While it would be easy postulate that the Seahawks have the best chance of winning the SuperBowl because of their dominance in both a tough division and an overall competitive conference, it’s how they are working towards accomplishing this feat that is truly unique and nostalgic. In recent years, teams that have gone on to win it all have been known for their high-powered offenses that are lead by a superstar passer. Although Russell Wilson has made a name for himself as a consistent and accomplished passer, he’s hardly the sole reason for the Seahawks 12-2 record this season. Rather than conforming to the new age philosophy of utilizing a prestigious passer to garner high scoring wins, the Seahawks have reverted to an old school style of defensive football that has proven to be monumentally successful.
Although a rushing attack is important to give teams versatility on offense, the Seahawks running game has become the hallmark of this teams explosive success when it comes to scoring. Thanks to the juggernaut Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks are able to amass over 141 rushing yards per game (2nd in the NFL). While its unsurprising that this smash mouth runner is capable of garnering this much yardage per game, his unmatched strength and endurance is truly a one of kind attribute that has allowed this prolific runner to be a constant threat to even the most stout of defensive lines. Since 2011, Lynch has been able to score double digit rushing touchdowns while accumulating over 1,000 rushing yards per season since that time. On top of that, Lynch has become a reliable receiver out of the backfield as he has caught two touchdown passes for 307 yards this season. While Lynch has typically been utilized solely for his immense running capabilities, he has slowly become a dangerous hybrid running back that is both physical and quick. Whether he’s using his brute force to garner a well-deserved touchdown or his intriguing swiftness to find some open space on the field for an east reception, Lynch has become a dynamic weapon that has lead the charge on offense time and time again.
While Lynch deserves immense praise for his perseverance and sheer toughness, it is the relentless defense of the Seahawks that has allowed this team to shut down confident opponents quickly and efficiently. Although the Seahawks defensive line has proven to be intimidating in their own right, their well-known secondary has garnered a reputation for being both persistently physical and astoundingly acrobatic at covering supremely fast receivers. This dominant secondary has been made possible because of a strong corps of dynamic cornerbacks and instinctually gifted safeties who have become keen experts at reading the movements and tells of any happy go lucky passer.
While every member of this secondary has contributed valiantly in their own ways, two standout athletes have clearly become distinguished leaders amongst their respective teammates. Leading the cornerbacks is the trash talking yet efficiently consistent Richard Sherman who always makes his presence known on the field as a loudmouthed albeit effective corner (he has caught six INT’s on the season). However, even with Sherman’s undeniable defensive contributions, there is an even better defensive wunderkind who has quickly developed into one of the most coveted safeties in the NFL. Despite being the youngest safety on the roster, Earl Thomas has been a trusted defender ever since he entered the league in 2010. This year, Thomas is on pace to have one of his most productive seasons to date as he has already forced two fumbles while intercepting five passes which ties his career best from his rookie season with the Seahawks.
Undoubtedly, the Seahawks defense gets the majority of the limelight and deservedly so for helping this up and coming franchise develop into a perennial playoff contender. However, the Seahawks respected and productive passer Russell Wilson has been the epitome of a poised and well-developed veteran despite only being in the NFL for two years. Since last season, Wilson has made minute improvements to his already prestigious passing game. He has thrown two less interceptions than he did all of last season and his confidence as a pocket passer has also been evident has he as been able to garner more yards per pass than he did last year (he has thrown for 8.62 yards per pass this season, he only threw for 7.93 yards per pass last season). Although Wilson’s numbers haven’t improved drastically, after the captivating performances he displayed last year, the fact that Wilson has remained supremely consistent is a prestigious accomplishment all on its own.
When all is said and done, the Seahawks have the look and cache to be favorites to win it all. Between a hard nosed defense that continues to be aggressive down the stretch and a confident passer who has the perseverance and wisdom to overcome immense adversity, the Seahawks have become a remarkable franchise that has all the working components to compete valiantly wherever they go. If they can clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs, it’s hard to imagine any opponent being able to overcome or match the Seahawks physicality and sheer determination to win.