2013 Record: 11-1
With a rookie quarterback, unproven tools, and heavy reliance on defense, the Seahawks had plenty of questions coming into 2012. But rookie quarterback Russell Wilson answered them with an outstanding rookie season. He had 3,118 passing yards and 489 rushing yards, complementing Marshawn Lynch’s 1,590 rushing yards. Wilson had a 26-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. And to think, Matt Flynn came into training camp as the favorite for the quarterback job. Although they still didn’t really have a top receiver, Sidney Rice and Golden Tate were solid options and both qualify as ‘big play’ receivers. And Wilson throws deep well. So Rice and Tate are perfect for this offense. Oh, and they acquired Minnesota’s Percy Harvin this offseason. While a strong offense, Seattle’s unit was pretty unbalanced until they acquired Harvin. But even imbalance is not that big of a deal when Wilson can extend plays with his feet and run for positive yards on passing plays that break down. Interestingly, the Seahawks did start the season just 4-4 but had a stretch of play where they were clearly the best team in the NFL. In Weeks 14-16, the Seahawks beat the Cardinals 58-0, the Bill 50-17, and the Rams 42-13. Seattle fans hadn’t seen offense like that in a long time. After knocking off the Redskins in the Wild Card round, the Seahawks took a tough loss in Atlanta to end their season. But the offense did their part.
Defensively, the Seahawks easily allowed the fewest points in the NFL last year. And with a legendary secondary and solid, underrated backs all around, it’s not hard to see why. They got two huge pickups this offseason in defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, two of the top defensive free agents out there. Those pickups will help a weak pass rush that was really the only problem with the defense. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are developing into strong linebackers. And that secondary, wow. Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner were easily the best in football, combining for 11 interceptions. Safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas were almost as good themselves. And they threw in veteran Antoine Winfield this offseason for some added depth. According to an ESPN The Magazine article, Sherman should be the highest-paid player in the NFL because of how his skills are that much better than anyone else at that position. Yet few knew his name before last season. Everything about these Seahawks says underrated, but now they’re getting the credit they deserve.