How close are Seahawks to level of teams in NFL championship games?

Jan 24, 2022, 12:24 PM
George Kittle Ryan Neal Seahawks...
San Francisco TE George Kittle runs past Seahawks safety Ryan Neal on Dec. 5, 2021. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have had to watch the NFL playoffs from their living rooms after going 7-10, but the hope is that they can find their way back into the mix next season.

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Following a chaotic, entertaining weekend of divisional round games, though, just how close are the Seahawks to the level of the four teams with their Super Bowl hopes alive?

Jake Heaps tackled that question Monday morning on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy, and the former Seahawks quarterback’s opinion is that the Hawks have a lot of work to do.

“I don’t know how you can watch this weekend of games, particularly the Bills and the Chiefs, and say, ‘Yeah, they’re close to being a Super Bowl team,'” Heaps told his co-host, Stacy Rost.

Kansas City outlasted Buffalo in overtime Sunday night, winning 42-36 in what was an instant classic of a shootout led by quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, and that’s the game Heaps primarily had in mind with his initial comment. But when it comes to Seattle’s own conference, the NFC, he’s not as down on the Hawks.

After all, next weekend’s NFC Championship will feature two of the Seahawks’ NFC West rivals, the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. Seattle swept its two games against the 49ers in 2021, and it played the Rams close, losing 26-17 at home in Week 5 and then 20-10 at Los Angeles in Week 15.

“If you’re talking about competing within the NFC, yeah, you could convince yourself – absolutely,” Heaps said of the Seahawks. “I mean, look – the 49ers have advanced and moved on, they’re going to the NFC Championship game. The Rams were able to beat the Tampa Bay Bucs, and you in the past have been able to go back and forth with the Rams. You haven’t necessarily beat them on a consistent basis, but close games. So if you could tweak a few things, maybe you can be a championship-caliber team (in the NFC).”

Even though Seattle dealt with injuries and growing pains on offense in its first year under offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, it finished the 2021 season strong, going 4-2 in the final six weeks and scoring 30 points or more in all four of those wins. But that’s not enough to make Heaps look past the areas of the Seahawks roster that he thinks are in need of improvement, particularly the offensive and defensive lines.

“To me, I think they are in a galaxy far, far away from being a Super Bowl team right now,” he said. “They have the ability – with aggressive decision making in terms of fixing the trenches – to give themselves the best chance, the best opportunity (in 2022), but we’ll have to see because that is a very different approach than what they have had over the last I would say five, six seasons. So that would be a very, very big change of status quo for the Seattle Seahawks, and I have a hard time seeing that happen.”

You can hear Heaps’ full comments in the Four-Down Territory segment in the Hour 2 podcast of Jake and Stacy when it is made available at this link at 3 p.m. Monday. Catch Four-Down Territory live at 11:15 a.m. Monday through Friday on the show.

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How close are Seahawks to level of teams in NFL championship games?