2013 NFL Predictions: 5 Reasons Why the Seattle Seahawks Will Win the 2014 Super Bowl
As we head towards the beginning of the 2013 NFL season, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more trendy pick to win the Super Bowl than the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle is notorious for having a tremendous home field advantage, and fans flock from everywhere. They even sing the Canadian National Anthem prior to home games. If you’re a Canadian fan that thinks the Seahawks have a legitimate shot at taking home the Lombardi Trophy in 2014, you may want to head over to Bodog for some online NFL betting in Canada. You know you want to.
They’ve had as busy an offseason as any team in the league, and they sure do appear poised to improve upon a surprising 2012 season that ended just short of the NFC Championship Game.
So, why might they win it all in 2013? Let’s take a look, shall we, America? Canada? Everyone? Alright, let’s go:
1. That defense is naaaaasty.
Seattle’s defense ranked fourth in the league in yardage allowed per game, at just over 306. They also finished in the top-10 in the NFL in both interceptions (18) and fumbles recovered (13), and allowed the fewest points per game in the league at just 15.3.
They secondary is full of big, bruising types that has very little issue mixing it up with fellow big, bruising type wide receivers. Richard Sherman emerged as perhaps the league’s premier shutdown corner. If you ask him, this is certainly the case. I won’t argue.
Last year’s starters, Sherman, Brandon Browner, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are all returning, and they also added longtime Bill and Viking Antoine Winfield to that secondary.
Their biggest defensive acquisition was defensive end Cliff Avril, who came over from Detroit on a two-year deal worth $13 million. Avril has racked up 39.5 sacks in five NFL seasons, including a total of 20.5 in the last two years combined.
They can get to the quarterback, they can force turnovers, and they wreak havoc on opposing offenses in general.
2. Percy Harvin is in town
Last year, the Seahawks’ offense was largely predicated on the classic ground-n-pound style. Marshawn Lynch was fantastic, and rushed for a career-high 1,590 yards. However, the passing game left something to be desired.
Now, Russell Wilson has a weapon at his disposal he didn’t have during his rookie year. Percy Harvin is one of the most dynamic playmakers the league has to offer, and his versatility adds a dimension to the offense that was largely absent in 2012.
Harvin has tremendous speed, and obviously uses that very well to get separation from his defenders. He can also take handoffs and do damage out of the backfield, and he’s also extremely potent as a kick returner. The only thing really holding him back thus far have been injuries, which bit him again last season with Minnesota. He was only able to play in nine games before an ankle injury forced the Vikings to put him on injured reserve.
Seattle paid a high price for the former Florida standout, and they’ll obviously have high expectations of him as he heads west.
3. Russell Wilson
Many raised eyebrows after the Seahawks selected Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft, but those eyebrows have quickly returned to their normal resting position. He got off to a fairly pedestrian start after winning the starting job out of camp, but really turned it on as the season progressed.
He wound up tying Peyton Manning’s record for touchdown passes in a season by a rookie, with 26, and showed tremendous poise and leadership all season long. He also ran for nearly 500 yards with an additional four touchdowns on the ground, giving the Seahawks a bit of that RGIII dynamic from the QB position.
With Harvin now on board, the Seahawks’ coaching staff should be more confident in letting Wilson loose a bit more to throw the ball downfield. If this is the case, the Seahawks may have one of the more well-rounded offenses in the NFC.
4. Marshawn Lynch and the ground game
As mentioned above, Lynch had a career year in 2012, and has also scored a total of 23 rushing touchdowns combined in the last two years. I’m not convinced he’ll top that 1,500-yard mark again, but he’s found himself a home with the Seahawks.
As a team, Seattle was No. 3 in the NFL in total rushing yards last season, and they also led the league in total rushing attempts by a decent margin.
One area in which the offense could stand to improve is capitalizing on red zone opportunities. The Seahawks were 16th in the league in red zone efficiency, meaning the percentage of total possessions within the red zone that ended with touchdowns. They scored TDs in such situations just under 54 percent of the time. For comparison, Green Bay led the league in this metric a year ago, finding the end zone on 68 percent of their chances.
5. The coaching staff will reign them in
Seattle was obviously tremendously successful in 2012, finishing the regular season 11-5 and earning the franchise’s first road playoff win since 1983. However, there have been some issues with maturity, as well.
Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner were each suspended for Adderall violations last season, though Sherman won his appeal and didn’t have to serve the suspension. Sherman has also been involved in several dust-ups, including a spat that earned him a punch to the face from Redskins tackle Trent Williams following their first-round playoff victory.
Last year’s first-round draft pick, outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, was also suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and will miss the first four games of the season.
If they’re able to keep their antics in-check and focus on their ultimate goal, then they’ve got a great shot at achieving said goal.