High hopes and expectations swirled around the Seattle Seahawks during this last off-season and pre-season. Now that we are 4 games into this season what do we really know about these Seahawks? I think it is safe to say they are a good team. Correct that, a very good team, but how good are they?
The off-season saw them load up on talent, by harvesting players from other teams, through the draft and under any rock they could find a player that would fit their needs. Granted this team didn’t have many needs to begin with. Sure, there were a few holes that needed to be patched, but the fact that they didn’t lose any key players in the off-season to free agency or expiring contracts made this job as easy as one could hope for. And thank goodness they were self-aware enough to know where their weaknesses were and addressed them head on. The harder part is looking and thinking ahead and trying to have players in the wings awaiting their chance to take over for key players in the future (think Christine Michael). Good ol’ Schneider and Carroll always thinking ahead.
The pre-season allowed us to preview this team and get a sense of what they would look like this season, and they didn’t disappoint. I know, I know…pre-season games don’t count and you can’t put any validity into them regarding the greatness of this team. But you can start to see the potential of the players waiting in the wings, and it was evident by the fact that at certain points our second unit was still better than the other team’s first unit. They are loaded…and that’s a good thing.
Now that they have played four games we can see where they stand among the rest of the NFL, and we should be pretty happy. Okay, yes, let’s get this out of the way, they haven’t ‘wowed’ us with a high-octane offense just yet. Russell Wilson has had to scamper at times like a bunny rabbit, the running game has been serviceable and the secondary has seen glimpses of being mere mortals. Truth be told this offense isn’t meant to put up big numbers. Can they? Sure, it was demonstrated by how they finished off last year, but that is not their modus operandi.
Weaknesses you ask? I have never been sold on their offensive line to handle much defensive pressure and with the injury bug chomping at their feet…knees…and arms, well that only makes matters worse. They are good enough to manage an average pass rush, but when they are up against a formidable line they definitely give up some of the field. This is what makes Mr. Wilson a perfect fit for this situation, his feet don’t fail him. The offensive line is their Achilles heel, we hope there is ointment in the trainer’s bag for this condition. The other area, although not a weakness, but merely average, is their receiving corps. But what makes them stand out is they have 5-6 receivers that all can make plays, theirs is not a quality but a quantity factor. Whereas most teams have a significant drop off between their first two receivers and the rest of the team, Seattle has them even across the board, which means you have to defend all of them with care.
Strengths? This team is loaded with them. From the tenacity and skill of Mr. Wilson, to our ‘I can carry the world on my shoulders’ running back, to a defensive line that is only going to get better and healthier as the weeks progress, to our secondary that will, flat out, stop you cold when they have to and a kicker with ice coursing through his veins. However, the most important piece is Coach Carroll, the guy that gives this team it’s identity, the attitude that we will never lose…no matter the opponent.
Intangibles? We have the 12th man, enough said. They didn’t have to try out for the team, there wasn’t a risk of them being cut, there are no penalties that can be exacted against them and yet they provide so much to this team that it is almost immeasurable. This team has a tough schedule ahead of them which may come with some heartache along the way. The majority of our toughest opponents come on their turf, hostile environments that give no mercy. But we are not one to complain. Indianapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and New Orléans are teams you don’t want to meet in a dark alley, and they all still sit on Seattle’s schedule. But if there is any team that I believe can figure out a way to win with what they have it is Mr. Carroll and company. Go Hawks!