Out of all of the teams in NFC playoff picture, the Seattle Seahawks are easily one of the more eager franchises in terms of making it to the Super Bowl. While every team in the playoffs has their own intrinsic motives for wanting to go the distance, the Seahawks view this latest opportunity as a way to officially establish themselves as a defensive powerhouse that can dominate the opposition no matter how big the stage may be. Last year, the Seahawks began to emerge as a physical team that could oppress offenses while allowing their dynamic quarterback Russell Wilson to make the big plays down the stretch. Although their intriguing Cinderella story fell flat last season when they barely lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Seahawks saw this defeat as a way to become more dominant not only as a smash mouth defense but also as a well rounded franchise. If this regular season is any indication of this teams resiliency and tenacity, the Seahawks could be poised to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
By far, the Seahawks claim to fame is their well-structured defense that has become notorious for shutting down prolifically gifted passers and hard-nosed running backs. While the Seahawks had their occasional slip ups this season, they were against teams that are either currently in playoffs or were on the verge of clinching a playoff spot (Arizona Cardinals missed the playoffs despite a 10-6 record). Even in those losses, the Seahawks still managed to keep their opponents from scoring more than twenty points (the only exception came in week 5 of the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts where they lost 34-28).
Of course, the playoffs are almost always filled with underrated franchises that are eager to take down the juggernauts of the NFL, particularly when they lost to them in the regular season. While the Seahawks dominated the New Orleans Saints at home during the regular season, the upcoming rematch should offer more entertainment value especially with a NFC championship berth on the line. With that being said, the Seahawks ability to excel in the regular season has earned them home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which is an intimidating prospect to even the most overconfident contenders. Although the Seahawks did suffer a home loss to the Arizona Cardinals late in the season, it’s hard to say whether this defeat was significant in terms of finding the chink in Seahawks supposedly impervious armor.
Fortunately, the Seahawks have a great game manager in Russell Wilson who is more than up to the task to keep his team poised and focused on the glorious task at hand. Out of all of the sophomore quarterbacks this year, Wilson has remained confidently consistent will showing minor improvements in his passing game. Although Wilson threw one less interception this year and increased his overall passing yardage by 200 yards, his more impressive triumphs can’t be measured statistically. His scrambling abilities are instinctual and decisive, an attribute that allows the Seahawks offense to find its rhythm while simultaneously allowing their formidable defense to rest. Beyond that, Wilson has been a calm yet fearless leader to a Seahawks team that is ripe with vicious and driven competitors. The respect Wilson has garnered in his first two years is akin to that of the legendary Peyton Manning who has always been able to lead by example. It is this stoic and confident demeanor that allows Wilson to be both a respected individual off the field and a dynamic leader as a well-versed and successful NFL player.
In the end, the Seattle Seahawks have more than earned the right to be considered Super Bowl favorites. However, the last few years have been unkind to the top regular season contenders. While the Seahawks have made a name for themselves because of their nearly impenetrable defense, they’ll still need to be firing on all cylinders when they go up against the Saints on Saturday. Yet, even with all of these pressures, the Seahawks almost always find a way to prevail whether they’re the underdog or heavy favorite. If the Seahawks can do what they do best, they have a great chance at finally claiming their first Super Bowl title.