Last year: 13-3, NFC West champs, Super Bowl champs, WHATEVER YOU STILL LOST TO ARIZONA AT HOME
Acquisitions: Terrelle Pryor, Paul Richardson, Kevin Williams
Departures: Brandon Browner, Golden Tate, Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Sidney Rice
Vegas 2014 win total over/under: 11 wins.
Oh no, they’re gonna repeat barring catastrophic injuries, aren’t they?: Yeah, probably.
Five ways Seahawks fans (wait I’m sorry, 12TH MEN) troll Niners fans:
— Photobombing a 49ers billboard in the middle of nowhere, an act even more foolish than it sounds.
— Put Seahawks colors on the seats of BART trains. Oh ha ha, no, San Francisco is doing that on its own.
— Poison San Francisco’s water supply (Pete Carroll: “Even before the shadow government can!”
— Pose as one the Yorks and tell Roger Goodell, “Yeah, we’d love to share our stadium with the Raiders.”
Fan forecast by Matt Ufford:
The good news is Peyton Manning didn’t win another Super Bowl. The bad news is that this version of the Seahawks isn’t going anywhere just yet.
That means that you’re stuck with another season of the media lauding Russell Wilson’s professionalism, Richard Sherman jawing into microphones, and — of course — the now-ubiquitous 12th Man, which Texas A&M trademarked and the Seahawks pay to use. Your hatred of Seahawks fans, though relatively new, likely runs deep; as such, I’ll not mention last February’s utter humiliation of the AFC champs (even though it was awesome).
Not surprisingly, the Seahawks looked to minimize turnover in the offseason. All-Pros Sherman and Earl Thomas signed multi-year extensions, and the NFL’s best secondary remained intact (don’t be concerned by the departures of CBs Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond: Browner lost his job to Byron Maxwell, and Jeremy Lane is ready to take Thurmond’s spot at the nickel). Chris Clemons and Red Bryant departed the impressive D-line rotation, but Seattle re-signed Michael Bennett, drafted angry UCLA beast Cassius Marsh, and added former Vikings stalwart Kevin Williams — fewer snaps should salvage some late-career productivity from him. It’s unlikely the defense will be historically dominant against the pass again, but it should still be among the NFL’s best.
The offense will look the same, too: a physical, run-first approach mixed with play-action bombs from new divorcé Russell Wilson (he’s married to the playbook!) that somehow succeeds despite a problematic offensive line. Marshawn Lynch will need to cede more carries to Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, and the wide receiving corps will again be underrated due to the limited volume of the passing attack. Golden Tate, now a Lion, is mostly known by fans as a showboating dick, but he was a surprisingly complete player: he returned punts, racked up yards after the catch, and was a tenacious blocker. Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse should be effective, if not electric, in his stead. Overall, the wide receivers lack size (Sidney Rice’s retirement hurts) but not speed: Percy Harvin is finally healthy (for now), and rookie Paul Richardson has game-breaking wheels.
Helming the Northwest Death Star, of course, is Pete Carroll, the cheerful psychopath and architect of Jim Harbaugh’s future embolism. He’s one of the game’s best teachers and team-builders, and remains the only NFL coach who shows any sign of enjoying his job on Sundays. (Just don’t ask him about 9/11, please.)
2014 WORST-CASE SCENARIO: A Week 4 bye, first-place schedule, and the roiling cauldron of NFC West defenses leads to some costly injuries, and the Seahawks miss the playoffs. This is far more possible than I want to admit.
2014 BEST-CASE SCENARIO: The offensive line gels beyond its talent, Wilson spends more time in a clean pocket, Michael emerges as a worthy successor to Lynch, and the defense picks up where it left off last year. I’ll stop short of speculating about playoff possibilities, because I have grand dreams and live in fear of jinxes. GO ‘HAWKS!