At the outset of a season where we all expected the Seattle Seahawks to be very good, the goal was always quite clear. The bright lights of New York City beckoned and a roster built to win a championship always felt like it was meant to end with exactly that… a championship.
However, as an NFL season wears on, it has a tendency to expose flaws in teams we all surmised were preordained for greatness. Teams falter and narratives shift, often leaving teams that we considered Super Bowl favorites in September watching the playoffs from home come January.
Yet, the Seattle Seahawks seem to be another story entirely. What we all trumpeted as the most complete and balanced team in football has proven over the course of 17 weeks that they are, indeed, the most complete and balanced team in football.
And now, with the NFL’s second season looming, the Seattle Seahawks are the clear cut favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Granted, that doesn’t actually mean that they’ll win the Super Bowl, as the postseason rarely seems to play out the way all of us prognosticators suppose it to finish. However, what the NFC West champions have managed to prove over the course of the regular season is that they are a team capable of winning football games in more ways than one, and that ability stands to pay dividends this postseason.
Defensively, they’ve been as dominant as advertised, holding opponents to a league-best 4,378 yards on the season. That’s over 400 yards less than the next best, Carolina.
The 14.4 points per game they allow is also good enough to lead the league.
Offensively, with Russell Wilson playing as efficiently as any quarterback in the league (earning him MVP consideration even though Peyton Manning’s record season makes him a virtual lock to win the award), the Seahawks are as methodical of an offense as there is in the NFL.
Marshawn Lynch has managed to withstand a heavy workload over the course of the last three seasons to continue his stretch as the most physically imposing runner in the NFL. Even with the NFL evolving into a predominantly aerial league, Seattle’s dominance in the running game makes them the best finishing team in the league.
Add in the fact that Wilson has played incredibly poised this season and the fact that Percy Harvin’s imminent return could give the Seattle Seahawks the game-changing receiver that they’ve been lacking this season (no offense to Golden Tate), and it’s pretty simple to see why Las Vegas pegs the birds as 12/5 favorites to win the Super Bowl this February in NYC.
Of course, none of this precludes the Seahawks from actually playing the games, and teams like Green Bay, San Francisco, Philadelphia and the rest of the NFC all are riding a wave of momentum into the playoffs that could stifle Seattle’s Super Bowl hopes. But, at this stage, it’s only fair that we look at Seattle as the favorites to win the NFC and the Super Bowl in general.
The roster that was built to win a championship has handled their business exactly the way you expect a football team of Seattle’s ilk to handle their business, and they’ve earned the right to be called favorites, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with the games.