Adam Schein of NFL.com is going to receive his fair share of criticism over the next few days after he listed nine reasons that the Seattle Seahawks will have a hard time repeating. If the Seahawks do repeat, you can bet fans will remember this article, find Schein’s Twitter account, and bury him with “how dare you doubt us” comments.
The thing is, Schein isn’t so far off, even if it feels like he is selling the Seahawks a bit short.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in this franchise and the team that is going into this season. This Seahawks team may have lost a lot of players to free agency, but this is still an elite squad that is built for a repeat. The schedule may be tough, but it was not exactly a cakewalk last year either.
Last season, the Seahawks had to travel east, face the San Francisco 49ers twice and have a few balls bounce their way. There are no easy seasons in the NFL, no matter how much talent there is on your roster.
Winning back-to-back Super Bowls in the modern, salary-cap era is just hard. Period. Actually, an exclamation point might be more appropriate.
Why does the phrase “any given Sunday” exist in professional football? Simple. Lesser teams can rise up, grab some quick momentum and beat a team that on paper should have no business losing.
Look at the game last season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9. The Seahawks won that game at home in overtime, but first they had to overcome a 21-point deficit to an 0-7 team. Fans will suggest that the Seahawks won that game because they had the heart of a (eventual) champion, which is partially true. That said, the Bucs should never have been up by 21 points in the first place.
This would feed into Schein’s theory that even a great team can lose a few games and find themselves on the outside looking in when the playoffs roll around. That doesn’t mean that the Seahawks will plummet in the standings this year, but they cannot assume that the swagger will automatically carry them back to the Super Bowl.
In the end, Schein is making a fairly safe argument because repeating is not the norm. Therefore, projecting a different NFC representative in the Super Bowl is actually the easier call from a historical standpoint. That doesn’t mean that fans are going to like it.
Of course, there will be those fans who are happy to see these types of predictions. After all, isn’t it better to prove doubters wrong sometimes? Truthfully, the Seahawks may prefer to remain the underdogs in the eyes of the league. It served the team well last season.
Will the Seahawks repeat in 2014? Your guess is as good as mine.