Is 2022 A Bust if the Seattle Seahawks Don’t Make the Playoffs?

Seahawks Playoffs

On Sunday, January 8th, the Seattle Seahawks (8-8) will find out if they made the playoffs. The Seahawks have a chance to make the postseason, but they do not control their destiny. Not only does Seattle have to beat the Los Angeles Rams (5-11), but the Detroit Lions (8-8) will have to defeat their NFC North rival Green Bay Packers (8-8) to get the 7th seed in the NFC. It would have been a win and in for Week 18 of the season, but the Minnesota Vikings (12-4) might have shown they are not a real Super Bowl contender in the blowout 41-17 road loss to Green Bay.

The Seahawks have become one of the NFL’s most surprising and uplifting teams as they have surpassed expectations. It is easy to surpass those expectations, especially if the Seahawks were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league. Seattle started the season 6-3, but since proceeded to go 2-5. With the Packers currently the favorite over the Lions, even if the Seahawks win, they could still miss the playoffs. It will be heartbreaking to some Seahawks who started to get that glimmer of hope after a solid first half of the season, only to fall because of bad defensive play at the front seven. Even if the Seahawks do not make the playoffs, there is a lot for the team to be thrilled for. Seattle has a chance to develop into a worthy deep playoff contender.

ALSO: The latest player prop bets for Sunday are in!

Are the 2022 Seahawks Still A Success Without the Playoffs?

Seattle Might Have Found Their Quarterback of the Future

One of the biggest reasons why the Seahawks were considered a lower-tier team was the final competitor at quarterback between Geno Smith and Drew Lock. The instant that Smith led the Seahawks’ offense in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos, Smith became a star. Smith has played like one of the best passers in the league through most of the season. Smith has thrown for 4,069 yards (seventh in the league), a 70.2% completion percentage (leads the NFL), 29 touchdowns (tied for fourth in the league), and a QBR of 62.6 (tied for sixth in the league). Since being drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Smith has struggled as a starter or been a backup for four teams. This season has started a revitalization in Smith’s professional career, and he is a Pro-Bowler for the first time in his career.

The 2023 NFL Draft is a chance for many teams to seek a young quarterback in a talented class. Seattle, however, may not need to look into the possibility of drafting a quarterback until late in the draft. At 32 years old, Smith has shown he can be a solution more than a problem for the offense. He has utilized a talented offense with wide receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, running back Kenneth Walker III, and a talented deep group of tight ends. There is even hope at the offensive line with the two young offensive tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. The middle of the offensive line is the biggest and only main concern on the offensive side of the ball. In terms of rebuilding the offense post-Russell Wilson era, the Seahawks are well ahead of schedule.

The 2022 Rookie Class Is Fantastic

Another big hit for the 2022 NFL season for the Seattle Seahawks is the success of the 2022 rookie class. From Cross and Lucas, who were instant starters at the offensive line to the Pro-Bowl selection in cornerback Tariq Woolen, this 2022 Draft class for Seattle was one of general manager John Schneider’s best classes. Cross and Lucas are set to be the edge blockers for years to come. Kenneth Walker seems to be the future leader of the offense once he gets healthy during the off-season.

Woolen and Coby Bryant are starting-caliber cornerbacks, who had an early transition to being starters. Woolen has accounted for six interceptions (league-high) and 15 pass breakups (tied for second in the league). Outside linebacker Boye Mafe is a player that has the potential to become a future starter. Mafe accounted for 26 total tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks this season.

Roster Holes to Be Addressed Moving Forward

The most glaring need to address in the off-season is the decision regarding the run defense. The transition to the 3-4 defensive front has not been overall beneficial to the Seahawks. Seattle is 30th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (150.5). It has been the biggest reason why the Seahawks have tough losses to the Las Vegas Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers twice, and all four teams in the NFC South.

Seattle will need to decide on its defensive front. They will need to either change it back to the 4-3 or find reliable run-stoppers. The good news for the Seahawks is they have four picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, with a first and a second, previously belonging to Denver from the Wilson trade. The Seahawks are projected to get the third overall pick because of the Broncos. They can use this pick on generational defenders like Jalen Carter or Will Anderson Jr.

It is a shame that the lack of support in the run defense has essentially torn apart what has otherwise been a tremendous season for Seattle. Overall, the Seahawks did not expect to be in the hunt for the playoffs going into Week 18 of the season. Not many diehard Seahawks would have believed Seattle would be this good. If the Seahawks defeat Los Angeles at home but still miss the playoffs, they will finish above .500% and have a great headstart on their rebuilding process. The future is bright in Seattle, especially, if they have a great off-season.