The Seahawks will, unlike a season ago, enter the 2014 campaign with a huge target on them week in and week out. In addition to defending a Super Bowl championship, the Seahawks will also be battling to live up to high expectations. Unlike the Ravens last year, Seattle is expected to be in contention to be the first repeat Super Bowl champions since the Patriots won back-to-back titles following the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Seattle won’t enter this season without its fair share of losses during free agency. The team lost Golden Tate, Walter Thurmond and Chris Clemons, among others, to salary issues and players simply singing elsewhere.
Despite those losses, odds makers are looking favorably upon the defending champs. The favorite to win Super Bowl 2015 is the Seattle Seahawks at 6/1. That comes as a result of some solid additions to the roster. Although it’ll take time for players like Taylor Price to fit into the Seahawks well, they do provide some relief that should keep Seattle on track.
Most importantly, Seattle’s core players are, by and large, still in town. Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch will still carry the defense, and Richard Sherman will still be the face of a defense that can fly around as fast as any defensive group in the NFL.
The Seahawks’ strength comes from the construction of their current roster. Instead of relying heavily on one elite player as teams like the Broncos, Patriots and Packers do, the Seahawks allow their defense to set up their offense playing a field position game. Seattle may not be able to keep up with some of the top offensive teams in the league on paper, but as we saw in Super Bowl XLVIII, the best teams are able to win with their offense and defense complimenting each other.
Last year, the Seahawks were a trendy pick, but the 49ers were the team stealing all the headlines. Now the two teams have switched roles, but they remain very comparable squads. The Cardinals, who just missed a playoff berth last year, should also be very competitive in the NFC West. It’s that division’s high level of play that could actually derail the Seahawks’ repeat aspirations. The fact is, they’ll probably have to go through the 49ers and/or the Cardinals to even make it back to the Super Bowl, and both of those teams have enough talent to pull a minor upset.
Talking about the Seahawks repeating last year’s Super Bowl run at this point is mostly a consideration of hypothetical scenarios. If Wilson goes down, the Seahawks instantly go from Super Bowl favorites to little more than a postseason hopeful. That being said, the Seahawks are better equipped to repeat than any team we’ve seen in recent history. It’s too early to begin calling them the next great NFL dynasty, but unlike winners in the past eight years, the possibility is certainly on the table.