Disappointment has surrounded the Seattle Seahawks since they lost Super Bowl XL to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. Sure, they reached the playoffs in the 2010-11 season, but they did so with an unimpressive 7-9 record.
The sad truth stares fans in the face: The Seahawks still have yet to hoist the coveted Lombardi trophy. They have not felt the showers of multi-colored confetti on their heads. They have not reached the pinnacle of NFL football.
The good news for Seahawks fans is that the 2012-13 season is nearly here. The team has a clean slate and a new cast of players who will try to make a run at a championship. However, it doesn't seem realistic to expect the Seahawks to return to the Super Bowl this season.
The Seahawks face a tough regular season schedule with games against the strong AFC East division. They also have one game against the Green Bay Packers and two against their division rival, the San Francisco 49ers.
While no team should mark up their schedule with wins and losses before playing the games, the Seahawks do have an uphill battle ahead. To have a legitimate chance at winning their division or the wild card race, the Seahawks will need strong play and leadership from the quarterback position.
Rookie Russell Wilson has shined at the quarterback position so far. He has completed 66.7 percent of his passes, has a 3-1 touchdown to interception ratio and has averaged 8.5 yards per pass attempt, according to ESPN.com. Wilson has also rushed eight times for 92 yards and a touchdown, according to NFL.com.
However, Wilson has competition for the starting job. Wilson's primary competition is Matt Flynn, who signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract in the off season. Flynn has started both preseason games and has more playing experience than Wilson.
Coach Pete Carroll has yet to decide whether he will start the dynamic Wilson or the veteran Flynn.
Evaluations might go more smoothly if Terrell Owens, the Seahawks’ high-profile receiving acquisition, can catch the ball on a consistent basis. He did not play against Tennessee and did not record any catches against Denver, most notably dropping a would-be 46-yard touchdown pass from Flynn.
If Owens does not pan out, Braylon Edwards is the Seahawks’ most recognizable receiver. Edwards isn’t bad, but opposing defenses will choose to eliminate his threatening presence. This leaves either Flynn or Wilson with fewer potential targets.
Marshawn Lynch adds uncertainty as well. He was recently charged with driving under the influence, reminding fans and critics of his own behavioral issues. While playing for the Buffalo Bills, Lynch had two criminal incidents, one of which led to a three-game suspension, according to USA Today. Lynch has not played in this preseason and could receive another suspension from the league if he cannot defend his innocence.
The Seahawks’ defense has been fairly impressive after two preseason games, intercepting the Broncos’ Peyton Manning twice. They’ve allowed 27 total points over two games.
The old adage is that defense wins championships, but other elements of the Seahawks’ offense look promising too.
Their kicker, Steven Hauschka, has consistently hit field goals, kicking two as far as 43 yards in the game against Denver, according to ESPN.com.
Their offensive line has only allowed four total sacks in the first two games, according to ESPN.com. If Wilson earns the starting job, his running ability will hold that number down.
This year’s version of the Seattle Seahawks does not come without questions. Large obstacles loom ahead. And yet, bright spots illuminate the way around those obstacles.
Don’t crown the Seahawks the Super Bowl champions just yet, but don’t count them out of the race for the playoffs either.