The Seattle Seahawks begin their 2023 campaign on Sunday at Lumen Field against NFC West rival, the Los Angeles Rams. Will this be the start of another playoff-bound season for Seattle? Or will they reverse their 2022 trend and underwhelm in 2023?
In 156 days, Las Vegas will be the center of the sporting universe, as we kick off Super Bowl LVIII in Sin City. The season got kicked off on Thursday with a stunning victory by the Detroit Lions over the shorthanded Kansas City Chiefs 21-20.
We have a long way to go between last night and February 11th, 2024, but we're gonna take our shot at predicting who's gonna make the playoffs, bring home the hardware, and lift the coveted Lombardi Trophy. Most importantly to the 12's, how do the Seahawks do?
Predicting who makes the playoffs in 2023 and where the Seahawks end up
Projected AFC Playoff Standings
1 Seed- Cincinnati Bengals
2 Seed- Kansas City Chiefs
3 Seed- Jacksonville Jaguars
4 Seed- Miami Dolphins
5 Seed- Pittsburgh Steelers
6 Seed- Buffalo Bills
7 Seed- New York Jets
Unless it's the calf strain from hell, I like Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals to overwhelm their opponents this season, survive a tough AFC North and earn the top seed in a brutal AFC. I believe Tua Tagoviloa is a good quarterback, and while we may only see him for a couple of seasons considering his injury history, I think this year we get a healthy Tua. A healthy Tua means a strong Dolphins team that wins an AFC East that also sees Buffalo and the Jets sneak in.
In almost any other year, I would feel confident in Cleveland, Baltimore, or the Chargers making the playoffs, but it speaks to the level of play in the AFC.
Projected NFC Playoff Standings
1 Seed- Philadelphia Eagles
2 Seed- Seattle Seahawks
3 Seed- Detroit Lions
4 Seed- New Orleans Saints
5 Seed- San Francisco 49ers
6 Seed- Dallas Cowboys
7 Seed- New York Giants
While the AFC is the best I've seen since the prime years of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers and Big Ben, the NFC is the weakest I've seen since the Seahawks first Super Bowl season in 2005.
History has not been kind to Super Bowl losers from the previous season (excluding the Patriots dynasty), but I believe the Eagles can buck this trend. While they lost 7 starters on the defensive side of the ball, they retained their stars while bringing back most of the best offense in the conference last year. Behind the unstoppable force that is Jalen Hurts, I like the Eagles to earn the top seed and the best record in the NFL with a 14-3 record.
I've believed all year, and I'm sticking strong in my belief of Pete Carroll and Geno Smith. The Seattle Seahawks will win the NFC West with a 12-5 record. As we saw last night, the Lions have enough talent and fight to win the NFC North, earning their first home playoff game in 30 years! The Saints, behind new addition Derek Carr and the easiest schedule in the league, are the big surprise team this season.
I predict a strong NFC wildcard trio, with San Francisco, Dallas and the Giants getting the final spots, with the Minnesota Vikings suffering the biggest drop from 2022. On the flip side, I have the Arizona Cardinals going a whopping 1-16, earning the top overall pick. Take heart, Seahawks fans, as USC superstar QB decides LA isn't so bad, foregoing the NFL for a year and avoiding the "fire in his gut".
Hardware and the Lombardi Winners
Before we go into my playoff predictions, here are my predictions for this season's biggest individual awards.
MVP- Jalen Hurts
DPOY- Micah Parsons
OROY- Jaxon Smith-Njigba
DROY- Will Anderson
COY- Mike Tomlin
With our playoff field set, here's how I have it all shaking out, and who's meeting who in Las Vegas in February.
Wild Card Round
2 Kansas City over 7 NYJ
3 Jacksonville over 6 Buffalo
5 Pittsburgh over 4 Miami
2 Seattle over 7 NYG
3 Detroit over 6 Dallas
5 San Francisco over 4 New Orleans
*The Seahawks beat the Giants for the second time in the 2023 season, controlling the game 27-10. This will be Seattle's first home playoff victory since 2016.
1 Cincinnati over 5 Pittsburgh
3 Jacksonville over 2 Kansas City
1 Philadelphia over 5 San Francisco
2 Seattle over 3 Detroit
*The Seahawks get revenge from a week 2 loss at Detroit, as Geno Smith plays his best game of the year in a 41-20 rout.
1 Cincinnati over 3 Jacksonville
1 Philadelphia over 2 Seattle
*The fairytale ride ends for Seattle in Philadelphia as the Eagles hold off a late rally by the Seahawks, prevailing 31-23.
Super Bowl LVIII
Cincinnati over Philadelphia
In the end I have a fantastic Super Bowl between the two previous SB runner ups, with Joe Burrow winning a shootout over the MVP Jalen Hurts 34-31.
For the Seahawks, I'm predicting a hugely positive season that sees them overcome a brutal schedule, and finally dethroning the 49ers for the division title. If the season goes as well as I think, you have to believe that the Seahawks will be legitimate championship contenders for the next few years. Enjoy the season everyone!