I have this feeling that maybe, just maybe the Seattle Seahawks will make it and may I dare say win the 47th Super Bowl from New Orleans.
I know it is easy to become a proponent of Seahawk football after the 42-13 dominant win over the 49ers and to tell you the truth I did not realize what a tough and even vicious team Seattle was until after midnight Sunday / early morning Monday and heading to my daily six-hour nap saying to myself, wow, that was impressive.
In 2010 it was the Green Bay Packers who as a Wild Card were playing their best football in December and by February had won the 45th Super Bowl. In 2012 it was the New York Football Giants who were playing their best football in December and by February had won the 46th Super Bowl. And now as we wrap up 2012 it just may be the year that Seattle returns to the Super Bowl after losing their last in 2005 to Pittsburgh in Detroit in a game that they could have and should have won.
As I was watching the 49ers-Seahawks game, two aspects of football team building and on-field play really caught my attention. In terms of team building this 2O12 draft my go down as the best in the history of the organization. Seattle has identified and developed six players out of the 10 draft picks taken that have all made major contributions.
Now the best draft ever may be the 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers draft where they found Lynn Swann at No. 1, Jack Lambert at 2, John Stallworth at 4 and the great Mike Webster at number 5. A very good year.
But look at what the Seahawks found in April of 2012, and how they are contributing here in December. In the first round, Bruce Irvin, a projected third-round pick who Pete Carroll took in the first round from West Virginia, is one of the best third-down pass rushers in football. Then, in the second round there was Bobby Wagner, a middle linebacker from Utah State. An every down player that communicates defensive calls from his coach Ken Norton Jr., remember him?
In the 3rd round, Russell Wilson, we know of him and will see a lot more. Who takes a 5'11" quarterback in the third round? As a general manager John Schneider did and the results have been extreme. Then, fourth round, running back Robert Turbin, again from Utah State. Logic says because of his running style Marshawn Lynch will get hurt. Robert Turbin looks ready to go.
In the sixth round, the sixth round! Jeremy Lane, a cornerback from Northwestern. He looked like a fourth-year pro filling in for the suspended Brandon Browner. This Sunday he did not look like the "Sunday Night Football" stage was too big for him. And finally, in the seventh round, seventh, J.R. Sweezy. A 6'5" 298 lb. guard that was the Seahawks starting right guard on Sunday night. And you know what? He is good. High effort player that uses all of his skills to get the job done consistently play after play.
Six players from one draft is a building block of immensity that cannot be undervalued. Now in accordance with the excellence of the decisions back in April is the viciousness of the game on Sunday night. The hit by Cam Chancellor, second year out of Virginia Tech, 6'3" 232 lbs., on Vernon Davis I though was within the rules as I did not think the head was targeted. Then later in the game, the hit by Lee Roy Hill on receiver Mario Manningham that tore two major ligaments in Manningham's knee was also legal but vicious. And it is that word I use to describe the assassins on the Seahawks, vicious. And vicious can take you a long way in football.
I have often said, especially in big games the amount of verbal and physical intimidation that goes on is shocking when the circumstances create the opportunity. Seattle is an intimidating team to play. From the style of running back Lynch, to the return game of Leon Washington to the presence of defensive tackle "Red" Bryant. You had better be in the right frame of mind and emotion when you play the Seahawks.
The playoffs in football are so unique because the best team does not always win. It is the team that is playing their best that will possess the 47th Super Bowl come February 3. And it could be any of 12 teams. But in the AFC, Denver is playing their best football. In the NFC Green Bay is on a roll. Atlanta is tough at home and the NFC playoffs go through Atlanta and with a win over the Colts - who are already a Wild Card player - the AFC playoffs go through Houston.
And then there is Seattle. 10-5 with one more to go, the Rams at CenturyLink Field. You just never know.