SEATTLE — Editor's note: This story is part of KING 5's Seahawks season preview series.
There's nothing sports fans love quite like bold predictions.
It's the best way to stamp your hot take with a seal of approval, only for most bold predictions to (inevitably) be way off the mark at the end of the season.
But that's kind of the point. These predictions are Bold with a capital B. They're supposed to be unlikely, which is what makes this exercise fun.
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Let's get to our 10 bold predictions for the Seahawks' 2022 season, varying on the boldness scale from piping hot take to "don't touch that because you'll burn your hand on the kitchen stove" hot.
Drew Lock starts at least 3 games
He might not have won the starting job out of training camp, but Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has maintained throughout that he believes Lock is a capable No. 1 quarterback.
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Geno Smith might have been the safer choice, but it won't be long before a lackluster offense leads Carroll to give Lock a chance as the starter. Whether it be by injury or on-field product, Lock will get his chances to prove himself in 2022 after COVID-19 and an awful preseason finale kept him from winning the job out of camp.
Pete Carroll retires at the end of the season
This will be Carroll's 13th season as head coach of the Seahawks. He's won the franchise's only Super Bowl in 2013, very nearly won another in 2014 and led the team to the playoffs in nine of 12 seasons. The Seahawks have averaged 10.5 wins per season under his tutelage, one of the best marks in the entire NFL.
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This is a long way to say, simply, that Carroll has accomplished everything he could have in Seattle during his tenure and has nothing else to prove.
He's the NFL's oldest coach, too, and the Seahawks are positioned for a multi-year rebuild after Russell Wilson's trade.
Does he really want to continue coaching teams that are on the outside of the playoff picture?
Seahawks go winless in the division
Most fans aren't expecting more than one or two wins against the very deep NFC West. However, the disappointing preseason from the offense and youth of the defense ultimately keeps the Seahawks from getting a single victory against the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams or San Francisco 49ers.
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Not to fear, the Seahawks will have plenty of winnable games outside of divisional competition. Don't expect much success against divisional foes, however, at least not until the team upgrades the quarterback position.
Jamal Adams sets all kinds of career highs
Adams has yet to live up to the haul the Seahawks gave to the New York Jets in acquiring the safety, not to mention the significant contract the team signed him to the following year. To give him some credit, injuries have kept Adams from playing more than 12 games in either of his first two seasons in Seattle.
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One of the team's most fierce competitors, Adams not only finds a way to stay healthy for all 16 games but manages to eclipse many of his career highs. Expect more tackles, interceptions and pass deflections as Adams works to prove he was worth every penny the Seahawks invested in him.
Seahawks finish dead last in total passing yards
This boldness varies, depending on your perspective of the Seahawks' quarterback rotation. Do you believe in Lock's physical talent? Do you think Smith can have a career renaissance?
If you do, then you'll feel this prediction is appropriately bold. But here's the case: Seattle was already 23rd in total passing yards (3,432) with Wilson starting in 14 games last season.
The teams that finished behind the Seahawks in passing yards either improved their quarterback this offseason (Colts, Browns, Panthers) or can expect a modest increase from a young quarterback understanding the offense (Eagles and Bears).
Meanwhile, the Seahawks downgraded from Wilson, one of the most efficient passers in the league that unlocked the offense, to Smith and/or Lock. Neither of the Seahawks quarterbacks has ever finished an NFL season with even 3,100 passing yards.
Tyler Lockett won't reach 1,000 receiving yards
We ranked Lockett as the Seahawks' No. 1 player heading into the 2022 season, but he stands to struggle the most with Smith at quarterback.
Lockett has totaled over 1,000 receiving yards in three straight seasons, largely because he's a magician with his footwork in the end zone. It's what allowed him to connect with Wilson even when facing impossible odds and tight windows of space between defenders.
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Wilson's preferred areas to throw the ball down the field mirrored Lockett's strengths as a receiver. Smith, a game manager-type quarterback, doesn't utilize that part of the field nearly as often.
Expect Lockett's overall targets to drop this season and his chances for another 1,000-yard season to dip significantly.
Kenneth Walker III leads the team in rushing yards
Yes, despite a preseason injury that may sideline him for the early part of the regular season. This is a bet on A) Walker's intriguing talent and B) the durability concerns for Rashaad Penny, who has yet to finish a full season without an injury.
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In the second half of the season, Walker III can cement himself as the team's primary ball carrier -- as long as his injury doesn't worsen.
Tariq Woolen will get at least 4 interceptions
We did say these were bold predictions.
The Seahawks had a pair of rookie cornerbacks that logged significant playing time this summer in Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant. Woolen in particular drew rave reviews after being a fifth-round draft choice and even has had former Seahawks players call him a potential starter already.
Woolen's combination of height, speed and vertical leap made him one of the more intriguing rookies in the 2022 draft. Opposing offenses love to target rookie cornerbacks, but Woolen will win a lot more battles than the rest of the league might believe. His length helps him pull down at least four interceptions this season and solidifies him as a piece of the secondary moving forward.
The Seahawks' passing efficiency will drop a loooooot, too
A big part of the Seahawks' atypical approach to scoring points centered around Russell Wilson's unique ability to be hyper-efficient with the limited amount of passing attempts he was given.
Here's where the Seahawks ranked in passing yards per attempt over the last nine seasons:
- 2021: 8th (7.7 yards per attempt)
- 2020: 13th (7.5 yards per attempt)
- 2019: 8th (7.9 yards per attempt)
- 2018: 6th (8.1 yards per attempt)
- 2017: 12th (7.2 yards per attempt)
- 2016: 6th (7.8 yards per attempt)
- 2015: 2nd (8.3 yards per attempt)
- 2014: 6th (7.7 yards per attempt)
- 2013: 2nd (8.4 yards per attempt)
Geno Smith's career average in yards per attempt is 6.9, while Drew Lock's is 6.7. The one-yard drop from Wilson (7.7 yards per attempt last year) may not seem like a big difference, but that would drop the Seahawks from 5th to 23rd in passing efficiency.
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A bottom-five finish in yards per attempt is well within reason.
Will Dissly will top 500 receiving yards
Will Dissly has steadily improved over his first four seasons with the Seahawks and now should be in line for another uptick in production. Geno Smith's familiarity with Dissly could make him a more favorable target at tight end than newcomer Noah Fant.
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The UW product ends up doubling his career-high and takes advantage of all the attention being focused on DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in the passing game.