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Seahawks successful season
Seattle Seahawks

What Will Make 2022 Season A Success For Seahawks?

  • Jack McKessy
  • June 15, 2022
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It’s hard to really have a good sense of where the Seattle Seahawks stand as a team entering 2022. Their reign of dominance over the NFC West is clearly over, their former franchise quarterback is in Denver and their former star linebacker is in Los Angeles. At the same time, the Seahawks don’t seem to be on the path to a teardown and rebuild.

For the 2022 season, success in Seattle doesn’t rest on whether they make the playoffs—that seems like a pipe dream for them right now—but rather on establishing their future. A successful season means getting an answer on their quarterback situation, determining whether additions to their offensive line are improvements and seeing a step forward on defense.

Russell Wilson was the greatest quarterback in Seahawks history. He was their winningest quarterback, their franchise leader in touchdown passes and passing yards and helped bring Seattle their first Super Bowl ring.

Brewing in Seahawks camp is the battle to replace him between former Broncos starter Drew Lock and last year’s backup, Geno Smith, both of whom have résumés far less impressive than Wilson’s. Lock is 8-13 in 21 career starts, tied Carson Wentz for the league lead in interceptions in 2020 and lost his starting job to Teddy Bridgewater just last year. Smith is 13-21 in starts, couldn’t catch on as the Jets’ starter to begin his career and has only been a backup since then.

To his credit, Smith looked solid in Seattle’s offense last year when he stepped in for an injured Wilson, and Carroll admitted Smith has the current lead to win the starting job. Lock is still an intriguing option as the younger answer with a chance to prove himself in a change of scenery. The Seahawks had enough belief in the two of them—or possibly a lack of belief in this year’s draft class—to avoid drafting a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, meaning whoever wins the quarterback battle has an opportunity to lock in not only their future but the future of their team.

Meanwhile, the protection in front of whoever ends up under center looks to be greatly improved in 2022. After years of letting Wilson scramble for his life inside and out of the pocket, the Seahawks waited until he was gone to draft two offensive tackles, including one in the top 10.

Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas both share strong pass sets as some of their best qualities. Assuming both of them end up with starting jobs as rookies, they could anchor each side of the offensive line in a big way, providing the starting quarterback with more time in the backfield than Wilson got in his last years in Seattle.

In addition to the potential upgrades on their offensive line, the Seahawks added running back Kenneth Walker III to help out their run game behind Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson. That’s an especially big move given Penny is already facing hamstring issues in OTAs after struggling with them in 2019 and 2021 and Carson is coming off of a major neck surgery. A strong run game will always help set up the passing game, and Walker represents what the Seahawks hope will be a good complement to their quarterback.

The Seahawks also made plenty of upgrades to the defensive side of the ball with some moves in free agency and in the Wilson trade as well. Defensive end Shelby Harris came over from Denver in the Wilson trade off of a six-sack season that matched a career best. Cornerback Artie Burns also joined the team as a free agent.

But those who could be the biggest additions all came in the draft. Seattle drafted edge rusher Boye Mafe at the start of the second round, then took cornerbacks Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen as well as edge rusher Tyreke Smith on Day 3.

Linebacker may still be a question with the departure of Wagner, but at the very least the Seahawks’ passing defense should take a step forward in 2022. Mafe was one of the top edge rushers in a stacked class and Woolen deserved to be a Day 2 pick as well given his raw athleticism. Bryant and Smith aren’t shabby additions to the secondary and pass rush, respectively, either.

Seattle’s season in 2022 most likely won’t end in a playoff run barring a miracle—or maybe several. But they could still consider this season a success if they get some idea of where their future is headed. Establishing a core on both sides of the ball and adding pieces later is clearly in their best interest for right now. Getting answers on their quarterback situation, offensive line, defense or all three would be a big step in quickly rebuilding a foundation in 2022.

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Jack McKessy