The Seattle Seahawks finished one play short of becoming the first NFL team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since the team they lost to in Super Bowl XLIX, the New England Patriots. The Seahawks won the NFC West for the second year in a row and recorded at least 11 regular season wins for the third straight time. They are poised to do it all again. In fact, Vegas Super Bowl predictions have listed the Seahawks as +650 favorites to win the Lombardi trophy next February in San Francisco. As expected, NFL odds also have Seattle to win the NFC Conference at +325 and -250 to win the NFC West. And why not? Head coach Pete Carroll has put together a roster that could very well become the next great dynasty in NFL history. The masterful zone-blitz heavy defense and the power running game behind “The Beast” Marshawn Lynch are what make Seattle one of the best franchises in the league right now.
The defense returns all but one starter from a year ago – CB Byron Maxwell. Cary Williams, a seventh-year pro, will likely replace Maxwell. The Seattle Seahawks also signed Will Blackmon from Jacksonville for depth at the position. The rest of the unit that led the NFL in scoring defense (15.9 points per game) returns. In fact, the Seahawks have led the league in scoring defense for the past three seasons. The last team to do so was Minnesota in the days of the “Purple People Eaters” from 1969 to 1971. The biggest offseason move in Seattle, of course, was the trade that brought the league’s premier tight end to the Seahawks. Seattle traded veteran center Max Unger and a first-round draft pick to New Orleans for the Jimmy Graham. The Pro Bowler gives QB Russell Wilson another weapon who creates severe mismatch problems against defenses around the league and helps to make the Seahawks instant contenders in Super Bowl predictions.
Wilson will return for his fourth season as the Seahawks starter. All he has done is won a profitable 42 games in NFL odds, including a Super Bowl, in three seasons. He’ll have wide receivers Doug Baldwin (66 receptions) and Jermaine Kearse back. Graham will add another dimension to the passing game. The running game is what makes the Seattle offense go. The Seahawks led the league in rushing averaging 172.6 yards per game. Lynch recorded his fourth straight season of over 1,200 yards and does not appear to be slipping. Seattle rewarded Lynch with a three-year, $31 million contract extension in the offseason. Seattle once again has the talent to win the 2015 NFC West title and fulfill Super Bowl predictions as favorites. If they can stay healthy, fans will once again see the blueprint for success in the NFL: play great defense, run the football, and do not settle for mediocrity.
Seahawks Update (9/12/15): Seattle are now +600 favorites in Super Bowl predictions, +325 to win the NFC Conference and -300 to win the NFC West.