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NFL Seattle Seahawks

5 Seattle Seahawks Facing Make-or-Break Seasons in 2014

5 Seattle Seahawks Facing Make-or-Break Seasons in 2014

Sidney Rice
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks are the reigning Super Bowl champions. That doesn't mean they can just waltz into the 2014 season and expect to dominant once again, though. They now have a large target on their back, which will make repeating a taxing ambition. Improvement, even on a team as talented as Seattle, is in order. Here are five Seahawks who are set to enter a make-or-break campaign.

5. J.R. Sweezy, Guard

J.R. Sweezy
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

5. J.R. Sweezy, Guard

J.R. Sweezy
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

J.R. Sweezy held down starting right guard duties for the Seahawks in 2013. He didn't particularly excel at doing so, however, ranking as Pro Football Focus' 51st-most efficient offensive guard. Sweezy specifically struggled in the running game. The interior offensive line is one of Seattle's few weaknesses. Improvement from Sweezy could go a long way in making for a more prolific offense.

4. James Carpenter, Guard

James Carpenter
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

4. James Carpenter, Guard

James Carpenter
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Left guard James Carpenter wasn't very good either, finishing the year as Pro Football Focus' 65th-most efficient guard. The former first-round pick is slatted for free agency in 2015 and needs to finally live up to his draft status this coming season if he has any hope of commanding a sizable market. He must first make the team and win back his starting role -- two uncertainties at best.

3. Sidney Rice, Wide Receiver

Sidney Rice
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

3. Sidney Rice, Wide Receiver

Sidney Rice
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Sidney Rice was one of the league's most productive receivers in 2009, accumulating 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns with the Vikings. Since then it's been nothing but injury after injury and Rice hasn't sniffed the 1,000-yard plateau. The Seahawks, in need of receiver help after losing Golden Tate, have given Rice one last shot to solidify himself as a starter. To do so, he'll need to make a full recovery from a torn ACL he suffered in October.

2. Byron Maxwell, Cornerback

Byron Maxwell
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

2. Byron Maxwell, Cornerback

Byron Maxwell
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Byron Maxwell, a former sixth-round pick, finally got his chance to start at cornerback in 2013. And he didn't disappoint, ranking 13th at the position in overall efficiency according to Pro Football Focus. He was successful in only a small sample size, though. Thus, he'll need to sustain solid coverage throughout the 2014 season, especially considering he's entering a contract year, if he wants to earn a permanent spot in the Legion of Boom.

1. Percy Harvin, Wide Receiver

Percy Harvin
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Percy Harvin, Wide Receiver

Percy Harvin
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As talented as Percy Harvin is -- which was on full display during his 87-yard kickoff return touchdown in the Super Bowl -- he's only played in 10 regular season games over the past two years. He's the league's third-highest paid receiver, so he'll need to showcase some durability in 2014 to justify his steep price tag. Producing his first ever 1,000-yard receiving season would be an added bonus.