suggests Seahawks are closing in on 49ers within NFC West

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, left, shakes hands with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, right
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, left, shakes hands with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, right / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers could be concerned that the Seahawks' post-Russell Wilson rebuild isn't taking as long as it was originally thought to take.

Heading into 2022, it wasn't hard to find fans and analysts making "lock it in predictions" that the Seattle Seahawks would finish with a bottom-five record that year.

After all, quarterback Russell Wilson had been traded to the Denver Broncos, and head coach Pete Carroll's squad was going to roll with either Drew Lock or Geno Smith under center. With those options, there was no way the Hawks would finish with more than five or six wins, right?


While not exactly dominant, Seattle finished 2022 with a surprising 9-8 record and an appearance in the postseason where it was knocked off by the NFC West-winning San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round.

With the Arizona Cardinals scraping the bottom of NFL power rankings and the Los Angeles Rams beginning a rebuild of their own after last year's worst Super Bowl defense in league history, it's looking as if the NFC West will belong to either the Niners or the Seahawks.

And is arguing that the gap between the two isn't quite as wide as one might think. suggests Seahawks 'closing in' on 49ers in NFC West race

In a prediction piece that guestimated each NFC West team's starting lineups for the 2023 season,'s Gregg Rosenthal took a look at how an improved Hawks roster, thanks largely to an excellent draft class, could actually be close to matching what San Francisco will field this season.

Granted, the 49ers are viewed as a top Super Bowl contender, while Seattle is certainly a playoff threat but no more.

But, to Rosenthal's point, the Seahawks are gaining ground:

"This is the best Seahawks roster since 2020, and expectations should be raised. The 49ers are the favorites to win the division, but not by much. I like this Seattle roster better than any team in the NFC North and NFC South."

Read More: Breaking down each NFC West draft class and how they stack up vs. 49ers

Rosenthal did point out how the Hawks' run defense remains shoddy and arguably got worse during the offseason with the departures of run-stuffers like Al Woods and Poona Ford, and that does play right into the Niners' offensive "bread and butter" with the ground attack.

Still, provided Smith can replicate the kind of success he had last season, there's definitely an argument to be made about Seattle threatening San Francisco in the NFC West race.

Next. 49ers 2023 full schedule, game-by-game predictions. dark