NBC Sports writer Peter King has been touring the training camps of NFL teams this offseason – as he does every year – to gather insight into the clubs themselves and what their seasons will feature. He recently visited Seattle to analyze the Seahawks and now predicts the team will finish with a 10-6 record this season.
The NFC West is expected to be competitive between the Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, and King cited that as a major factor in his prediction.
“In my opinion, it’s a three-team division now instead of two,” King said in his video. “I think there are three teams in this division that could all play deep into January.”
In his analysis, King compared the Seahawks to the Pittsburgh Steelers in that they recently lost players who were talented but were major distractions on and off the field.
“I think Seattle is the Pittsburgh of the NFC,” King continued. “I think these are two very similar teams – teams that have had a lot of outside distractions the last few years. Now Pittsburgh is rid of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, and they might not be a better team, but they’re a more placid team and a more football team. Seattle is basically the same way.”
It is true players like Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas were major cornerstones of the Seahawks franchise, but they provided distractions with occasional sideline tantrums and contract holdouts, respectively. However, King praised the team for retaining Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, stating they are talented players on their respective sides of the ball who can focus on football and not be distracted by internal or external factors.
“When your team leaders are Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson, those are ‘football guys’ who don’t let a lot of the outside stuff ever bother them,” King said.
The NFC West looks to be up for grabs this season. The Seahawks hope to match or even exceed King’s prediction and will have their work cut out for them trying to do so.