Plenty of reasons to believe in the Seahawks down the stretch

Dec 3, 2014, 7:35 PM | Updated: 7:36 pm

Seattle appears to have recaptured its championship form the last two weeks, a big reason for optimism during what will be a difficult closing stretch. (AP)


The Seahawks are playing a game this weekend that almost everyone will be watching against an offensive juggernaut on the East Coast.

Sound familiar?

It’s December. The NFL separates the pretenders from the contenders this time of year and fans across the country are wondering whether or not they can trust their team to come through down the home stretch. While no one has a definitive answer, the Seahawks have come around to their proven football formula at exactly the right time.

There may be teams that are hotter this week (Green Bay) or teams with a longer history of contention (New England) or teams with a better marketing campaign (Dallas), but the familiar feel the Seahawks have recaptured should leave you hard pressed to find a team more worthy of trust than Seattle.

First and foremost, the defense is playing Seahawks football. It’s not coincidence that Seattle has returned to form at the same time that Byron Maxwell, Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor and company returned to the starting lineup. The Seahawks are back to suffocating offenses, executing in the red zone and taking the ball away – just ask Colin Kaepernick. Seems like only a year ago the football world was wondering what would happen if the best defense in the league was matched up against the best offense. I don’t think that the answer has changed.

Then there’s the run game. The Seahawks will likely surpass their rushing yardage and touchdown total from the 2013 regular season this week or next with Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson piling up yards on the ground.

The offense hasn’t worked as planned in 2014 and the downside (if it be labeled as such) of the growth of the ground game is reduced output from the passing game. The goal for the last four games of the season has to be to manage enough from the passing game to force teams to honor it and to take advantage of the explosive plays that are available there while steadily beating teams up on the ground.

Most importantly, the run game – much like the defense – is portable. Having a game that travels may be the difference in a critical moment.

Finally, there’s the fact that this team has been here before. The bright lights, the big games, the national audience are all very familiar to this group of Seahawks players and coaches. Starting Sunday in Philadelphia, every game that the Seahawks play will have enormous implications regarding the likelihood of hosting another playoff game at CenturyLink Field. Teams can wilt under that kind of pressure or they can become champions.

There’s no way to know for certain which way the Seahawks’ season will go, but the familiar feel of this team as it enters December is a reason for optimism.

As always, thanks for reading and feel free to join the conversation any time on Twitter @TheMichaelGrey.

Michael Grey

Taijuan Walker is one of the Mariners’ options for the fifth spot in what could be a stacked ...

Michael Grey

Shortstop isn’t the Mariners’ only intriguing position battle

While much of the attention will be paid to Brad Miller and Chris Taylor as they compete to be the Mariners' starting shortstop, Michael Grey writes that the more intriguing position battle is with the fifth spot in the rotation.

10 years ago

Taijuan Walker is one of three young players with MLB experience competing to be Seattle’s fi...

Brent Stecker

Mariners rotation should benefit from health, depth in 2015

With Hisashi Iwakuma healthy and three young players with MLB experience competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, the Mariners have a starting rotation in the conversation to be one of the best in baseball.

10 years ago

A healthy and productive season from James Paxton would make the Mariners’ rotation dangerous...

Michael Grey

Three keys for the Mariners to meet their lofty expectations

With expectations as high as they've been in a long time, Michael Grey identifies three things that must happen in order for the Mariners to meet them.

10 years ago

Brady Henderson

Should athletes not publicize their good deeds?

Michael Grey weighs in on what Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin told "The Barbershop" about why he doesn't draw attention to the good deeds he does in the community.

10 years ago

Running back Marshawn Lynch is mulling retirement, according to general manager John Schneider. (AP...

Michael Grey

Seahawks’ offseason plans hinge on Marshawn Lynch’s decision

With Marshawn Lynch mulling retirement, the Seahawks are faced with the possibility of having to make key offseason decisions without knowing whether or not their star running back will be playing in 2015.

10 years ago

Ensuring that Marshawn Lynch is on the roster next year should be Seattle’s top priority this...

Michael Grey

Lynch’s importance to the Seahawks makes this a pivotal offseason

In mid-November, I wrote about the danger of the "irreplaceable employee" and the situation that the Seahawks found themselves in with Marshawn Lynch. In the wake of their loss in Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks enter the offseason with a similar predicament and maybe even more on the line.

10 years ago

Plenty of reasons to believe in the Seahawks down the stretch