I must admit, I didn't have high expectations for the Seattle Seahawks entering the 2012 NFL season. The Seahawks were one of three also-rans (Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams are the other two teams) in the NFC West, which I thought would be the worst division in the league.
The San Francisco 49ers (13-3 in 2011) would easily have their way with the rest of the teams and win the division with ease.
My expectations for the Seahawks were even lowered when head coach Pete Carroll announced before the start of the season that 2012 third-round draft selection Russell Wilson would start at quarterback over prized free agent Matt Flynn, who set a Green Bay Packers record by throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns in the last regular season game of the 2011 season and was courted by several other NFL teams to be their starting quarterback.
Two things convinced me during the Seahawks' start that they were a better team than last season. No. 1, spearheaded by their two tall cornerbacks (6-foot-4 Brandon Browner, and 6-foot-3 Richard Sherman) who can match up with and jam wide receivers at the line of scrimmage, the defense has vastly improved from last season, playing an aggressive style that makes plays all over the field. And No. 2, Wilson is slowly but surely getting better each week as a decision maker, passer, and leader of the team.
The Seahawks really got my attention in Week 6 when they rallied from 23-10 deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the much-heralded New England Patriots 24-23, with Wilson throwing two touchdowns passes to win the game.
The Seahawks may have lost their big NFC West showdown to the 49ers four days later 13-6, but they showed them they they will be a thorn at their side for the foreseeable future.
The Seahawks are continuing to get better as a team, and looking at their schedule, only two games should give them trouble (Week 13 at the Chicago Bears, and Week 16 rematch vs. the 49ers). There's no reason the Seahawks should not go 11-5 or 10-6 to make the playoffs this season.