Over the course of 32 days (or so) I will be previewing all 32 NFL teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2014 season. This post is previewing the Seattle Seahawks.
The 2013 season was a good one for the Seahawks, who won their first Super Bowl title. The team finished the regular season with a 13-3 record, tied for the best in franchise history. Head coach Pete Carroll and the rest of the team hope to have a repeat performance in 2014.
While the offense had a good year, it was the defense led by CB Richard Sherman — which ranked first in the league in both points allowed and yards allowed — that helped lead the team to the championship. On the offensive side of the ball, second-year QB Russell Wilson threw for 3357 yards and 26 touchdowns, ninth-best in the league, to a receiving core that was plagued by injuries, with no wide receivers starting more than 13 games. The team’s leading pass-catcher was WR Golden Tate, who signed with the Lions in the offseason leaving WRs Doug Baldwin and Percy Harvin as the top targets for Wilson. Baldwin was second on the team last year with 50 receptions for 778 yards and five touchdowns while Harvin played only one game in the regular season due to a hip injury. RB Marshawn Lynch led the team with 1257 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
With Tate the only big player loss the team had in the offseason the offense should have a good year, especially if Harvin can stay healthy and play a full season, or close to it. It’s never easy for a team to repeat with Super Bowl appearances, let alone victories, but the Seahawks should have a good chance of at least making the playoffs and from there, it’s only a few more wins to make it to another appearance in the big game. As the champs, the Seahawks begin the season with a Thursday night home opener against the Packers, followed by a road game against the Chargers and a Super Bowl rematch as the Seahawks host the Broncos in week three, leading into the their week-four bye. It goes without saying that is a tough stretch to begin the season for the champs. Then things get easier after the bye with five of six games against teams that finished .500 or worse last year, and the one team in that stretch that had a winning record — the Panthers — are expected to have a considerable regression this season. The first three games could provide a good idea with what kind of record the Seahawks will end up with, but they should get at least 10 or 11 wins. Repeating the 13-3 record could be a tough task, though. While the Seahawks might not win the division — but with questions about the 49ers, the Seahawks should be the favorites — a wild-card spot should be firmly within their reach.
Source: http;//www.seahawks.com, http://www.pro-football-reference.com