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Monday Round-Up: Seahawks Passing Offense Named Most Overperforming Unit of 2022 NFL Season

NFL insider Cynthia Frelund breaks down just how greatly Seattle’s passing game exceeded expectations in 2022.


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Monday, February 6 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

Seahawks Passing Offense Exceeds Expectations In 2022

Entering the 2022 season with a new quarterback, several rookies at key starter positions and veterans recovering from injuries didn't bode well for the Seahawks in early predictions. Fast forward to the 2023 offseason, and the 9-8 Seahawks are fresh off a NFC Wild Card berth with plenty of optimism for the future. NFL Insider Cynthia Frelund breaks down why quarterback Geno Smith and the Seahawks were the most over-performing unit of the 2022 NFL season.

After winning the job over quarterback Drew Lock, Smith took the reins as a starter for the first time since 2014. In addition to throwing for over 4200 yards and 30 touchdowns, Smith led the league with a 69.8 completion percentage. Along with breaking several Seahawks and league single-season records, Smith earned the Pro Football Writers Association's Comeback and Most Improved Player of the Year Awards. On Sunday, Smith capped off a storybook year by leading the NFC to a 33-27 Pro Bowl win Sunday. Amongst Seattle's quartet of Pro Bowl selections was rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen, who tied for a league-best 6 interceptions. Kicker Jason Myers was named to his second Pro Bowl since joining Seattle in 2018. Safety Quandre Diggs rounds out the group, just a year after breaking his fibula in the final game of the 2021 season. Neither age nor injury could stop Seattle from claiming a playoff berth.

In the NFL's latest rankings measuring expected win share and productivity versus reality, Frelund breaks down why Seattle's passing game surpassed expectations.



I don't have a way to isolate the win share of deep passes, but I can say that Geno Smith's deep passing, especially early in the season, drives much of this final ranking. Next Gen Stats shows that Smith's 13 deep touchdown passes (20-plus air yards) paced the NFL in 2022. Nine of those came in the first eight weeks, and that hot start (Seattle went 5-3) changed the course of the Seahawks' season. In the category of downfield passes (all pass attempts of 10-plus air yards downfield), Smith's 27 TDs are tied for the most, with Josh Allen -- and Smith had one fewer interception than Allen on those attempts (eight to Allen's nine). Smith's 112.8 passer rating on such passes ranked third among all QBs who attempted more than 50 downfield passes.

The Seahawks' pass catchers ranked 14th in win share before the season, but the combination of the O-line (which started ranked 30th and ended the season at 25th) and uncertainty at QB drove the low forecasted effectiveness of the passing offense. Smith far exceeded that forecast, setting a franchise season record for completions (399), attempts (572), completion percentage (69.8) and passing yards (4,282). He was also the first Seattle QB to lead the NFL in completion percentage since Dave Krieg in 1991 (65.6 percent).

The offseason brings plenty of questions regarding the potential roster changes heading into 2023. If the production of this year's draft class and the results on the win-loss sheet do nothing else, they should serve as fair warning not to doubt Seattle's ability to make magic.

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