Why the Seattle Seahawks Will Not Make the Playoffs in 2013
Before I begin this article, let me make a few points clear:
1) I am a huge fan of Russell Wilson. What he did in the regular season AND the postseason are feats that can not be ignored.
He is a rare talent and I believe he will have long-term success in the NFL.
2) I love the environment that CenturyLink Field brings to the NFL. It is a stadium you must visit if you are a die-hard NFL fan.
The crowd is deafening and the atmosphere is electric. Playing in a stadium like that will guarantee you six to seven wins a year.
3) I believe that the Seahawks do indeed have a great, young roster and that they will be competitive for the next six to seven years.
That being said, these are the reasons why I believe that the Seattle Seahawks will not make the playoffs next season.
It all starts with the quarterback. Don't get me wrong, what Russell Wilson did in his rookie year was nothing short of amazing.
The third round pick from Wisconsin ranked fourth overall in passer rating - he was better than Matt Ryan, Drew Brees AND Tom Brady. He also threw for 26 touchdowns, leading all rookies. Add almost 500 yards rushing with four touchdowns and you have the complete package.
He has a cannon for an arm and has tremendous vision for being a shorter quarterback at 5'10". His decision-making is very good and he has one of the better deep balls in the game. He is going to be a very good quarterback over the next few years.
However, despite all of the statistics and accomplishments I believe Wilson will struggle in his sophomore year.
The evidence is there if you just look closely. Out of all second-year quarterbacks since 2002, only a handful of quarterbacks have made it to the playoffs in their second season and only one has won a playoff game - Ben Roethlisberger when he won the Super Bowl in 2005. And I believe that the Steelers actually won that game despite him.
It's tough for quarterbacks of Russell's style to excel after their first year in the league. Teams now have tape - they can learn his tendencies and use those against them. The fact that defenses now know what is coming will force him to make adjustments and alter his game in order to be successful.
It doesn't even have to be quarterbacks of Wilson's style. Every quarterback goes through growing pains in the NFL. There all kinds of recent examples of one-year wonders at the position recently - Ryan Fitzpatrick, Michael Vick, Matt Cassel - just to name a few.
It also doesn't help that he will have to play against three of the league's best defense six times a year either. The NFC West can now be considered one of the tougher divisions in the league after being a bottom-feeder for so long. I don't know if many people realize that the Hawks lost to both the Rams and the Cardinals last year.
Look for Wilson to have an up and down season but it won't be a Mark Sanchez style regression. I like Wilson too much to turn him into a butt fumbler.
Wilson excelled last season by running the read option very efficiently and relying on heavy doses of Marshawn Lynch and with the trade for Percy Harvin this offseason, the Seahawks' offense seems as potent as ever.
However, don't be so sold on the Harvin trade just yet. Harvin brings a lot of talent and play-making to the receiver position, but he has played only one complete season and has never hit 1,000 yards receiving in his career.
He also brings some character concerns and his issues with migraines have always been bothersome. He's known to throw fits and let his anger get the best of him. That could be a dangerous mix with teammate Marshawn Lynch, who has been known to be a little excessive sometimes as well.
Future Hall-of-Famer Cris Carter himself was quoted saying that Vikings were better off without Harvin. The price that the Seahawks had to pay was too high. A first-rounder and two other selections are too much for a team that has drafted four Pro Bowlers over the last three years. Add that to the humongous contract they gave him (six-year, $67 million with $25.5 guaranteed) and that is a very lofty price for a player of his caliber.
Although Harvin is dynamic and will receive most of the balls from Wilson, the Seahawks will still need major production from opposite receiver Sidney Rice.
Both players played under offensive coordinator Darrel Bevel when he held the same position in Minnesota from 2006-2010, so there should be a lot of familiarity.
In the end, I don't think Harvin will be worth the arm and leg that the Hawks paid up.