After the reigning, defending NFC West and NFC Champion Rams came in at #2 – the next NFC West team to appear on PFF’s list is the Seattle Seahawks at #13.
13. Seattle Seahawks
Biggest strength: Russell Wilson had one of his best seasons last year in Seattle’s run-heavy offense, as evidenced by his second-best single-season overall grade (89.2). Wilson has a big-time throw percentage of 6.79% since joining the NFL in 2012, leading all qualifying quarterbacks. To make things even scarier for opposing defenses, Wilson has great weapons in Tyler Lockett and newly drafted DK Metcalf to help him reach an even higher level in 2019.
Biggest weakness: Despite a strong start, Seattle’s offensive line ended up in the bottom half in pass-blocking efficiency for the sixth straight season. As a unit, it allowed 132 total pressures on 502 pass-blocking snaps. If the offensive line gives Wilson a clean pocket at a league-high rate, there’s no telling what he can do, as he consistently ranks among the top of the NFL in passer rating from a clean pocket.
X factor for 2019: Shaquill Griffin is a supremely talented cornerback who will need to play up to his potential if the Seahawks ever want to create a new Legion of Boom. He earned a coverage grade of just 51.9 last season, ranking 116th out of 131 qualifying cornerbacks, so Griffin’s progression will be something to watch going into his third season.
While the offensive line is often a target of fair criticism, the over looked thing here is the fact that the Seahawks might have the worst outside pass rush in the league. There is a steep drop off from former DE Frank Clark to new 30 year old DE Ziggy Ansah. 1st round pick LJ Collier has talent, but has yet to play an NFL down. Expecting a consistent pass rush from either projected starting DE at this point is a stretch. Ansah is also unlikely to play until October, so it’s going to be up to a lot of young and unproven players to produce at a high level quickly. That all being said, provided Russell Wilson is healthy this team will be a tough out in most cases.