2013: 13-3; won Super Bowl over Denver
Just two years ago the Seahawks were that 7-9 team with the crazy new uniforms, a bad offense and a QB competition between Russell Wilson, Matt Flynn and the incumbent...Tarvaris Jackson. That infamous replacement ref-aided win over Green Bay in a Monday Night Football game got the nation’s attention; it was one of the biggest missed calls in NFL history, but the Seahawks left it 2-1. They went 11-5 behind the league’s best scoring defense, Wilson, and ‘Beast Mode’ Marshawn Lynch. The defense was again tops in the league by historic standards in 2013, allowing just 172 passing yards and 14.4 points per game. Both their takeaway total and turnover ratio was eight better than the next closest team. But there’s more to it than that; the Seahawks play is closely tied to their ridiculous home field advantage, where CenturyLink Field’s horizontal design makes it the loudest in the league. The famous Seattle 12th Man was in attendance big time for the playoffs and the Seahawks’ brand is as strong as any team. They’ve got the modern uniforms, likeable stars, and an appealing physical style of play. The team is beyond popular in Seattle and seems to have built a rare cult following reminiscent of the ‘85 Bears or something, and they got their Super Bowl blowout too. CB Richard Sherman (8 INTs) won the Madden cover vote but quickly deferred, wanting to get the entire Legion of Boom secondary in S Earl Thomas, and S Kam Chancellor on the cover. The current starting group also features the other corner Byron Maxwell although Brandon Browner was the better player before suspensions held him back last year.
The Seahawks didn’t have a first or third round pick this year but did have two second-rounders, taking Colorado WR Paul Richardson and Missouri OT Justin Britt. Richardson will be key; Seattle’s Super Bowl win allowed some of their better players to leverage the team’s success and elevated stock to earn bigger contracts in free agency, namely WR Golden Tate, the team’s receiving leader. Doug Baldwin (778 rec yards, 5 TDs) is back, but it gets sketchy after that. TE Zach Miller hasn’t been used to his full potential since coming over from Oakland, so he’ll have to step it up this year. After that the top receivers are Lynch and a few replaceable guys who didn’t even get much playing time. Despite having a roster that can go toe-to-toe with anyone’s, including the hated 49ers, this is probably the only area the Seahawks have a distinct disadvantage. Advantage San Fran. It’ll be important for the Seahawks to continue to get off the bus running behind Lynch (1,257 yards, 12 TDs) and Wilson (3,357 pass yards, 539 rush yards, 27 total TDs). Wilson is a model franchise quarterback in skill set and maturity, and an intriguing matchup against counterpart Colin Kaepernick, also 26 years old. The Seahawks have their questions--they also lost DTs Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald, CB Walter Thurmond, and DEs Chris Clemons and Red Bryant, but Pete Carroll’s Seahawks remain one of the elite teams in the game. They open 2014 at home against the Packers, but also play the Broncos in a Super Bowl rematch in Week 3. Of course there’s also the San Fran showdowns in Weeks 13 and 15. Get tickets for those games and more from Gold Coast Tickets!