USA TODAY Sports photo of Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
USA TODAY Sports photo of Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

2018 win total: 8

2017 ATS record: 6-9-1

Optimist view

They have QB Russell Wilson, who did more with less than any player in the game last season, throwing for an NFL-best 34 touchdowns and leading the Seahawks in rushing – by a wide margin. How vital was Wilson to the offense? He was involved in all but one of Seattle’s offensive touchdowns last season. That’s right, all but one. OLT Duane Brown was acquired midway through last season to provide some much-needed protection for Wilson, and C Justin C Britt received a contract extension.

The defense is led by MLB Bobby Wagner, one of the top players in the NFL, on either side of the ball. Wagner had a whopping 133 tackles and excels vs. the run and the pass. His longtime running mate, OLB K.J. Wright is one of the most underrated players in the league.

Despite massive turnover in personnel and coaching, Pete Carroll has a proven track record as a winner, having led the Seahawks to 65 victories in the past six seasons.

Pessimist view:

It’s difficult not to see this as a once-great dynasty that is now in a state of decline with the unattractive prospect of multiple lean years on the horizon. Many of the marquee names that fueled the dynasty — CB Richard Sherman, DEs Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, TE Jimmy Graham — are gone, and S Kam Chancellor’s future appears in serious doubt because of a potentially career-ending neck injury. Those once-great cornerstones have not been replaced by players with similar talent.

Wilson could have sued for non-support last season – for the last five seasons, really, considering he’s been sacked at least 41 times every year since 2013. WR Doug Baldwin is his only legitimate go-to guy in the passing game, and there’s virtually nothing behind him.

In addition to the disruptive roster churn, Carroll hired six new assistants, including offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, defensive coordinator Ken Norton and O-line coach Mike Solari.

On schedule:

At first glance, the early schedule, which includes five road games in the first seven, looks brutal. But the five away games are against teams that were a combined 33-47 last year, including the 5-11 Broncos and Bears and the 6-10 Raiders. The reward comes down the stretch, when the Seahawks have four home games in the final five weeks.

Prediction: Under.

If Carroll can build a winner from this reconstruction, he’s truly a genius. The defense, long the intimidating leader of this franchise, has fallen on hard times. It allowed 332 points in 2017, the most it’s permitted in seven seasons, and there’s a good chance it hasn’t hit rock bottom.

Offensively, it’s fair to wonder how much longer Wilson can carry an entire team on his shoulders. He didn’t have a great supporting cast to begin with, and now Graham (10 TDs in 2017) and WR Paul Richardson (44-703-6) have moved on to new teams.

Previous projected win total breakdowns

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

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Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

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Oakland Raiders

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