Seattle, WA - “It’s about us getting ready to play. It’s not about the other team. We’ll beat ourselves before they beat us.” This is Pete Carroll’s philosophy and to tell the truth, its not hard to tell he and his team live by this very idea.
What Makes Seattle the Best? I think it’s easy to look at a team like the Broncos, and think they are super impressive because of how fantastic their offense is, or look at a team like San Francisco and respect their dominant defense, that hasn’t allowed the opposing offense thirty points in any single game this year. When we think of a rushing attack like Philly or the Chiefs, we just respect how great it is, but what makes Seattle the best all-around team?
The Offense - Look, when you have a quarterback like Russell Wilson, you are sure to be successful. He is patient but aggressive, tough, and maybe one of his most important attributes, he and Carroll are on the same page. Everything Carroll wants is what Wilson seems to bring to the table, just like the chemistry that Drew Brees and Sean Payton have between them, and its a beautiful thing. Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin, and Golden Tate are all incredibly explosive. Baldwin and Tate are also able to play the possession receiver role. Bringing it all back around to the start is Marshawn Lynch, a hard hitting, tough as nails running back that no one wants to tackle. Lynch has revamped his career, and is better than ever on this team that fits him perfectly.
The Defense -¬†You have to start with the best player, and I personally feel like it’s Richard Sherman. Now we all know he is a lot of talk, but he is also a heck of a lot of play to back it all up. This entire secondary is incredible, and stands as the best secondary in the NFL. The Legion of Boom, as they love to be called, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, and Byron Maxwell have Sherman’s back. A secondary this lethal allows for a solid pass rush, and a mid-level or above run defense.
Special Teams – It’s the little things, and having a guy that can kick like Hauschka, or a returner like Percy Harvin, and in the punt returning game, Golden Tate, these things help you win. Their kickoff defense is middle of the pack, but they still have yet to allow a touchdown in that area. Their punt defense is stellar, as they allow absolutely nothing in that area.
The 12th Man – ¬†This is a huge factor, when you add on the noise level. If this team has home field in the playoffs look out, but even if they don’t the support is still there, and it gives this team something extra to play for. I was doing some research and came across a video of the starting introductions in Seattle, and they were announcing the starting offensive players one at a time, and it was then I realized the fans, the team the coaches, they all cheered just as loud for the starting offensive lineman as they did Lynch or Wilson. It was then I realized, this is the reason this team is so good, they believe in every single person on the field, no matter what the position.
The X-Factor - This team has something no other teams has, and it’s the¬†gel that holds them together. That X-Factor is Pete Carroll. They respect him, hanging onto every word he says, and he respects them. He also expects them to give him everything they have, and then some. This factor is also what ties the defense to the offense, and the offense to the special teams, and the whole team to the 12th man. It’s what makes this the best all-around team in the NFL, and unless the Bronco’s defense gets better, or the 49ers and Panthers offenses get better, this team could be unstoppable going into the playoffs.
As Coach Carroll says, “As long as the love is here, and the passion is here, there is nothing that keeps us from going (all the way).”
Ben Hartman is a Staff Writer for Pro Sports Extra.