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Jordan Schultz

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Seattle Seahawks Becoming Dangerous Team On Both Sides Of The Ball

Posted: 09/24/2012 12:54 pm

The Seattle Seahawks have a deadly home field advantage that causes earthquakes.

They have the Skittles-loving Marshawn Lynch, one of the best running backs in the league and still just 26 years old.

They have a remarkably fast defense with four pure playmakers in the secondary and an average age under 25.

They have a 5-foot-10 rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson who was drafted 75th overall and who just happens to be starting over prized free agent acquisition Matt Flynn.

If you haven't yet noticed, something special is happening right now with this Seahawks team, a distant six years from its only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. In fact, the only holdover from that team is veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant, who plays an ancillary role at best.

Last season, head coach Pete Carroll endured a troubling season with Tarvaris Jackson under center as perhaps the NFL's worst starting quarterback. The offense relied heavily on Lynch, who rewarded them with a career best 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns. In this league, though, balance is key, and without it success is simply not sustainable.

Wilson, while undersized and inexperienced, may just provide that balance. He has a rocket arm, makes sound decisions and is a terrific athlete who excels out of the pocket. Most importantly, he is a leader. For example: Last year when he transferred to Wisconsin for his senior season, according to a recent ESPN article, "he once drove 17 hours straight, from Richmond, Va., to the University of Wisconsin just to get a copy of the playbook." It's still far too early to make predictions as to Wilson's career arc, but early indications suggests he could become the rock for which this organization has been searching.

On the other side of the ball is a defense that currently ranks sixth in total defense, allowing a mere 274.5 yards per game, and second in total run defense. Cornerbacks Brandon Browner (Pro Bowler) and Richard Sherman are quickly becoming elite cover guys, while free safety Earl Thomas -- the 14th pick in the 2010 draft -- is coming off a second-team All-Pro season. Strong safety Kam Chancellor (also drafted in 2010) made his first Pro Bowl last year as well. This group was largely responsible for Seattle's Week 2 upset win over Dallas. Tony Romo, fresh off a masterful performance against the Giants, completed just 23-40 passes with a pick and the Cowboys were held to 7 points.

Whether or not Seattle can beat Green Bay on Monday Night Football is an open question, but for the first time in a long time, the Seahawks are showing tremendous upside that actually coincides with quality play on the field. Remember, even with that memorable playoff upset over New Orleans two seasons ago, the team still finished with a sub-.500 record.

It hasn't had a winning season in five years, but that all appears to be changing.

Email me at jordan.schultz@huffingtonpost.com or ask me questions about anything sports-related at @Schultz_Report.

 

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