The Seattle Seahawks are a trendy pick to win the Super Bowl, and quarterback Russell Wilson is getting a lot of love around the league. Fans who follow the game know that preseason predictions are nice, but ultimately mean nothing. The NFL is a long, hard grind and there are a number of elements that can derail a talented team.
Still, it is interesting to look at the potential competition and assess the teams that may stand in Seattle’s path to the Super Bowl. This is the National Football League, and no one is going to step aside.
You obviously have to start with the San Francisco 49ers, who arguably represent the toughest foe for the ‘Hawks. The NFC Championship game could theoretically be the biggest showdown of the year, followed by an anticlimactic Super Bowl.
The Green Bay Packers do not necessarily have the defense to compete with the top-tier teams. They will score points, but possibly struggle to get stops. The same could be said about the Atlanta Falcons, who will have a great vertical game, but may have difficulty slowing down opposing offenses.
On the AFC side, the Denver Broncos are a popular pick, though, their defense may not be as dominant with the departure of Elvis Dumervil and the suspension of Von Miller. The New England Patriots have Tom Brady, but who will he throw to now that Wes Welker is in Denver and Aaron Hernandez is occupied with other things?
Again, the Seahawks are not going to walk with ease into the Super Bowl. With a limited number of games, the NFL is perhaps the easiest league for getting derailed. Injuries, momentum shifts and unplanned poor performances can quickly send a team in the wrong direction.
The road to the Super Bowl may run through CenturyLink Field, but it won’t be easy. The work starts now.