Welcome to “This Is Totally Your Year,” our overly optimistic preview of the 2014-15 NFL season for all 32 teams. We’ve broken down why every team — yes, even your team (and yes, even your team, Rams fans) — will win it all this year. We’ll also give some reasons for pessimism and even estimate an actual season prediction. Next up: The Seattle Seahawks.
NFC West, Episode 2: A Mighty Wind.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain — the Seattle Seahawks are a good bet to win it all again this season, and none of the reasons have a thing to do with Richard Sherman’s mouth.
In fact, each time he opens his big bazoo, he hurts his team much more than he helps. Exhibit A:
Sherman got into a fight with receiver Bryan Walters during minicamp on June 18, prompting coach Pete Carroll to stop practice to restore order. So the NFLPA saw the TV report of the fight, and someone there said ‘Wait a minute, that’s a lot more contact than is allowed in the collective bargaining agreement.’ So they launched an investigation, and the Seahawks ended up being fined $300,000 — and that was just for the day of the fight, not all the other practices in which the team did basically the same thing.
Leave it to Pete Carroll to find a way to break the rules at the pro level. Out of habit, the NCAA banned the Seahawks from any bowl appearances for the next two seasons.
So that’s pretty much my take on Sherman. Great cornerback, and somewhat important to their Super Bowl championship. Beyond that, I don’t give him much thought. And as for his so-called feud with 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh? Well …
Don’t forget this photo when trying to determine if Sherman’s talk is on the level, or just an attempt to get into people’s heads.
But there I go using up half this post to talk about Richard Sherman, when I should be singing the praises of Russell Wilson. The Seahawks will always be a threat to win the division with Wilson at quarterback, because guys like him don’t fall into your lap every day. Mobile, accurate, durable and intelligent, he simply has all the tools. Plus he’s humble: not only can he make opposing defenses look foolish, but can also do the same to Fox News hosts.
As good as the Seahawks were offensively last season, 2014-15 should be even better. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell wants to revitalize the playbook, use more formations and tailor it more toward Wilson’s strengths. That means using the perimeter more, for one thing. And Percy Harvin is healthy now. Yikes. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice are gone, but Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse have proven this preseason that they’re capable of taking up the slack.
Reason for doubt: Their final seven games. Let’s face it — Seattle won a few games last season with mirrors. But the Seahawks will have to be healthy, good and most of all lucky to make it through the last part of their schedule, when they play six 2013 playoff teams in seven weeks — Kansas City and Philadelphia on the road, San Francisco (twice), and Arizona (twice). Also, Seattle’s bye week is in September, so that’s a long, arduous trek. Also, Marshawn Lynch was a holdout for much of the preseason and hasn’t played much. And the defense that powered the team last season has lost cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond III, and defensive linemen Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Clinton McDonald — all starters.
Predicted finish: 13-3, first in NFC West. Deep run in playoffs. Another Super Bowl ring very possible if they’re healthy for playoffs. GO STONKING TWEETY BIRDS!