By Jim Moore
It’s only March. We’re still just a week into free agency. We’re still a month and a half away from the draft. We’re still five and a half months from the season starting.
But when you look at the moves the Seahawks made last week and project what kind of season it might be this year, it’s impossible to not be wildly optimistic.
That’s why I say things on the air such as …
• I don’t care what Vegas thinks, the Seahawks should be favored to win the Super Bowl this year. (Bovada.lv currently feels otherwise, listing Denver and San Francisco as the co-favorites at 7-1. The Patriots are 15-2, and the Seahawks are 10-1).
• With the addition of Percy Harvin, the Seahawks might have the NFL’s best offense in 2013.
• The Seahawks also addressed their biggest need – pass rush – by signing free agents Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, who combined for 18.5 sacks last year. When you add three players of this caliber to a team that went 11-5 last year, it gives the Hawks a shot at going 19-0.
The addition of versatile wide receiver Percy Harvin gives the Seahawks a championship-caliber offense. (AP)
Maybe none of this stuff will happen. Maybe they’ll have a highly efficient offense, but one that doesn’t approach the potency of the Patriots, Saints, Broncos and 49ers.
Maybe they’ll finish second to the 49ers in the NFC West and lose on the road again as a wild-card team, falling short of the Super Bowl.
Those two outcomes are more likely than what I’m suggesting. But would you agree that winning the Super Bowl is possible this year? Would you agree that the Harvin addition and a full season of Russell Wilson unleashed gives the Seahawks a chance to have the NFL’s best offense?
Harvin’s electric. If defenses key on him, fine. The Seahawks can pummel you with Marshawn Lynch or out-finesse you with the read option or passes to Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Zach Miller.
Harvin should greatly enhance the play-making abilities of his teammates while providing frequent scoring bursts of his own. The guy has averaged seven touchdowns a year during his four-year career.
The Seahawks were 17th in the NFL in offense last year, but everyone knows how conservative they were during the first half of the season. Pete Carroll didn’t want to ask Wilson to do too much.
In their last six games, including the playoffs, the Seahawks averaged 37 points a game. With Harvin and Wilson leading the way, if the Hawks don’t have the league’s best offense, they should be in the top five.
This is one of the reasons why I think they have a shot at going 19-0 or at the very least overtaking San Francisco to win the NFC West. As everyone knows, it’s much harder to win on the road than at home. The Seahawks’ defense never seems as good as it is when they’re playing at CenturyLink Field.
If that’s the case this year, they’re equipped to win high-scoring games now. With Harvin, I like Seattle’s chances in a shootout.
The Seahawks have also gotten over that road bugaboo. Remember last year how they couldn’t win on the road? When they went to Chicago in November, they had one road win to their credit, and they were lucky to pull that one out at Carolina.
But they beat the Bears in a wild overtime affair at Soldier Field and went on to hammer the Bills in Toronto and edge the Redskins in Washington in the playoffs. Yes, I know, they lost to the Falcons the following week, but we all remember how close and heart-wrenching that defeat was.
Another thing: Predicting a 19-0 season might be really ridiculous. But consider that last year’s team without Harvin, Avril and Bennett lost its six games by a combined 26 points or 4.3 points a game. Every loss could have been a win – the Seahawks were right there in the fourth quarter.
Looking at their 2013 schedule, I’m assuming they’ll go 8-0 at home again, just like they did last year. The Seahawks’ home opponents – Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee and Minnesota – had a combined record of 46-80-2 in 2012.
I’m guessing that the Seahawks will be favored in road games against Arizona, St. Louis and Carolina. If oddsmakers are correct, that gets us to 11-0.
I’m guessing games at the New York Giants and Indianapolis will be toss-ups. You can make a case for the Giants and Colts to win those games, but you can just as easily make one for Seattle, too. In my book, that gets them to 13-0.
In the other three games, the Seahawks likely will be slight underdogs to Atlanta, San Francisco and Houston. You’re probably right, they might lose two of those three, but I’ll tell you this – if you give me Seattle and the points against anyone in 2013, I’ll take ’em and bet with both hands.
If they finish the regular season at 16-0, they’d play the next two playoff games at CenturyLink, where the 12th Man gives them a huge edge, assuring 18-0 and a trip to the Super Bowl.
I know, this is a Fantasy Island post. John Clayton would rip it to shreds and tell me why I’m out of my mind.
I’m just saying that crazy-good things are possible with the Seahawks this season.