Clayton: Did NFL.com get it right naming 2013 Seahawks best team of last decade?
Even though this might not have gone over well in New England, NFL.com put out its list of the top 10 teams of the past decade, and the 2013 Seattle Seahawks took the top spot.
While many of the fans in New England could accept the 2013 edition of the Seahawks as the best, fans fumed about only having one Patriots team being in the top 10. Tom Blair, who picked the teams, wasn’t trying to anger the Patriots fans.
Blair’s list allowed only one team from a given franchise on the list of 10. As he noted, had he done it another way, things would have been pretty boring. All you would have had in the rankings were different versions of three teams – the Patriots, the Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
Blair’s rankings have the 2013 Seahawks at No. 1 followed by the 2015 Carolina Panthers, the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, the 2016 New England Patriots, the 2013 Denver Broncos, the 2015 Arizona Cardinals, the 2012 San Francisco 49ers, the 2011 Green Bay Packers, the 2018 Kansas City Chiefs and the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars.
Patriots fans point out that their team has been to eight consecutive AFC Championship games and have been to five Super Bowls in the past decade. What can’t be argued is how good the 2013 Seahawks were. Defensively, I thought it was among the top six teams in NFL history.
That team was loaded with talent. I counted up 31 players who either had or eventually ended up with contracts that were worth $3.25 million per year or more. There were more players on the 90-man training camp roster that ended up with other teams than any time in this decade.
Believe it or not, there were nine players who ended up making $10 million a year or more.
Everybody knew the Legion of Boom was the strength of the team. Safety Earl Thomas signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Seahawks and ended up getting more than $13 million a year from the Baltimore Ravens this offseason. Richard Sherman got $14 million a year. Kam Chancellor got $12 million on his last contract. Don’t forget the team also had Byron Maxwell ($10.4 million a year from the Eagles), Jeremy Lane ($3.75 million) and Walter Thurmond ($3.25 million with the New York Giants).
The surprise was at wide receiver. Remember how Cris Carter of ESPN called the receiving corps pedestrian? Sidney Rice didn’t live up to his $8.2 million a year contract, but three Seahawks receivers ended up making more. Percy Harvin made $10.7 million a year, Doug Baldwin eventually made $10.5 million and Golden Tate just jumped his salary up to $9.4 million a year.
The 2013 team was dominant. Blair had the 2013 Denver Broncos as the fifth-best team on the list, which led by Peyton Manning at quarterback had the highest scoring team of the decade at 37.9 points a game. The point differential of 207 was the third best of the decade, according to Blair. Well, the Seahawks blew out the Broncos 43-8 to win the Super Bowl, one of the best efforts from a defense that gave up only 14.4 points a game.
It can be argued the 2013 Seahawks had five Hall of Fame candidates – Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. Maybe even six, because Kam Chancellor could get some consideration.
The NFL.com story was just a reminder how good the 2013 Seahawks were.