The Seattle Seahawks are one of the premiere teams in the NFL with one of the most complete rosters. Despite their recent success on paper, the Seahawks came up short by two points in the NFL Divisional Championship game against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.
With the 2013 NFL preseason underway, the Seahawks have some improvements to make, and the preseason is a good time to work toward them. Seattle is a team that is a few improvements away from returning to the Super Bowl.
Last season, Seattle’s defense allowed the fewest points and had a top-five defense that played with tenacity and swagger. The Seahawks have two young ball hawks in cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas, which are just two parts of a great secondary. Great secondaries make it hard for quarterbacks to be successful, but when its coupled with a great pass rush, the combination can make it impossible.
The Seahawks only managed a team total of 36 sacks in 2012, which was good enough for 18th in the NFL. Seattle’s defensive line has also taken a hit this season. Defensive end Chris Clemons is rushing to get back from left knee surgery, and defensive end Bruce Irvin is suspended the first four games of the season for PED use.
The Seahawks need to use the preseason to do their best to plug in the right pieces to help them generate a more solid pass rush. Third-round defensive tackle Jordan Hill and free agent signee Cliff Avril look to be difference-makers in their teammates’ absences.
Over the past three seasons, Seattle has been below .500 in road games. For Seattle to get back to the promised land, they have to be able to win games on the road. The 2012 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens had to win playoff games on the road against the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. The season before that, the New York Giants had to win on the road against the Green Bay Packers and San Fransico 49ers to advance.
Great teams learn to win on the road and if Seattle wants to be great, they have to become better than below .500 on the road.