NFL 32 Team Preview: Seattle Seahawks

There are 14 teams left on our 32 NFL Team reviews, and today’s squad is the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll has a record of 25-23 since returning to the NFL in 2010. He’s gotten 2 Wild Card Playoff wins, and lost twice in the Divisional round over the past 3 seasons. Carroll has done a great job molding a franchise that’s forming a tough opponent for other teams to deal with. They have a great home field advantage and didn’t lose one game at home in 2012. Some believe the road to the Super Bowl is going to go through Seattle this upcoming season. With the Super Bowl playing in cold New York, if that prediction does come to fruition, whoever represents the NFC will be well prepared for the weather.

Offense: The Seahawks selected the steal of the 2012 Draft in the 3rd round last season when they chose Russell Wilson with the 75th overall pick. I was one of the few who had complete faith in the former Wolfpack and Badger Quarterback. The way he switched teams in college, and was immediately named a Captain, jumped out to me first. He completed 72% of his passes that season with 33 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. I couldn’t understand any other reason why he wasn’t projected to be a 1st round pick, other than his height. He stepped right in for the Seahawks and, after starting a little slow, really started to get this team rolling offensively. He led Seattle down the stretch in their final 8 regular season games, only throwing 2 interceptions and accounting for 20 total touchdowns. Russell is becoming the face of the franchise, but he’s more a “Robin” to the “Batman” that is Marshawn Lynch. Lynch had a career year in 2012 with 1,590 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry, which is stellar for a Running Back with over 300 attempts. Opening holes for the Running Back, and keeping the Quarterback upright, is the job Pro Bowlers Max Unger and Russell Okung. Okung played his most games in a season (15) and didn’t miss consecutive games for the first time in his career. If he can continue to stay on the field, he’s a difference maker for the Offensive Line. Center, Max Unger, is quietly becoming one of the best at his position. Max has started every game expect 1 for the Seahawks the past 2 seasons, and has only given up 1.5 sacks. James Carpenter was picked 25th overall in 2011. He has had nothing but injury problems since his arrival while playing both Tackle and Guard. Carpenter should be one of the team’s starting Guards. Breno Giacomini, who should be the Seahawks starting Right Tackle, played all 16 games for the organization in 2012. He only gave up 4 sacks, but was penalized 12 times. John Moffitt and Paul McQuistan will be in competition for the starting Guard spot. McQuistan was solid for the Seahawks last season. Moffitt is younger blood that the franchise selected 75th overall in 2011. Seattle’s Wide Receivers made a good amount of plays in 2012. Both Golden Tate (12) and Sidney Rice (11) had numerous plays for 20 yards or more, and both caught 7 touchdowns each. Rice showed flashes of his 2009 form and has the chance to be one of the most productive pass-catchers in 2013. The threat of Percy Harvin, who Seattle traded for during the Offseason, is just adding another weapon for this Offense going forward. Harvin played in 9 games before his injury last season; his name was at times discussed as mid-season MVP. If all the names mentioned can stay healthy, along with Doug Baldwin, they’ll be an obnoxious bunch for Defensive Backs to handle. Zach Miller is the Hawks’ starting Tight End. A reliable target, Zach really shined in the playoff game against Atlanta, with a torn ligament in his foot. He’ll be a nice security option for Wilson, if fully healthy. Seattle added Christine Michael, Running Back, in the Draft. He’s explosive but carries red flags for both injuries and character. He’ll be battling Robert Turbin who had solid play when called on in his rookie year last season. Without a doubt, the Hawks will finish better than last year’s rank of 17th in total offense and score a ton of points next season.

Defense: 4th overall in 2012, Seattle’s Defense tied for 5th in forced fumbles (20) and 8th in interceptions (18). The Seahawks cover the pass well and have a talented set of Defensive Backs. Earl Thomas is arguably the best Free Safety in the NFL. In his 3 NFL seasons, Earl’s combined for 240 tackles, 10 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. He and Kam Chancellor, Strong Safety, cover the field as good as any duo in the league. Chancellor, about the size of a Linebacker, and the former Virginia Tech Hokie, has moved around from Cornerback to Safety.  The Cornerbacks for Seattle consist of Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. Sherman tied for 2nd in the league with 8 interceptions. With 12 in the last 2 seasons, Sherman needs to have another solid campaign to prove he’s on the level of a Darrelle Revis standard of play. Browner is a rare 6’4 specimen at the Cornerback spot, who has intercepted 9 passes in his 2 years as a pro. To handle the slot receivers, the Hawks brought in Antoine Winfield. Going into his 15th season in the NFL, Winfield will be looking to be the final piece to what is already a masterful Secondary. Bobby Wagner, Middle Linebacker, was the leading tackler on the team in 2012, tallying 140 total tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 interceptions. Very impressive for a rookie; Bobby will be a force for the team this upcoming season. K.J. Wright, one of Seattle’s starting Outside Linebackers, posted good stats in his second NFL season, finishing 2nd on the team in tackles. Bruce Irvin, Malcolm Smith, and Heath Farwell will be fighting for the other Outside Linebacker opening. Pete Carroll stated, Seattle plays a 4/3 scheme but they tend to give a lot of 3/4 looks. Irvin will be very effective at this position during these looks showcasing what he does best, coming off the edge. He brought the Quarterback down 8 times in his rookie season, so the coaches are trying to find ways to get him on the field more. Red Bryant and Cliff Avril will be serving as the starting Defensive Ends. Bryant excels at blocking kicks and is a big body that forces a double team. Avril had 29 sacks in the past 3 seasons with the Detroit Lions, and will be a prefect addition if he can keep that production up. Chris Clemons led the team with 11.5 sacks and has been known in his career for putting stress on the Quarterback. It was his 3rd straight season achieving 11 sacks. Michael Bennett was also signed during Free Agency and put up 9 sacks for Tampa Bay in 2012. The starting Tackles for the Defense will be Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel. Mebane is the longest tenured Seahawk going into his 7th season, a sign of how young this Defense really is, and plays the run extremely well. McDaniel was brought over from Miami and is thought to start immediately. Seattle should post a top 3 ranking in Defense in 2013, barring injuries. They’re extremely young as well as talented, and will be a force for years to come.

End Result: I believe that Seattle will tie for 1st in their division with the St. Louis Rams, at a record of 10-6. No matter what their final record will dictate in 2013, it will involve plenty of home wins.

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