Who is the next Lynch?
The Seahawks eased toward life without Marshawn Lynch last season as he was limited to seven games because of injuries before heading off into retirement. Thomas Rawls, Christine Michael and others should be able to compensate with enough rushing yardage to keep the Seahawks armed with an elite ground game. The bigger question: Can anybody take over Lynch’s role as the team’s paragon of toughness?
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
Is Wilson hitting his prime?
Russell Wilson had a career year in 2015. He led the NFL in passer rating and cracked the 4,000-yard barrier in passing. Many think he’s only now entering his prime in his fifth season. It begs the question: Can Russell Wilson take the next step to enter the conversation as NFL MVP?
Can the O-line be a cohesive unit?
The most glaring question mark of this season — as it has been in several of the previous ones — remains the status of the offensive line. With new starters at all five positions, the hopes of quickly turning this into a cohesive unit are a little far-fetched. But the early results looked surprisingly good. Nothing is proven until the regular season, when we may discover the answer to: Can this offensive line be functional enough to make holes for Rawls and provide protection for Wilson?
Will the defense set new records?
It goes against the odds that the Seahawks could once again lead the NFL in scoring defense. They’ve done it four straight years, to rank as an historically great defense. If they do it again, can we then ask: Is this the best stretch of defense the NFL has ever seen?
How dominant can they be in their own division?
Arizona ran off with the NFC West title last season, posting a 13-3 record. The Cardinals have won two of their last three games at CenturyLink, too. They once again appear loaded with talent. The last two times the Seahawks won the division, they went to the Super Bowl. Can the Hawks once again claim the critical dominance in their own division?
Dave Boling: firstname.lastname@example.org