In 2012, the Seattle Seahawks emerged as a force in professional football. Now comes the harder part for any franchise: taking the next few steps up the mountain, the steps to a Super Bowl. They’ve now grown into an NFL betting to win it all in 2013.
Best Offseason Move:
The Seahawks plucked defensive end Cliff Avril from the Detroit Lions, beefing up their pass rush, which is and will continue to be a primary need for the team. One has to realize that in the NFC Wild Card Game this past January, the Washington Redskins weren’t the only team that endured an injury to a very important player. Robert Griffin III wasn’t the only man to get hurt by a substandard and chewed-up slab of dirt-ridden turf at FedEx Field. Seattle lost pass rusher Chris Clemons in that particular game, and Clemons’ absence was keenly felt the following week, when the Atlanta Falcons were able to throw the ball down the field in the final half-minute of the NFC Divisional Playoff Game. Seattle’s inability to generate a strong pass rush is precisely what enabled a number of opponents to produce last-minute scoring drives in two-minute-drill-style situations. Seattle needed some insurance on the defensive line, an extra body that can attack opposing quarterbacks in two-minute-drill scenarios. By getting Avril and supplementing him with another defensive end, Michael Bennett, the Seahawks have taken a strong defense and made it conspicuously stronger. Seattle General Manager John Schneider is doing some of the finest work in the NFL, and it has made the Seahawks one of the foremost contenders for the NFC championship this coming season.
Worst Offseason Move:
The Seahawks aren’t making many mistakes, but the fish that got away from the Pacific Northwest this past offseason was kick returner Leon Washington. Some players have a knack for kick returning, while others don’t. Simply being fast doesn’t guarantee or translate into success in this nuanced part of the craft of football. Washington was not a blazing-fast runner who embarrassed kick-coverage units. What Washington did was find holes and use the lanes that were set up by his blockers. Washington could see lanes developing before they were fully formed. When one man came near him at the 25- or 30-yard line in an attempt to make a crucial tackle, Washington was often able to shake that one man with a timely move or a stiff-arm. Once he broke that tackle attempt, Washington was able to rip off a big run to give the Seahawks added field position. This loss could be keenly felt in 2013. Seattle will want to give quarterback Russell Wilson every added advantage it can, since opposing defenses have spent a full offseason learning how to stuff the read option and its variations.
How They’ll Finish In The Division:
The Seahawks have one goal, to make the Super Bowl, and that goal depends on the ability to beat out the San Francisco 49ers – not just for the NFC West, but for home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Seattle and San Francisco will wage an epic duel, but it seems that the 49ers have done even more in the offseason to help themselves. Seattle will have to settle for second place.
Super Bowl Odds: +425