In my opinion, yes. The Seattle Seahawks are still the team to beat to get to the Super Bowl next season in the NFC. Others may argue that the Carolina Panthers have taken claim to that title but the Seahawks body of work over the last few years tells us that they will be back.
Since Russell Wilson took over in 2012 the team’s records has looked like this:
11-5 (lost Div Round)
13-3 (won SB)
12-4 (lost SB)
10-6 (lost Div Round)
Do you see the trend here? So next season they look primed to head to another Super Bowl if everything falls into place. But the same can be said for any team? Everything has to fall in place, but name another team that has their pedigree over the last 4 seasons.
It’s true that defense wins championships and while the Seahawks may have taken a few lumps along the way they still have a strong unit they can field any given Sunday. Richard Sherman is still patrolling the outside, Kam Chancellor backs him up and any thought of running the ball is stopped when Bruce Irvin and K.J. Wright are ball-hawking. The defense is still one of the league’s best without a doubt.
The offense has gone through a transition of sorts with the retirement of Marshawn Lynch and the trade for All Pro TE Jimmy Graham. But where many figured the Hawks would stumble with Lynch out never figured there was a diamond in the rough waiting in the form of rookie Thomas Rawls. Rawls in only 7 starts rushed for 837 yards on 147 attempts and seemed poised to make a bigger mark heading into the post season before he went down with an injury. While there were setbacks and surprises one of the biggest letdown was the play of Graham. I figured when the Seahawks made the trade that one move would easily put them over the top but between moving from New Orleans to Seattle it would seem that Graham forgot how to run a route or catch a pass. Graham finished the season with 48 catches for 605 yards and 2 TD’s ,well below his normal average.
But the Seahawks still had a few aces up their sleeves in the form of MVP candidate Wilson as he posted his best statistical season as a pro with 4000+ yards passing, 34 TDs and 8 INTs as he was forced to trust a few different players like Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin, whom has always been reliable but in 2015 he really turned it up with career numbers of 78 catches for 1069 yards and 14 TDs. Wilson put the team on his back but ran out of gas against the Panthers in the playoffs.
To say the Seahawks will not be a factor in 2016 is pushing aside the fight this team has. Every year the Seahawks enter the season with a bulls-eye on their back, and every year they seem to conquer and put to rest any whispers of them giving the crown away.
To put it bluntly. Who was the last NFC team to win the Super Bowl?