Stat Predictions for Seattle Seahawks' Key Offensive Players

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor IJuly 11, 2012

Stat Predictions for Seattle Seahawks' Key Offensive Players

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    The Seattle Seahawks have seen rapid improvement from their defense, but the offense has been slow to respond under head coach Pete Carroll. The primary issue has been play from the quarterback position, an area the Seahawks addressed in the offseason.

    The team showed signs of improvement in certain areas of the offense last season, and they have a few solid playmakers and several players that could break out in 2012.

    There are reasons for Seahawks fans to be optimistic, but their season, and the NFC West as a whole, will come down to play at the quarterback position.

    The following slides will discuss what players are capable of, but the big remaining question is, do the Seahawks have a capable quarterback?

Tight End

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    The 2011 season couldn't have been much more disappointing for the tight end position. Newly acquired free-agent Zach Miller spent much of the season blocking.

    When he was in passing routes, he had a quarterback that struggled to get him the ball. The two simply failed to be on the same page.

    Expect both of those to change in 2012, but Miller won't necessarily be the biggest benefactor.

    Newly acquired Kellen Winslow Jr. will become a big part of the Seahawks' offense, acting partly as a tight end and partly as a really big slot receiver.

    Winslow doesn't figure to put up numbers like he did in Tampa Bay, as he'll be sharing looks with Miller, but he should still be a big part of the Seahawks' offense.

    2012 Projections:

     

    Zach Miller

    Receptions: 34

    Yards: 382

    Touchdowns: 2

     

    Kellen Winslow Jr.

    Receptions: 68

    Yards: 693

    Touchdowns: 3

Slot Receiver

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    It is tempting to project a breakout season for Doug Baldwin, but there are a few issues that could impact his production in 2012. The biggest concern is depth and competition in the slot.

    Golden Tate figures to be more involved in the offense in 2012, as he started to click with the offense when given more opportunities. Also, Winslow will likely take some snaps and targets away from the slot receiver.

    Baldwin will make the most of his opportunities, but they may not be as plentiful as some believe they will be this season.

    2011 results and 2012 Projections for Doug Baldwin:

    Season

    Rec

    Yards

    AVG

    TD

    2011

    51

    788

    15.5

    4

    Proj. ‘12

    45

    695

    15.4

    4

Wide Receiver No. 2

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    There will be several position battles in 2012, and this is as much of a wild card as any. Mike Williams* is expected to be back in time for training camp, but he'll be pushed for a roster spot by Ben Obomanu, Kris Durham, Deon Butler, Golden Tate and possibly a rookie.

    In reality, expect there to be a rotation of several players lining up opposite Sidney Rice.

    It is possible Durham steps up or Williams shows closer to the 2010 version. If not, there are other options on the roster that will fight for time.

    I believe the tall, speedy Durham will end up earning a large percentage of the snaps.

    2012 Projections:

     

    Kris Durham

    Receptions: 41

    Yards:  612

    Touchdowns:  5

     

    *UPDATE

    The team announced the release of Mike Williams. This isn't overly surprising, and should actually help Williams make a final 53-man roster.

Wide Receiver No. 1

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    Sidney Rice was an exciting offseason addition last year, but one that came with a warning label: "Fragile; handle with care."

    The concerns with Rice held true to form in Seattle. He started the season on the sideline and went on injured reserve midway through the year.

    But while he was on the field he flashed the skills and athleticism that made hi, such an attractive free-agent.

    If Rice can stay healthy in 2012 he will show fans why Seattle wanted him. He's been working in the weight room to add some muscle and strength, and you should believe that will be a difference maker.

    These predictions are optimistic in that they assume Rice will play all 16 regular season games for just the second time in his career.

    Season

    GP

    REC

    Yards

    AVG

    TD

    2007

    13

    31

    396

    12.8

    4

    2008

    13

    15

    141

    9.4

    4

    2009

    16

    83

    1,312

    15.8

    8

    2010

    6

    17

    280

    16.5

    2

    2011

    9

    32

    484

    15.1

    2

    Proj. ‘12

    16

    81

    1,275

    15.7

    7

Running Back

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    Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks' ground game was a tale of two seasons in 2011. They were one of the worst units through the first eight games as the team broke in an entirely new offensive line, a new offense and new blocking schemes from Tom Cable.

    Things began to click midseason, and Seattle's ground game took off. They will attempt to pick up where they left off in 2011.

    Lynch will share the load a bit more in 2012, as Robert Turbin will be able to help soften opposing defenses. Seattle will also look to get a bit more from their passing game, but improved play from the quarterback position will mean extending possessions and giving Lynch more opportunities.

    Season

    GP

    Yards

    AVG

    TD

    Rec.

    Yards

    TD

    2007

    13

    1,115

    4.0

    7

    18

    184

    0

    2008

    15

    1,036

    4.1

    8

    47

    300

    1

    2009

    13

    450

    3.8

    2

    28

    179

    0

    2010

    16

    737

    3.6

    6

    22

    145

    0

    2011

    15

    1,204

    4.2

    12

    28

    212

    1

     

    2012 Projections

    Rush Yards: 1,412

    Rush Avg: 4.5

    Touchdowns: 14 bags of Skittles

    Receptions: 23

    Yards: 212

    Touchdowns: 2 bags of Skittles

Quarterback

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    Quarterback is certainly going to be an interesting position to watch for the Seahawks. Some of the earlier projections obviously assume the team gets better production in 2012 from the signal-caller, and I'm sticking with that player being Matt Flynn.

    The speculation is the coaching staff isn't happy with Flynn's spring, and that is why Tarvaris Jackson will enter training camp as QB1, is merely speculation. 

    The plan all along was to allow Jackson to hold onto the starting job until he lost it when the players were in pads, not shorts and helmets. Pete Carroll is sticking to the plan.

    It is better to make the right decision in August to make a move that would distress a fragile quarterback's confidence in June. 

    The following projections are aggressive, but are hardly unrealistic for a solid starting quarterback. 

    Cam Newton threw for over 4,000 yards last season and Ryan Fitzpatrick fell just short of the mark. 

     

    Matt Flynn 2012 Predictions:

    Attempts: 526

    Comp: 323

    Percent: 61.4

    Yards: 4,112

    Avg. 7.8

    Touchdowns: 26

    Interceptions: 14