Top 4 defenses facing Geno Smith and the Seahawks in 2024

Seattle will face a number of excellent defenses this season.
Lindsey Wasson/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks might be in a year of transition with an almost entirely new coaching staff and a large roster changeover. That could mean that Seattle does not truly become a cohesive unit, especially defensively, until 2025. Still, if Seattle's offensive line is better than expected, there is enough talent on Seattle's offense to outscore some opponents.

Seattle also is not expected to have a quarterback battle, either. Geno Smith will be the starter and Sam Howell will be the backup. Smith also has a two-year rapport built with players such as DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Noah Fant.

While the defense transitions to a 4-3 and to new head coach Mike Macdonald's direction, the offense will need to steal a win or two. That is not ever easy, of course, but the Seahawks also face a number of very good defenses in 2024. Here are the four best.

Four best defenses the Seattle Seahawks will face in 2024

No. 4 - Buffalo Bills

The Bills are such a well-schemed defense that the parts appear somewhat interchangeable. Seattle, for instance, stole Tyrel Dodson, Pro Football Focus's (subscription required) top-rated linebacker in 2023, and Dodson would not have even been set to start at linebacker in Buffalo. The Bills lost talent this offseason, such as Micah Hyde, but Buffalo has gotten used to playing without high-end talent due to injuries the last couple of years.

Most likely, as long as head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Bobby Babbich are in charge, the defense will put the Bills in a position to win whether quarterback Josh Allen has any offensive weapons or not. Buffalo might not be elite against the run (Buffalo allowed 4.6 yards per rush in 2023, 27th in the league), but they cover so well that the run defense is not as much of an issue.

No. 3 - Green Bay Packers

The Packers are a lot like the Bills in that year-to-year the Packers seemingly always have a defense good enough to make a deep run in the playoffs. The one huge difference is that Green Bay succeeds defensively even though their head coach, Matt LaFleur, is an offensive-minded coach. The Packers simply collect great defensive talent and let that talent, such as Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Kenny Clark, and Jaire Alexander, work their magic.

In 2023, the Packers were seventh in pressure percentage (24.3) and 10th (350) in points allowed. Green Bay might be a great example of a bend-but-don't-break defense as they do give up yards but not points. At least the Seahawks will not have to travel to Green Bay to play in potentially bad weather in 2024; Seattle hosts the Packers.

No. 2 - San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco changes defensive coordinators more than Hogwarts changed Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers but no matter who the DC is in San Francisco, they seem to work magic against the Seahawks. Even when Seattle was consistently defeating the 49ers, most games were low-scoring. Once the 49ers' offense greatly improved and got more versatile talent, they could outscore Seattle.

If Seattle only played San Francisco once then the Seahawks might have a bit of an advantage since San Francisco likely won't have inside linebacker Dre Greenlaw early in 2024 (Greenlaw was injured during this past season's Super Bowl), but, unfortunately, Seattle plays San Fran twice every year so the 49ers' defense could be even better by the end of 2024. The 49ers aren't great against the run but their ability to shut down the pass and get pressure on opposing quarterbacks makes up for that.

No. 1 - New York Jets

The Jets seemed to underperform in 2023 after their defense was fourth in points allowed in 2022. New York fell to 12th last season, but they still ranked first in yards allowed per play (4.6). The issue was that after quarterback Aaron Rodgers was hurt in the first game of the season, the Jets offense was dismal and stranded the Jets defense on the field.

The Jets added a lot of offensive talent this offseason and should be much better on that side of the ball. This means the defense should be better rested and there is so much talent on the Jets' D - Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, Hasson Reddick, and several others - and they are directed so well by head coach Robert Saleh that New York is going to be a problem for any team they face. The Seahawks need to expect to play a low-scoring game and hope their own defense keeps New York from outscoring them.

Read more from 12th Man Rising