This is going to sound like Loser Talk, and I get that.
How can you “win too much”? I mean, hypothetically, what if the Seahawks won ALL their games in 2022; how is that the “worst thing the Seahawks can do”?
Well, duh. Of course, the best thing the Seahawks could do is go 17-0 in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs; what Seahawks fan wouldn’t want that? But, how many of you believe that’s even remotely possible? Even if we traded Geno Smith for Patrick Mahomes straight up, would that even be enough to win it all with this team? Seems farfetched.
There are just too many holes and too many question marks. What’s the offensive line going to look like with potentially bookend rookies at the tackle spots? How much of a pass rush can we generate? Will our cornerbacks hold up for a full season, and not get torched in the process?
Seems bleak. That starts giving credence to a lot of the national pundits who have the Seahawks as one of the worst teams in the NFL, at least record-wise, in 2022. But, the homer in me sees potential. Maybe we start out slow, but improve as the year goes on. Maybe the offensive line gets its throat slashed the first month or two, but then they develop into viable starters by December and January. Maybe the schemes click and both offense and defense are playing their best ball by season’s end.
There’s the obvious benefit to losing a lot of games this year, which is a higher draft pick next year. A higher pick in a draft where many quality quarterbacks are projected to come out. But, that’s not all I’m thinking about here.
Technically, what I mean by the headline of this post is: the worst thing the Seahawks can do in 2022 is win too many games early. Because my whole vision for the Best Possible Season outcome is for the Seahawks to suck, to give the vast majority of its playing time to viable rookies and young players, and for THEM to be the ones to lead this organization towards improved play by season’s end. Then, maybe we can parlay that into a slingshot season in 2023 where a rookie quarterback enters the fray and off we go.
But, if we start out and somehow go 4-2 or 5-3, then the odds we end up relying on what veterans we have – many of whom are on short-term/one-year deals – go up, leaving less development time for the young guys to work out the growing pains.
So, does that mean I want the Seahawks to go 0-17? No, I think that’s a pretty awful scenario as well. While it would almost certainly guarantee us the #1 overall draft pick, I think there’s a lot that goes into a winless season (or even a 1-win or 2-win season) that goes beyond bad quarterback play. Some of the best players on this roster are on their first contracts. To be 2-15 or worse, I think you’re talking about an inordinate amount of devastating injuries, combined with the young core we’re hoping to count on just not being very good. If we’re THAT bad, then we’re not just a quarterback away. That means we have holes throughout the roster – with no stars anywhere – and this is a much more daunting sort of rebuild.
If our rookies on the O-Line don’t pan out by season’s end, then we’re proper fucked, and that’s two crucial spots we need to refill. If Darrell Taylor plateaus in his development, then we’re even further away from having a competent pass rush. If none of the young cornerbacks hit, then we’re going back to the drawing board with more rookies and retreads next year. On top of, again, not having a quarterback.
There is a sweet spot for the 2022 season. That’s somewhere in the 4-6 win range. Ideally, more of those wins come late. Because if we’re TOO bad, then you have to wonder if the coaching staff and/or front office stick around. If we go winless, or close to it, maybe ownership cleans house, and this rebuild goes to another level.
That sweet spot is what we want. But, I’ll still contend that the very worst thing is to win too much. 8 or 9 wins and we’re talking about being too low in the draft to get one of the good quarterbacks, on top of maybe deluding ourselves into thinking we’re contenders as is. When, really, we need the younger guys to step up and carry the load going forward.