The year was 1985 and the Seattle Seahawks were predicted by many to advance to the Super Bowl. At no other time in history, until the last few months, have the Seahawks been considered Super Bowl frontrunners. Not even coming off a Super Bowl appearance in 2005 were they considered the favorite to get back to the big game.
The 1985 team had come off of a successful 12-4 campaign the previous year and had defeated the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Raiders in the Wild Card round in January of 1985 before losing to the Miami Dolphins in the Division round a week later. Those Dolphins reached the Super Bowl.
Many people predicted the Seahawks to take it to the next level the following season, especially after the return of superstar running back Curt Warner, who missed almost the entire 1984 season with a knee injury, but the team flopped to the tune of an 8-8 record.
This time around, the Seahawks aim to liven up to their lofty pre-season expectations and there are many reasons why the 2013 team will do what the team in 1985 couldn’t.
It all starts with the quarterback position and the Seahawks now finally have a player most can agree is, or will soon be, a legitimate franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson. The team from almost three decades ago had Dave Krieg. While Krieg was a functional player who threw for over 38,000 during his 19 years in the NFL playing for six organizations, he was also a fumbling machine and was never considered one of the elite players at his position even though he did appear in the Pro Bowl three times.
Both teams had great running backs, but this years Seahawks have a healthy Marshawn Lynch coming off a season in which he had 1,590 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. The 1985 team had a question mark at the position after Warner had suffered a season ending ACL injury in the opener the previous year. While Warner gained over 1,000 and added eight scores on the ground in 1985, he wasn’t as explosive as he had been during his rookie season of 1983 where he rushed for 1,449 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.
Michael Robinson is also a superior fullback today in comparison to David Hughes.
When you look at the receivers for both squads, it’s another victory for the current team. While the elder Seahawks had a future Hall of Famer in Steve Largent, the rest of the group was not impressive. In fact, Warner was second on the team in receptions with 47 while Daryl Turner finished with only 34 catches, although 13 of those were for scores.
This year, the Seahawks will have a wide variety of weapons at the disposal of Wilson such as Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and former Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller. Any of those five pass catchers would have been the number-two target of Krieg, if they could go back in time.
Today, the Seahawks are anchored on its offensive line by a pair of Pro Bowlers in left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger. The 1984 offensive line looked pretty good heading into 1985 even though it was void of elite talent. Still, the advantage goes to the current group of Seahawks.
It is harder to compare the other side of the ball because Pete Carroll uses a 4-3 and Chuck Knox used a 3-4 defense.
The Seahawks of Knox had a good defensive line led by Jacob Green, who was a great player and would be considered the best member of the front seven of today.
Likewise, Joe Nash, although undersized, was a Pro Bowl performer at nose tackle who had 7 sacks in 1984 and 9 more in 1985. Fredd Young was becoming a Pro Bowl linebacker, too.
The current Seahawks also have good players on its front seven and if it does beat out the squad from yesteryear, it’s not by much.
The “Legion of Boom” is the best group of defensive backs in the NFL and is obviously superior to the 1985 squad. However, surprising to many young fans, is that if Kenny Easley were on the current group of Seahawks — the “Boom” would be even louder, as Easley is the best defensive back in team history. In 1985, he was coming off a season in which he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year, something Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman cannot yet claim in their young careers.
This current group of Seahawks has all of the makings of living up to all of the preseason hype, whereas the group from 1985 simply wasn’t as talented as people thought.