Welcome to the 11th ever edition of the ‘Super Bowl Race in the Perspective of Chase’, an almost daily article on your favorite NFL team. This is the first time in the series’ history that we are doing two teams in one article. And it’s because these two teams were involved in arguably the biggest blockbuster deal in the offseason: the Russell Wilson trade. We’re going to break down both teams situation after the trade and what they can do this season. Does Wilson have enough weapons? Was not trading D.K. Metcalf a bad idea? Lets, get into this!
Real quick before we do, I would like to let you know we are doing something very similar to this on the Cool Sports Newsletter for the NBA if you want to check that out as well. And we are also going to start breaking down college football in the next couple of weeks with the season just around the corner as well.
The Broncos haven’t had success since they won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning in the 2015 season. They have the 8th worst record in the NFL since that time span. They haven’t really found a quarterback since then, and not a coach either. This coming season, Denver will have their 6th leading passer (if he doesn’t suffer a significant injury) and 4th head coach since their Super Bowl win in Super Bowl 50 over the Cam Newton lead Carolina Panthers. However, the Seahawks have had the 7th best record since that same time span with Wilson, despite not making it to a Super Bowl since Super Bowl 49, and not winning won since Super Bowl 48. But they have very consistent under Wilson, which is why he has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for a very long time.
Last season, Denver started off the season 3-0, but ended the year 7-10. They were honestly tanking towards the end of the season, as they traded long time veteran and Super Bowl 50 MVP, Von Miller to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams. They also ended up firing head coach Vic Fangio. They needed a move to make them competitive in a very tough AFC. The Seahawks on the other hand had their first losing season since before Wilson joined the team (2011) in 2021. Their offensive line was not helping him out either, and Wilson was a DNP for three games for the first time in his career. The Seahawks also finished 7-10, which was of course last in the NFC West. There were rumors Wilson wanted to leave Seattle and contend, and it wasn’t his fault for the Seahawks failures, as their defense was also a disgrace. It was a perfect match.
Denver clearly didn’t want Drew Lock. And they also had other trade assets. Noah Fant had another good season for Denver, with 670 receiving yards and four touchdowns (he was so good for me in fantasy football last season). Seattle was ready to move on. If they weren’t winning with this talent, they weren’t going to win. They didn’t have the assets to get a better offensive line and a better defense which is what they needed to contend. So the trade happened. Russell Wilson and 2022 fourth round pick was sent to Denver in exchange for Lock, Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, two first round picks (2022 #9 overall and a 2023 1st), two second round picks (one in 2022 and one in 2023) and a fifth round pick in 2022. The two seven win teams were going in completely different directions!
Seattle used the 9th overall pick from the trade and selected OT Charles Cross. Their 10th overall pick went to the New York Jets due to the Jamal Adams trade, so Garrett Wilson went to New York instead of Seattle. They also used the 40th overall pick as a part of the Wilson trade to select a first round talent Boye Mafe. For Denver, their draft picks won’t really elevate their team by a significant amount. The Seahawks didn’t really sign anyone important in free agency and didn’t make any other big trades. Same thing for Denver, who just retained their players. A boring offseason for both teams after the trade.
The Seahawks still had a lot of question marks about if D.K. Metcalf would play for Seattle without a contract extension. So, Seattle ended the talks by signing Metcalf to a three year, $72 million contract extension. However, who is going to throw the ball to him and Tyler Lockett? Well, it’s between Geno Smith and Drew Lock. Not great options. Lock played very bad last season and Smith, while playing okay when Wilson was hurt, isn’t a good starting quarterback. So, was signing Metcalf the right move? Will he thrive without Wilson? Should they have traded him for future draft capital and tank for Bryce Young? Because right now, they’re too good for the #1 overall pick.
Seattle, even though their quarterback is a question mark, has potential to beat good teams if Metcalf goes off. They’re the hardest “bad team” to beat. I have them beating teams like New Orleans and the Raiders. But I also have them losing to the Jets. But that inconsistency is too good for Bryce Young. So should they try to develop Drew Lock to become a franchise quarterback or play Geno Smith. Well, Geno Smith would give them more wins. But Lock’s (who won’t be their franchise quarterback) value will go up if he plays well and Metcalf and Lockett help that. But if a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater or someone who wants to flip around their career could want to go there and they could bring more talent to Seattle. This also happens if they start Smith, since they would win more with him. Smith would also open up the running game more than Lock, which will help continuing Rashaad Penny’s development.
Seattle may have too many good receivers in the situation they’re in. But Denver doesn’t have enough for their situation! Well, they have depth but not a #1 receiver or running back for Wilson to work with like he has had in his career so far. They have now 3rd year wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Courtland Sutton and KJ Hamler as a slot receiver. But none of them are #1 guys. Jeudy had 467 receiving yards in ten games last season. Patrick had 734 receiving yards and Sutton, while past his Pro Bowl days, is still good for 776 receiving yards. But not that #1 receiver players can rely on. If we look at quarterbacks, they need a #1 option to thrive. Patrick Mahomes had Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Aaron Rodgers had Davante Adams. Tom Brady had Mike Evans. Josh Allen had Stefon Diggs. Joe Burrow had Ja’Marr Chase. Wilson has Courtland Sutton…
Could Denver’s running game develop? Well, I think Javonte Williams will definitely become the full time starter as Melvin Gordon will be the backup. That’s a very a good paring. I see Williams going for maybe over 1100 rushing yards, while Gordon may get around 500-800 rushing yards depending on how much they run the ball now that they have Wilson. They are going to be able to rely on the running game though. However, Denver is in the same division as Kansas City, Los Angeles (Chargers) and Las Vegas, and will possibly also compete with teams like Miami and Cincinnati for Wild Card positions.
Both of these teams are completely different positions. One is in a rebuilding or retooling process (whichever one you consider them in) and one is trying to contend in a very competitive AFC. Both teams however, are a part of, what Adam Schefter called, one of the biggest blockbuster deals in NFL history!
My prediction: Denver starts 4-1, but finishes with just 8 wins and last in the AFC West, including ranking 11th in the AFC overall. For Seattle plays both Lock and Smith, beats New Orleans and Las Vegas, but only finishes with 5 wins and will receive the 5th overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft!
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