I’m a little surprised that we haven’t heard of Seahawks fans snapping up early tickets for trips to Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis.
Maybe you just didn’t notice it, but early lines established by betting establishments list the over/under for Seahawks wins in 2017 at 10.5.
Seems like a totally reasonable number. The interesting part is not that it’s such high expectations for the Seahawks, but that figure stands as the highest in the NFC.
The only team with a higher over/under is New England (12.5).
If the oddsmakers know what they’re talking about, the Hawks would be considered the team most likely to become NFC champs and face New England again for the Lombardi Trophy.
That runs slightly counter to widespread analysis that the Seahawks were aging and in need of roster revitalization.
Although they still made it to the divisional round of the playoffs the past two seasons, it seemed to represent downward trending after having been to consecutive Super Bowls the two seasons preceding those.
I don’t gamble, but I think the “over” is the play for the Seahawks.
The same betting service listed the Hawks’ over/under at 10.5 last season, and with their 10-5-1 record, that’s exactly how they finished.
If last year’s team could get 10.5 wins with a partial quarterback, piecemeal offensive line and Pro Bowlers all over the field missing games with injuries, then a reasonably healthy 2017 club could easily better that mark.
Indestructible cornerstone players on each side — quarterback Russell Wilson and safety Earl Thomas — were vastly limited or out completely with injuries.
Thomas had never missed a game since joining the team in 2010 but was lost for the season with a broken leg in early December. Wilson had never even been on an injury report since taking over in 2012.
Wilson looked significantly diminished most of the season with a series of ankle, knee and chest injuries.
Coach Pete Carroll likes to apply sports science to help the Hawks reach peak performance. He may now research whether there is some kind of advanced-metric evaluation on matrimony, since the two things Wilson and Thomas had in common heading into last season was they both were recently married.
Surely it’s only coincidental, but these guys also think drinking bubbly water keeps them healthy, so anything’s possible.
The Seahawks have been engaged in offseason training at the headquarters, and pictures online have shown Wilson back to his nimble self and Thomas chugging away on a treadmill.
Key defenders Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril have had surgery, too. And Thomas Rawls and Tyler Lockett are fighting to return to full speed on the offensive side.
The newly drafted rookies will engage in a minicamp this weekend in an attempt to provide evidence of their readiness.
A more telling gathering will be the full-team minicamp June 13-15, when the health and recovery of the rehabbing veterans will be on display.
If the broken parts are well on the mend, the projection of 10.5 wins is entirely within reason.
Will that be enough?
Odds suggest the NFC West will once again be owned by the Hawks, with Arizona expected to win eight, and the Rams (5.5) and San Francisco (4.5) trailing by a wide margin.
Opposition in the other divisions? Green Bay is listed as likely to finish with 10 wins, Atlanta and Dallas at nine each.
Such predictions so often come undone with a club bouncing from last to first in a division or key injuries derailing an otherwise promising season of a powerhouse club.
The Seahawks once again have the talent to contend for a championship.
But they have to get healthy and stay that way.
And maybe they should discourage anybody from getting married this summer.