NFL Playoffs: Can Russell Wilson Lead the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII?

Joe Nicholson- USA TODAY Sports

 

The Seattle Seahawks entered this season as a popular Super Bowl pick, and they have lived up to that billing with a 13-3 regular season record and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs after a 27-9 win over the St. Louis Rams in Week 17. With a unique home field advantage at CenturyLink Field and a 15-1 record there over the last two seasons, the Seahawks will be a tough out this postseason.

Quarterback Russell Wilson‘s production fell off over the final four regular season games, but can he lead the Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII?

Seahawks’ wide receiver Percy Harvin missed all but one regular season game after undergoing hip surgery in August, and his status for the playoffs looks to be in serious doubt after multiple reported setbacks. A first-round bye will give him more time to be ready to go and there may not be any more news on his status until the week leading up to the game, but Seattle looks likely to be without Harvin’s potentially difference-making talent at the most critical time of the season. Regardless of Harvin’s health during the postseason, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin will continue their roles as Wilson’s top two targets.

The Seahawks beat three NFC playoff teams (Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints) by a combined score of 75-17 during the regular season, and Wilson threw five touchdown passes with just one interception in those three games with his only two 300-yard passing games of the season coming against the Panthers (Week 1) and Saints (Week 13).

Wilson certainly has the makeup and skill set to lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, and two playoff starts as a rookie last season should benefit him this year with the team in a better position to make a deep run as the NFC’s No. 1 seed. A loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16 proved that the Seahawks can be beaten at home, but Wilson’s leadership along with removing that perceived invincibility will serve them well when the stakes are higher in the playoffs. I previously deemed Harvin’s drive to play in one regular season game as the single thing that would derail Seattle’s Super Bowl run, but they’ve gotten to this point without him and they have to be considered the favorite to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24


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