The Seattle Seahawks are white hot after blowing out division rivals in the 49ers, and the question has quickly become will they ever come back to earth? Right now the Seahawks are without a doubt the hottest team in the NFL and after clinching a playoff berth, they’re about to go nuclear.
At least Seahawks fans hope so.
It’s hard to be a pacific-northwest team and get notoriety in an sports world obsessed with the east coast. But after putting up over 150 points in the last three games, Seattle is starting to gain national attention just in time for everyone’s playoff predictions.
Each year we hear all the pundits rave about how all it takes is for a team to get hot to make a run to a title. The 2010 Packers did it, both New York Giants teams that won Super Bowls are examples of this phenomenon and the Patriots virtually invented the trend in the early 2000s. Are the Seahawks the next incarnation of this championship model?
First off, they’ve got the swagger. They are an above average football team that truly and honestly believe they’re elite — which therefore makes them elite. If you need more proof, see the disanalogy of opponents that they’ve beaten over the last three weeks. They took out a Cardinals team that is awful, a Bills team that is alright but still bad but followed that up by pounding an elite 49ers team into the turf.
All doubters who said the blowouts of the Cardinals and Bills were because Seattle outclassed each of them are at a loss when it comes to explaining how the “fluky” Seahawks beat the 49ers in the exact same fashion.
Second, there is the intimidation factor. One of the reasons the 49ers lost on Sunday night was they were rattled, even if they didn’t know it. When a team is as white hot as the Seahawks, that sits in the back of your mind and it effects your game. San Francisco made mistake after mistake and hardly looked like themselves, and this was because the Seahawks aura was all over the field.
Third, Seattle has a high powered offense lead by a world class quarterback. Russell Wilson is the classic rags to riches NFL story: he started second on the depth chart, won the starting job and is now in the running for Rookie of the Year. Every team that gets hot and sprints towards a Super Bowl has had a solid signal caller and Wilson has cut his teeth and proven he deserves a shot.
Fourth, the defense is blowing people away. The Giants defense in 2011 was a swarming monster and it was the 2010 run that catapulted Clay Matthews and most of the Packers defense to the next level. From Richard Sherman all the way down, this defense is brimming with efficient stars waiting to bust out. It’s built like some of the great defenses that have made runs in the recent past, and why go against a tried and true formula.
There are plenty of things that can derail the Seahawks road to a Super Bowl, like never having to face an offense like the Falcons this season to the potential loss of Sherman to suspension. But this team believes it can win the Super Bowl, and believes it’s the best team in the NFL right now and that’s the first step in getting there.
Seattle just so happens to boast other factors that make them a legitimate contender.
After trashing the 49ers on Sunday night, and scoring 40-plus for a third straight week, Seattle is that team getting hot at the perfect time of the season, and it’s going to be a thrill to see how far it takes them.
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