The two-time defending NFC champions enter the playoffs as the sixth, and lowest, seed in the National Football Conference. Seattle opens the playoffs against the Minnesota Vikings, the highest seeded NFC team not to receive a first-round bye. Additionally, even if the team wins it all, the Seahawks are guaranteed a total of zero home games.

And yet, the Seattle Seahawks have the look of a team poised to make a third consecutive Super Bowl.

Pete Carroll’s squad trounced the Arizona Cardinals on the road to wrap up the regular season. Playing without starters Russell Okung, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch, J.R. Sweezy and Luke Willson, the Hawks beat the team’s division rivals 36-6. Seattle’s defense bottled up one of the league’s best offenses while Russell Wilson and company shredded an equally elite defense.

The win was not only impressive, but it showed a sign of things to come for the Hawks.

Seattle will now take the show on the road during the playoffs, but that shouldn’t be a cause for worry. The team’s opponent in the first round is the Minnesota Vikings. Obviously it’s the playoffs and anything can happen, but the Seahawks did steam role the Vikings in Minnesota just last month. The score in that contest was 38-7, with Wilson tossing three touchdowns and Adrian Peterson being held to just 18 yards.

If the Seahawks beat Minnesota, the team will travel to play the Carolina Panthers. Carolina did beat Seattle earlier this year in the Pacific Northwest, but the Hawks led 20-7 at one point and controlled most of the game.

While the Panthers are an extremely good team, Cam Newton doesn’t have a lot of weapons at his disposal in the same way Russell Wilson does. In other words, if Newton has an off day, Carolina is susceptible to defeat. Case in point, the Panthers only loss came against the Atlanta Falcons, who held Carolina’s star quarterback to 188 total yards and one total touchdown.

Of the three teams the Seahawks could face in a potential NFC Championship game, none should be overly intimidating. Washington owns the worst record of any playoff team, while Seattle has experience against both Green Bay and (obviously) Arizona.

The Hawks lost by 10 to the Packers on the road in Week 2. However, Seattle had a lead in the fourth quarter despite playing without Chancellor. Green Bay also needed a passing masterclass from Aaron Rodgers to earn the win.

One of the NFC’s two wild cards, Green Bay faltered down the stretch, going 4-6 over the team’s final 10 games. That included losses to the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. Additionally, three of the Pack’s four wins came against struggling teams such as the Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders.

In addition to a potentially favorable schedule, the Hawks will get Lynch back from injury. The Seattle offense was already dynamic without the team’s star running back. Now it seems the offense will only become more explosive with a healthy “Beast Mode.”

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With Lynch’s return, the Hawks are now equipped to play any style required. The team can slug it out in a run dominated and low scoring affair, or throw it 50 times per game.

However you slice it, the Seattle Seahawks are equipped for another Super Bowl run. Watch out NFL.