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Time to Schein: Russell Wilson says ‘winning’ is the most important thing
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The NFC West offers as much intrigue as any division entering the 2020 NFL season, but if you can count on one of its teams to deliver, it’s probably the Seattle Seahawks. Since Pete Carroll took over as head coach in 2010, Seattle has made the playoffs in eight out of 10 years, won the NFC West four times and finished lower than second place just once. In other words, Russell Wilson and Co. have been a model of consistency — one of the surest bets to make a postseason run so long as both Wilson and Carroll are running the show.

It’s not exactly bold, then, to suggest the Seahawks could be back in the hunt for a Super Bowl in 2020, even though the San Francisco 49ers are fresh off their own NFC title run, the Los Angeles Rams still boast plenty of Pro Bowl talent and the Arizona Cardinals are primed for a step forward with second-year breakout candidate Kyler Murray.

But that’s why our three bold predictions for Seattle’s 2020 season get a little more specific. Take a look:

1. Russell Wilson leads the NFL with 40 passing TDs

“Let Russ cook” is funny precisely because we all know the Seahawks prefer to do otherwise. Logical or not, this team is intent on winning in the trenches (kind of ironic, considering how often we’re talking about the club undervaluing the O-line), grinding it out on the ground and turning to their Superman QB when things really need saving.

But you know what? Somehow while operating this old-school offense Wilson has managed to eclipse 30 passing touchdowns four times in the last five years, peaking with 35 in 2018. You’re telling us he can’t throw five more as he seemingly gets better with age? No matter how run-heavy the ‘Hawks want to be, it’s not as if Wilson’s pass-catching corps is barren. Between Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Greg Olsen, Phillip Dorsett and red-zone favorite Will Dissly, there are enough mouths to feed for Wilson to hit a career high. And then, of course, there’s this …

2. Antonio Brown arrives and dominates December

By now, it’s all but a given Seattle will explore the castoff market to beef up its WR corps for the home stretch. Carroll and Wilson have talked regularly — both openly and behind closed doors — about adding either Brown or fellow troubled free agent Josh Gordon. And the reality is that even if Gordon gets the call, particularly because he knows the Seattle system, AB will still be on the Seahawks’ radar in the likely event he’s available upon the conclusion of his NFL-mandated eight-game suspension.

Whether or not Brown gets banned an additional couple of games, Seattle is the most obvious fit, and the way the team’s already talked about him, it seems like a late-season team-up is inevitable. Don’t get it twisted, either: At 32, Brown is still in solid shape with the speed and route-running skills to rank among the NFL’s best. Assuming he rocks a Seahawks uniform as soon as November, he’ll be a prime candidate to absorb all kinds of Wilson targets for the most important part of Seattle’s schedule.

3. Jamal Adams sets the single-season record for safety tackles

An even bolder prediction would be that the team’s prized acquisition will stay out of his own kitchen after a sour strawberry-slicing incident almost messed up one of his multi-million-dollar hands. But let’s be real: However you think the ex-New York Jets star handled his departure from the Big Apple, he’s bound to light it up at the back end of Seattle’s defense. Adams’ coverage skills aren’t necessarily as elite as his name reputation suggests, but that’s just fine, because his role — and the setup of the Seahawks’ cast around him — should instead allow him to rack up impact plays in the middle of the field and closer to the line.

With Quandre Diggs patrolling the back end, where he shined as a ball-hawk in limited action following 2019’s trade deadline, Adams has a legitimate chance of filling the kind of role once held by “Legion of Boom” star Kam Chancellor, even though the latter was a far more imposing physical presence. Former Jet Victor Green holds the NFL record for single-season solo tackles by a safety (123, in 1996), but Adams shouldn’t have much trouble clearing that total if he’s anywhere close to his 2018 Pro Bowl form (115 total tackles). One way or another, he’ll make his presence felt from the jump.

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