Seahawks, NFC West lauded by SI writer

Sep 18, 2012, 2:10 PM | Updated: Sep 19, 2012, 10:10 am

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated thinks the NFC West is off to as good a start as any division in the NFL. (AP)

By Josh Kerns

It’s been just two years since the Seahawks went to the playoffs as the first team to win its division with a losing record. Now, the NFC West is the toast of the league in the early going.

“It’s really changed dramatically in the space of two years,” Don Banks of Sports Illustrated told “Bob and Groz” on Tuesday. “I think the NFC West is playing better football than any other division. Even if you’re not ready to name it the toughest division in football, right now they’ve had more results than anyone else.”

Banks said the division is making a name for itself with its defense, with San Francisco leading the way and the Seahawks and Arizona not far behind.

“To me, nobody in football hits harder, plays tighter and plays with more intensity than San Francisco’s defense. I think we saw that at Green Bay in Week 1,” Banks said.

That signature victory, combined with Arizona’s win over New England on the road, the Seahawks’ drubbing of Dallas and the Rams’ comeback win over Washington Sunday has the NFC a league-best 6-2 after two weeks.

And while the 49ers lead the division, Banks said he was impressed with what he saw from the press box at CenturyLuinnk Field Sunday when the Seahawks throttled Dallas.

“It’s not too many teams where the back line of defense sets the tone but I really think that’s true in Seattle and I think they’re young and going to grow together and get better and I thought the way they played the other day was exactly the way they need to play,” Banks said.

He’s not ready to crown any of the division a Super Bowl contender. But Banks predicted plenty of wins for the Seahawks this season.

“When you have a running game and you have a young quarterback who you don’t want to overburden and you can play that kind of defense, there’s a lot of victories to be had in a season like this,” Banks said.

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