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Flying Low: What’s Wrong with the Seattle Seahawks?

Going under the radar is fine. In some circumstances, it’s better than standing out from the crowd. Flying low is different. It signifies something deeper, a crucial problem at the center of a franchise’s foundations. Compared to last season, the Seahawks appear as if their wings have been clipped.  

As you would expect, the team has struggled to take off, which is unusual for a side led by quarterback Russell Wilson. Going 3-5 in the first eight weeks puts them in danger of missing out on the playoffs. So, what’s going on in the Pacific Northwest?  

A Challenging Division  

It’s worth considering the competition because the Seahawks have some of the toughest rivals in the entire NFL. Part of the reason that the NFL odds from Betfair quote Seattle as +3500 to win the NFC West outright is down to the Arizona Cardinals and the LA Rams. The latter is the roster most expected to claim Super Bowl LVI, while the former’s recent form is showcasing why it deserves to be in the conversation.  

There’s a lot wrong in Seattle, yet it doesn’t help that the franchise must play these two excellent sides. Some people think that their record isn’t too unhealthy considering how bad they’ve been and the level of competition they’ve faced. Imagine if they were in the AFC West, which is unusually deviating from its high standards.  

You could argue that a different division wouldn’t highlight such serious deficiencies. Of course, it would also paper over the cracks, and that’s not good for the franchise’s long-term future.  

The Shane Waldron Factor  

Nobody enjoys a breakup, especially not when the relationship has been fruitful. For Seahawks’ supporters, the divorce between Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer left a gaping hole. A new attacking coordinator was essential, and it arrived in the form of Shane Waldron.  


While Schottenheimer had performed admirably in the role, there was excitement surrounding Waldron’s appointment as it included the distinct possibility of running better screenplays. If Wilson can pick up easy yards, the Seahawks will be a force to be reckoned with, or so the theory went.  

Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked. From Week Three through to Week Five, SI points out that the offense attempted 11 screens and gained 19 yards. Therefore, not only have they lost the Schottenheimer magic, but their yards-after-catch numbers are still terrible and extra yards for Wilson aren’t remedying the situation. That’s why they’re +4000 to win the NFC Conference.  


Rewind to last year, and the Seahawks were Super Bowl favorites. Russell Wilson, obviously, was at the center of the hype. But it wasn’t just their elite quarterback – it was the coaching hierarchy. it finally realized they had a weapon of mass destruction that could throw bombs.  

Over the first five matches of that season, Wilson had 19 touchdowns and was on course to beat Peyton Manning’s record of 20. What happened next shocked the football community – they were beaten by the LA Rams in the Wild Card game.  

Something that surprised fans and pundits was the fact they returned to their old ways. Gone were the broken plays – Russell scrambling out of the pocket to throw on the run – and back came the turgid football strategy. Wilson has been injured since (coincidentally) playing the Rams this year. Still, the fact remains that Pete Carroll seems reluctant to unleash his main man and ask him to win football matches. The franchise is risk-averse on offense, and its odds of +8000 for Super Bowl LVI reflect that.  

The Seattle Seahawks are in a tough division, but until they put their faith in Russell Wilson and fix their screen calls, they won’t challenge for honors.