Here are mine:
#1: The Seahawks become a team known more for offense in 2013.
Seattle's offense started the first half of last season well below average, yet were so hot in the 2nd half of the year that they ended up FO's #1 offense, even when counting the first half (it wasn't a weighted calculation, either). Seattle's redzone numbers got silly towards the end.
I don't know if Percy Harvin will get a 1000 yards this season, but he's not here for that. He's here because Seattle's entire offense is built around the idea of giving defenses too much to defend. It's all about stretching defenses thin and attacking the weak spots that appear as a result. Seattle was already doing that magnificently without Harvin, and Harvin will add an extra dimension because of his big play ability and versatility. He'll make Tate, Rice, Miller, Lynch and Wilson better even when the ball doesn't go his way.
Christine Michael will probably have about as much impact as a rookie Kendall Hunter did (5.2 YPC), but it's probably Luke Willson who will make the biggest impact outside of Harvin. Willson wasn't a prolific college TE, but he has size and speed at TE that only exists a few places in the league. And as far as I know, we've never seen a starting 251 pound TE that could run a 4.51 here before. He's going to also add a new dimension on offense.
When I look at Seattle's offense, it's not really that they have the most elite collection of weapons ever assembled, it's just that they have a group of very good players that can all make defenders pay for not respecting them. And you can't cover every base. Not with just 11 defenders. Defenses will be stretched more than ever in 2013 when facing the Seahawks.
I also think that Wilson elevated himself to an even higher level last season than what he was even at Wisconsin- and who's to say he's at his ceiling?
Then there's also the fact that Seattle will be starting with the read option as a wrinkle in week 1. Last year, it wasn't introduced until there were just 5 regular season games left to play.
And it's not like the Seahawks have a tough defensive schedule (outside the division) either.
The Seahawks probably won't lead the NFL in yards next season, but they might lead the NFL in scoring and I'd actually be surprised if they didn't lead the NFL in offensive efficiency.
#2: The defense might take a step back
Antoine Winfield was, IMO, our best offseason addition that didn't involve draft picks. He's a difference maker. Bennett and Avril fit what Seattle does. Seattle added future defensive starters in the draft.
That said, I see quite a bit of downside on defense. Bennett has the shoulder problem. Avril has a foot problem. Clemons blew out his ACL in January, plays defensive line, and is over 30. Winfield is 36, and last I checked, is not a cyborg, though Raul Ibanez might be. Irvin won't play until our 5th game, at which point he'll have question marks. Our linebackers are being moved around- some of them in ways that seem ill-advised. Will Chancellor be motivated now that he's been paid megabucks? (Actually, I think Chancellor will have a great season, but I think this is a valid concern). Will Bennett see enough reps at DE for his value to emerge? Will interior pass rush on 1st and 2nd downs remain a problem? (...Probably).
Maybe our defense is AMAZING, it certainly could be if everything breaks right. But there is so much that could go wrong too.
Another thing- last year's defense was built to play from behind. It wasn't built to hold leads. Pete tailored his Seahawks defenses to smoosh the strong side rushing attack, while often rushing just one pass rusher that was an honest threat. His secondaries played quite a bit of soft zone when holding leads. Seattle got a 4 and out against Tom Brady to win a game, but otherwise their ability to stop late game charges was disastrous last season, and I think that's on the coaching and scheme. The Seahawks are going to hold more leads than ever in 2013 because of their offense, and while that's obviously a good thing, it also means that our teams' defensive statistics will probably take a hit in the process.
Even with all the talent Seattle has, I'd be a little surprised if they repeated at the #1 scoring defense. The only way I see it is if Dan Quinn and the new wrinkles he's installing prove to be a massive upgrade over what Bradley did for us the last few years.
#3: The Seahawks probably won't win the division unless they sweep the 49ers.
Seattle has five 10am starts to the 49ers two. Further, the Seahawks get their toughest out of conference games on the road (usually at 10am) whereas the 49ers get them at home. It's a huge advantage knowing that all you have to do on the road is beat easy teams, compared to your rival who has to beat the best away from home at 10am no less.
The 49ers usually take care of business, and if they had a real weakness before, it was the erratic nature of Alex Smith. Kaepernick can be game planned by a good coach with a fast defense, but most teams have had a very hard time stopping him. Kaepernick's job is so freaking easy, and that ease has led to remarkable consistency given how undeveloped he still is. I think the 49ers will probably lose 1-2 games against teams not named the Seahawks. If Seattle splits the series, it probably won't be enough.
#4: Russell Wilson will win NFL MVP, and maybe Superbowl XLVIII.
Over his last 13 games, excluding the obvious outlier dropfest in SF where Wilson actually played very well, he had a total passer rating of 115. It would have been the 3rd best passer rating in NFL history had he done that all year. He also rushed for nearly a 900 yards per 16 games pace over his last 7 contests.
Wilson will continue that extremely high level of play, now with even more weapons on offense and a full season of read option. It will be a season for the ages.
#5: John Schneider will win executive of the year.
It might be the dumbest award in sports, but you'd have to be pretty hopeless to not notice the impact PC/JS have had on the NFL landscape. The writers had an excuse in 2012 to be idiots, but I'm not sure they'll have one in 2013.