It's tough to get a good read on just how well the Seattle Seahawks will do this season. That's partly based on Seattle far exceeding how well many people thought they would do last year. But many times when a team does much better than anticipated, the success is due to many players having career years.
That wasn't really the case with Seattle last year. Sure, quarterback Geno Smith was a lot better than expected, but 2022 was the first season since 2014 that he had been given the QB1 role. Maybe Smith is just that good.
But for Seattle to have a great 2023, several players need to have big years. The second year guys also need to be a bit better than last year too. But the season could be decided by the following four players.
Seattle Seahawks edge rusher Darrell Taylor
Darrell Taylor is simply too inconsistent to be counted on as a top-end pass rusher. Thankfully, Seattle had Uchenna Nwosu in 2022 and he earned a contract extension through 2026 that he signed last week. Nwosu is good and you kind of know what he will do from week-to-week. As far as Taylor goes, however, he might be excellent for three games and then disappear for five.
There doesn't seem to be any reason for Taylor's inconsistency either. He works hard enough in practice, and he is still streamlining a few great pass rush moves. But against some teams they work and then against others, they don't. It's got to be maddening to the Seahawks coaches not know if Taylor is going to have a 2-sack game or not even record a statistic.
Taylor is an unrestricted free agent next year, and the Seahawks will likely place some kind of tender on him if he doesn't work out a new deal before next offseason. But to earn that new deal, he needs to show the Seahawks for most of the season that he is going to have a productive consistency. Taylor had 9.5 sacks last year, but 6.5 of those came in the final six games of the season. If Taylor can get to 13 sacks spread out over the season, he's going to make big bucks beginning in 2025, but otherwise, likely not.