Seattle Seahawks 2009 NFL Projection:
Coming into 2009, the Seahawks have a new head coach in Jim Mora.
made a splash in free agency adding T.J. Houshmandzadeh,
one of the league's best receivers. Over the last 3 seasons
Housh has averaged nearly 100 receptions.
Last season in the defensively
strong AFC North, T.J.
hauled in 92 balls with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting 12 games
in place of the injured Carson Palmer.
It stands to reason Houshmandzadeh should post
big numbers with Matt Hassselbeck throwing the ball to him in the defensively weaker NFC West.
However, on the downside, Seattle's offensive line is a hurting
unit. LT Walter Jones had arthroscopic knee surgery and is likely to miss
and handful of early season games.
Starting center Chris Spencer suffered a quadriceps tear and is expected to miss a month.
And LG Mike Wahle hung up his cleats.
Second round draft pick Max Unger of Oregon will be called upon
to help hold down the fort, as will Steve Vallos.
Obviously the Seahawks can't afford to lose their starting quarterback
Matt Hassselbeck, so might need to reduce the number of deep passing plays during the first quarter
of the season until they can get their line to full strength.
The injuries are also likely to hinder the new zone blocking scheme
designed to take advantage of Julius Jones' strengths rushing the ball.
On the other side of the ball the Seahawks get DE Patrick Kerney back from injury.
They need his pass rushing prowess in order to compete.
The Seahawks bulked up the interior of their defensive line with
the additions of Collin Cole and Cory Redding.
At outside linebacker they landed draft day prize Aaron Curry in the first round,
but they traded Julian Peterson to Detroit.
Seattle improved their secondary with the acquisition of CB Ken Lucas.
But they took a hit when CB Marcus Trufant was lost to an injured disk
in his back. He's out until week 8 (PUP).
Meanwhile, FS Brian Russell was released.
Jordan Babineaux will take his spot. And recently signed
Lawyer Milloy will back him up.
As mentioned above, Seattle's offensive line is in a weakened state.
Fortunately, the Seahawks open against the Rams-- a defensively challenged team
by the previous season's numbers.
However, other opponents in the early going
are likely to provide stiffer defensive competition such as San Francisco (week 2), Chicago (week 3),
and Indianapolis (week 4).
In some respects Seattle has one of the lighter schedules in the NFC.
They draw several defensively weak teams (from a season ago) at home
including Jacksonville (week 5), Detroit (week 9), Tampa Bay (week 15),
and of course division rival St. Louis in week 1.
It's imperative that the Seahawks win these four games to have a shot
at winning the NFC West.
Otherwise they will have to make up ground against some of the tougher teams/settings
they'll play in 2009;
As you can see, the Seahawks play 7 challenging road games on paper in 2009. And the Seahawks
are a team that has often relied on a strong home field edge.
With injury woes at offensive line and in the secondary, coupled with division rivals Arizona and San Francisco on the rise,
the Seahawks figure to have a difficult time getting back to the .500 mark in '09. Plus they will play several tough road games.
Overall we project Seattle to finish (6-10), taking 3rd place in the NFC West.
If they get good play from their O-line in the early going, there could be some decent upside
to this outlook.
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