The NFC West has been historically tough.
In recent years, we’ve seen the Seattle Seahawks struggle against their division rivals, including the San Francisco 49ers as evidenced when the Seahawks were stopped inches shy of the goal-line in the NFC West title game in 2019.
In 2020, it was the Los Angeles Rams. Despite clinching the NFC West crown for the first time since 2016 with a 20-9 victory over Los Angeles, Seattle suffered a major collapse in its Wild Card battle with the Rams that resulted in a 30-20 loss and an early playoff exit.
But Seattle may have just earned some unexpected good luck. The San Francisco 49ers have lost defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to the coaching carousel. Saleh recently accepted the head coaching job of the New York Jets. The Jets made the hiring official on Tuesday.
As for the Rams, defensive coordinator Brandon Staley is headed to the other side of town. Staley will take the reins as Los Angeles Chargers head coach following Anthony Lynn’s departure after four years with the organization. In the past two years, the Rams have now lost Staley and Wade Phillip, who was not retained following the 2020 season.
It’s worth noting that Jared Goff and Sean McVay may be headed for a bitter divorce as well. After choosing to start John Wofford over Goff in the Wild Card Round, the Rams head coach has been non-committal on Goff being a starter in 2021.
On Saturday night, when asked about Goff's future with the franchise, McVay’s response was that "he's the quarterback right now."
With both NFC West teams scrambling to fill a void vacated by their former defensive coordinators, the Seahawks list of possible candidates for their offensive coordinator vacancy continues to grow, and recently fired Eagles head coach Doug Pederson could be Pete Carroll’s guy.
But Carroll has reached out to a bevy of coaches to get some new ideas for Russell Wilson. Adam Gase, Anthony Lynn and Pep Hamilton are amongst the names linked to Seattle’s vacant offensive coordinator gig.
Whoever fills the offensive coordinator opening will take over an offense led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson, who had 40 touchdown passes, 13 interceptions and a 105.1 passer rating in 2020. Throw in first-time Pro Bowl receiver DK Metcalf who broke a franchise record in receiving yards with 1,303 on the year and Tyler Lockett who finished with franchise-setting 100 receptions for 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns in his sixth-year as a pro.
The Seahawks could catch another break against the 49ers and Rams with the right offensive coordinator hire. Any additional footing Seattle can get in the punishing NFC West is certainly welcomed heading into the 2021 NFL season.