Hawk’s 2015 NFL Preview: Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks
After pulling off perhaps the greatest comeback in NFL history in the NFC Championship against the Packers, Seattle was just one yard short of becoming a Super Bowl Champion for the second consecutive year in 2014. Some of my earliest memories are of  watching the Seahawks with my dad, and I must say I never in a million years could imagine that the outcome of sports game could hurt as bad as that did. I’m pretty sure I was clinically depressed for quite some afterwords. Luckily this video would cheer me up when I was feeling especially down.
It was one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played, and I hope I never see it again. I feel my heart breaking just talking about it again, but the show must go on, the quest for redemption for players, coaches, and fans starts now.

Russell Wilson will start a 4th year for Seattle after signing a huge contract that makes him one of the highest paid players in the League.  At 36-12 Wilson has won more games in his first 3 years than any QB in NFL history and will hope to keep that streak going in 2015.  Wilson is the best dual threat QB in the league as he threw for 3,475 yards, 20 Td’s and 7 Int’s for QB rating of 95, and was absolutely deadly on his feet running 118 times for 849 yards and 6 TD’s.
His two favorite receivers were Doug Baldwin whom had 66 catches for 825 yards and 3 TD’s and Jermaine Kearse with 38 for 537 and a TD. Both will be back on the roster again but it is the addition of former Saints TE Jimmy Graham that has everyone excited.
At 6 foot 7, 265 lbs and a clocked 40 time of 4.53, Graham is match up nightmare for opposing defenders as he is too fast for most linebackers and too tall for most corners making him nearly unstoppable in the red zone.
Baldwin, Kearse and Graham are a solid group of targets for Wilson to throw to, but it might be the unheralded and lesser known  receivers that do the most damage in 2015.
Chris Matthews, at 6 foot 5, is a big target and became the Seahawks secret weapon in the Super Bowl, catching 4 balls for 109 yards, so it will be real interesting to see what he can do in a full season.
3rd round draft pick Tyler Lockett broke numerous Kansas State school records, Most notably the career receiving yardage and career receiving TD marks  previously held by his father. He is also a special teams superstar that has already returned two kicks for TD’s this presason. With the most talent at receiver Wilson has seen thus far in his career, a passing offense that ranked 27th overall should see significant improvement.
A running game that was the best in the NFL last season shows no sign of slowing. Wilson is one of the best rushing QB’s in the league and “The Beast” Marshawn Lynch is still on the roster. Lynch is a powerful, bruising, punishing back that always keeps his feet moving and has made some of the most greatest runs of all time over the years. He had another one last year in a primetime game against the Cardinals.
 There is one issue with Seattle’s running game though, and that is their lack of  and adequate backup for Lynch. Turbin did have that role, rushing for 310 yards in 2014 but was injured in the preseason game against the Chargers. It appears to be a serious high ankle sprain which could take him out for for several weeks which led Seattle to sign Fred Jackson, the oldest RB in the league, recently cut by Buffalo, Which I am totally okay with.
It is a well documented and proven fact that running backs almost always decline after age 30, however Jackson didn’t start his first NFL game until he was in his mid 20s. Not only that, but this is the era where almost all teams in the NFL split carries among 2 backs and look to pass first and that wasn’t the case 10 years ago. Combine all those factors and Jackson has far less wear and tear on his body than running backs past despite his age. Besides, Lynch likes him, they used to split carries at Buffalo, and I trust Marshawn emphatically.
For the second year in a row Seattle’s defense led the league with fewest yards and points allowed. If someone were to say that on Seattle’s roster was the best linebacker in Bobby Wagner, the best free safety in Earl Thomas, the best cornerback in Richard Sherman and the best strong safety in Kam Chancellor in the entire league they would have a good argument. This defense is stacked.
Chancellor has been holding out all preseason. Seattle can fine him up to $30,000 a day which after 41 days mean they can if the want fine him about 1.25 million dollars at this point that numbers grows significantly  larger if he misses regular season games. For every regular game he misses he will lose $267,647. That is a lot of damn money. Fingers crossed that he comes to his senses soon.
After tearing his Labrum in the NFC Championship FS Earl Thomas would still play in Super Bowl 49. He had surgery in the offseason and it appears he’ll be ready to play in the season opener.  Thomas is one of those guys that seems to be everywhere on the field and is one of the leaders of the team. His presence will be huge for the Seahawks.
CB Richard Sherman was also injured in the NFC championship game. He tore a ligament in his elbow, originally it was speculated that he would require Tommy John surgery to repair it, but fortunately that was not the case as the estimated recovery time of that surgery is usually around a  year. It looks like Sherman will be ready for the opener as well.
With all the attention the Seahawks “Legion of Boom” secondary gets the impact LB Bobby Wagner has on the team is often underestimated. Wagner missed 5 games with a toe injury in 2014, in those games Seattle was 2-3 and did not look like the elite team that would end up winning the NFC. Despite missing those games Wagner still managed to get 104 tackles which ranked 33rd overall and was rewarded for his efforts with a contract extension.
Seattle also has a couple of guys in Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril that can really get to the QB. Bennett had 7 sacks and Avril had 20 QB hits.  After trading their 2015 first round draft pick for Jimmy Graham Seattle would use their first draft pick in the 2nd round to pick up DE Frank Clark and he has looked really good in preseason, hopefully that trend continues.
From top to bottom Seattle’s has perhaps the most impressive defense in the entire NFL, and could possibly lead the league in fewest points allowed for the 4th straight year and fewest yards allowed for the 3rd straight year.
If there is one weakness on this team it is without question their offensive line. They have not looked good this preseason and Kam Chancellor’s hold out situation is troubling. He is the hardest hitting safety in the league and one of my favorite Seahawks.
Other than that this team has the most talented rosters in the NFL once again. In the salary cap era no team has ever made it to the Super Bowl 3 straight years, but quite honestly if there is one team that it is equipped to do just that, it is the Seahawks. I fully expect them to dominate the NFC West once again and with a giant chip on their shoulders make it back to the Super Bowl again, and win it this time.

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