Seahawks need to invest in their offense instead of their defense

Despite launching an overhaul of the coaching staff and defensive roster after a 9-7 finish in 2017, Seattle made it back to the playoffs in 2018 with a 10-6 record. The defense, which was the franchise’s identity during its last two Super bowl appearances, was mediocre last season and investing a lot of money into it isn’t going to make this roster contend for a championship any quicker.

In 2019, the Seahawks offense was on the bottom end of elite territory at No. 5 while the defense was sitting at No. 19. This is not the recipe for a team that is going to seriously contend for a Super Bowl. There is going to be a temptation to invest in the defense, particularly pass rush…but that is only going to take a mediocre defense and make it average; what the franchise needs to focus on is making its offense more consistent.

Over the last 20 seasons, 14 of the teams that have won the Super Bowl had an elite (top 5, according to DVOA) offense or defense. Six of those championship rosters had elite offenses.

Regular seasonSuper Bowl ChampOffenseDefense
2001New England11th13th
2002Tampa Bay20th2nd
2003New England14th2nd
2004New England3rd7th
2007New York Giants18th13th
2009New Orleans2nd17th
2010Green Bay7th2nd
2011New York Giants7th19th
2014New England6th12th
2016New England2nd16th
2018New England1st16th
2019Kansas City3rd14th

An elite offense carrying a mediocre defense is hardly unprecedented, and with where Seattle’s salary cap is, it makes far more sense to spend on the offense with the goal of take its offense to that next level. While the offense was sitting at No. 5 last season, their running game was the weakest part of the offense — No. 6 according to DVOA, the passing attack was No. 4.

Heading into 2020, Seattle has roughly $14 million of cap space; and in 2021 that cap space should increase to nearly $68 million.

Investing that cap space into offensive talent would provide a higher return on investment. Particularly, I would like to see general manager John Schneider go out and get another wide receiver to line-up opposite of Tyler Lockett. When Russell Wilson has had a couple of deep threats, like in 2014 with Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, the pass offense can be explosive and take pressure off of the running game by pulling more people out of the box. It would also give the veteran quarterback another option in case he needs to get into the scramble drill.

Another place Schneider could invest that money is in the offensive line. After a promising 2018, the offensive line regressed last season as they allowed sacks on 8.54% of Wilson’s passing attempts last season. The o-line also struggled in run blocking at times and they finished the season as the No. 16 run blocking line in the league last season.

Unfortunately, a lot of the offensive line talent that could have made a difference for the Seahawks has already come off of the board. Making improvements there will be unlikely this season, but we’ll see what happens in 2021 with some more cap space.