The Superbowl Sleeper series is a look at five teams that finished below .500 in 2011 — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, and the Buffalo Bills– and what it would take for each team to get to the Superbowl in 2012.
What happened in 2011?
The Seahawks were surprisingly good on defense, ranking seventh in points allowed despite a lack of household names on that side of the ball. Unfortunately, the passing game held them back as Seattle quarterbacks combined for only 14 touchdowns, leading to a 7-9 record.
Seattle boasts one of the best secondaries in the NFL, anchored by safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. The front seven is strong in the trenches and Marshawn Lynch is a battering ram of at running back.
The Tarvaris Jackson led passing game held them back from being a playoff team. The front office attempted to upgrading the quarterback position by adding Matt Flynn in free agency and drafting Russell Wilson. Flynn, while showing flashes of brilliance, is still an unknown and the wide receivers are a developing group. Defensive end Chris Clemons is the entire pass rush.
Blueprint to get to the Superbowl
Seattle’s defense continues to develop as first round pick Bruce Irvin pressures the quarterback on passing downs. Matt Flynn leads an efficient aerial attack, bringing balance to the Seahawks offense.
The Seahawks have the talent to win the NFC West. They possess a power running game, an emerging defense and a legitimate homefield advantage. Although Flynn lacks experience, he is still better than Tarvaris Jackson. Look for Seattle to make noise in the playoffs.