Grading the 2020 Seattle Seahawks up and down season

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The Seattle Seahawks finished the 2020 season as NFC West Champions with a 12-4 record but made an early exit in the playoffs.

The offseason is officially upon the Seattle Seahawks. As many 12s are well aware of, the Seahawks games emulate that of a rollercoaster ride. Meaning, there are a lot of ups and downs along with twists and turns. When the rollercoaster ride ends, you are glad you made it out alive similarly to how you take a sigh of relief when the Seahawks find a way to win the game. Over the last two seasons, no one has been better than the Seattle Seahawks in one-score games. It is no secret that Pete Carroll relishes close games that come down to either making a defensive stop or putting together a game-winning drive.

Unfortunately, the season didn’t pan out as fans had imagined it would. But, this team showed a lot of potential. The rookie class contributed nicely and will have a bigger role next season. Certain guys who sustained injuries early on in the season (Bruce Irvin & Marquise Blair) are rehabbing and will be back for the start of next season. Although there are clouds overlooking Lumen Field, brighter days are ahead for this franchise.

The tale of the tape for the 2020 campaign can be defined by the two halves of the seasons:

First Half: Let Russ Cook in full effect

The biggest storyline entering this irregular season was the Seahawks offense. For far too long under Pete Carroll, 12s were upset with the heavy rushing attack. They felt Russ was being held back in the system. Well, their wish was granted as Russell Wilson was on absolute fire in the first half of the season. Entering Week 8, he was the clear MVP favorite.

According to Ben Baldwin’s, through the first nine weeks of the season, the Seahawks had the highest early-down pass frequency. Meaning, they threw way more on first down than they ran.

A large reason why they found success was in part due to defensive schemes. Teams — knowing that Seattle favored the run — were setting up with a single high safety and the Seahawks just ate it up. They were very effective in the deep passing game and thus, recorded a lot of offensive yards and put a lot of points on the board.

Second Half: Boom is back?

Well, eventually defenses began to figure out Seattle’s offensive scheme. Defenses then started dropping two safeties and forcing Seattle to take the underneath routes. As Pete Carroll touched upon in his final press conference, they didn’t adapt as well as they had to. Luckily for Seattle, the defense was able to turn things around.

After the acquisition of Carlos Dunlap, the defensive line became dominant. The Seahawks finished the season with a total of 46 sacks, ranking 7th in the NFL. Prior to the debut of Dunlap – which came in Week 9 against Buffalo – the Seahawks defensive line had only 9 sacks. From Weeks 9-17, they totaled 37 sacks. Yes, they brought more pressure and that resulted in more sacks. But, the guys up front also benefited from the addition of Carlos Dunlap.

With a revamped defensive line, the backend began to get healthy and play better. CB D.J. Reed who took over the right corner spot after some injuries played great football over the last month and a half of the season. Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs had spectacular years. Diggs earned himself his first pro bowl honors. The defense was able to turnaround a rather porous defense and began to give fans hope that this team can make a run to the Super Bowl.

Summary: Offense & Defense never complemented each other

When the offense was unstoppable, the defense couldn’t stop anybody. When the defense became dominant and started slowing down opposing offenses, the offense struggled to put any points on the board.

There are many reasons as to why the offense became stagnant. But, the point is the season came to an end too early and the underlying issues that caused that result must be addressed in the offseason.

Here are the grades for the entirety of the 2020 NFL season for the Seattle Seahawks.

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