Coming into the season, the expectations for the Seattle Seahawks were different from years past. Seattle had just missed the playoffs for the first time in five years, and key players like Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor weren’t returning to the team. In addition, there appeared to be a culture or locker room shift going on.
A rebuild seemed to be looming over this Seahawks franchise. However, after a mediocre start to the season, Seattle has found their groove as of late. Currently, the Seahawks are on a three game win streak, with a huge game versus the Vikings on Monday night coming up.
Entering Week 14 the Seahawks control the fifth seed in the NFC playoff picture. Besides the 10-3 Chargers in the AFC, Seattle is probably the most dangerous potential wild card team in the NFL. Due to numerous different factors, Seattle could be one of the rare teams to go from wild card berth to Super Bowl champions.
Let’s take a look at the four main reasons the Seahawks could win Super Bowl 53.
One benefit that Seattle has is that they have a franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson. Despite his greatness, it seems that Wilson is underrated and undervalued. It seems to take a while for Wilson’s name to come up when discussing the top quarterbacks in the league.
If you look at his body of work it’s no debate that Wilson is a top five quarterback in the NFL. Therefore, with that level of talent under center, the Seahawks will have a fighting chance in any playoff game they play in.
Wilson is unique because he is a mobile quarterback but is deadly accurate from the pocket. Through his seven years in the NFL thus far, Wilson has over 3,500 rushing yards. Yet, Wilson is ranked second all time in terms of passer rating.
Here’s the list of highest quarterback rating in NFL history:
Russell Wilson turns 30 today! 🎂
Did you know that he has the 2nd highest QB rating in NFL history? pic.twitter.com/YGKajB9unP
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) November 29, 2018
With such versatility Wilson makes it hard for opposing defenses to game-plan against him and his offense. Not to mention, Wilson is great at creating big plays when a play breaks down and he is in scramble mode.
Prior Playoff Experience
Back in 2013 after Seattle won their first ever Super Bowl, they seemed poised to become the next NFL dynasty. The roster was young, and Wilson was a young emerging quarterback who had yet to get his major contract. Of course things didn’t pan out that way, but players from that team are still on the current roster.
Players Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Wilson, Doug Baldwin, and J.R Sweezy, along with head coach Pete Carroll were all a part of the two teams who went to back to back Super Bowls from 2013-2014. As a result, this team has playoff experience to help guide the younger players on the team.
Carroll will have his team ready to play once they reach the playoffs. This experience will be crucial knowing that the younger players will be emotional once these playoff games arrive. These leaders can calm the young players down so they don’t commit penalties, and mistakes that cost Seattle the game.
As a potential wild card team, the Seahawks need to lean on their prior playoff experience to win these road games against the upper echelon of the NFC.
Since the departure of Marshawn Lynch the Seahawks offense has struggled. The inability to run the ball has caused them to throw more, and their offensive line has been unable to protect Wilson. Although, this season things have changed, as Seattle has the number one rushing attack in the NFL. With the return to balanced offense, the Seahawks offense has vastly improved.
What the running game allows Seattle to do is control time of possession. Therefore, when they play teams with high powered offenses, they can keep them off the field. This is proven in the two times they’ve played the Rams this season. In both games Seattle won time of possession and had a chance to win at the end. Controlling time of possession and scoring touchdowns when you have the ball is the key to beating high scoring offenses like the Rams, Saints, Chiefs, Patriots, and Chargers.
The new found rushing attack alleviates Wilson of so much pressure. Now the play action passing game works and allows big plays for speedy wide receivers like Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. Seattle’s offense is now far more explosive and dangerous since it is no longer one-dimensional.
Playing Well at the right time
Of all the teams that have won the Super Bowl from the wild card position, they’ve had one thing in common: they played their best football in November and December. Seattle is doing just that, as they’re coming off their most dominant performance of the year.
Last week the Seahawks beat San Francisco 43-16. In that game Wilson threw four touchdowns and the defense scored a touchdown of their own. More dominant performances could be coming, as Seattle’s remaining schedule is soft. The only game Seattle won’t be favored in the rest of the way is Week 16 versus the Kansas City Chiefs. If Seattle wins the games they should, they’ll finish with a record of at least 10-6.
A 10-6 record would secure the fifth seed in the NFC. That is important because the fourth seed in the NFC will be the worst division winner of the possible four. Whether its the Bears or Cowboys, both have inconsistent offenses with dominant defenses. Even on the road, the Seahawks should prefer facing Chicago or Dallas over New Orleans and Los Angeles.
“Fourth quarter is starting so its time to try and finish this thing, we know what were trying to do we got a good feel for this thing, and now we got to go play good games one game at a time,” said Carroll.