Oct 13, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during the game against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Titans 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown
1. Seattle Seahawks (NFC West)
2013 Record: 13-3
Head coach: Pete Carroll – Last season Carroll became one of the few coaches to have won a National Championship college and a Super Bowl. He’s built the team in an old school style with mostly a smash mouth running attack with play action passing and a hard-hitting in your face defense. Yes Carroll has talented players, but some of his biggest stars were not high round draft picks, and they are young. Which suggests that Carroll could be winning in Seattle for the foreseeable future.
Best offensive player: Russell Wilson, quarterback – Wilson is of those stars who wasn’t a first or second round pick for the Seahawks, mainly because he didn’t have the prototypical height for a quarterback. But Wilson makes up for that with outstanding leadership skills, and an ability to cool under fire. His arm strength is underrated and he has great mobility to go along with it. In only his third season Wilson is already a two-time pro bowl selection. NFL Power Rankings
Best defensive player: Richard Sherman, cornerback – Over the course of his four-year career, Richard Sherman has risen to become the top cover corner in the league. He led the NFL in interceptions last season with 8, and earned a pro bowl selection as well. Sherman is outspoken and talks a lot trash on the field and off. But he’s one of the few players who can not only talk the talk, but can also walk it.
Rising Star: Bobby Wagner, middle linebacker – Bobby Wagner led the Seahawks in tackles last season with 120. He also registered 5 sacks on the season to go along with 2 interceptions. The Seahawks linebackers are sometimes overlooked in their vaunted defense, as the secondary get most of the headlines. But Bobby Wagner has quietly become a force for the Seahawks, and is only entering his third year in the league.
Best new addition: Kevin Norwood, wide receiver – The Seahawks drafted receiver Paul Richardson in the second round if the 2014 draft, but it seems they may have found a sleeper in the 4th round in Kevin Norwood. He has good route running ability and may end up being the Seahawks third receiver this season. And based on their depth at the position, it seems that the Seahawks need Norwood to step in and have an impact for them right away. NFL Power Rankings
Biggest offseason loss: Golden Tate, wide receiver – Tate led the Seahawks in receiving in 2013 with 68 receptions for 898 yards and 5 TD’s. That’s not overwhelming production to overcome but when you consider that depth at wide receiver for the Seahawks took a hit in the offseason, the loss of Tate becomes a bigger deal.
Biggest strength: The Seahawks biggest strength is their secondary. The Seahawks have arguably the top cornerback and safety in the NFL in Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. The secondary took a hit in losing Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond at corner, but they are still set up well depth wise in the secondary. NFL Power Rankings
Biggest weakness: The Seahawks biggest weakness is their depth at wide receiver. They lost Golden Tate in free agency and then the oft injured Sidney Rice recently retired. One expected starter at wide receiver, Percy Harvin has also had trouble staying healthy over the years. So if he or the other starter Doug Baldwin goes down, the Seahawks will have to rely on rookies Richardson and Kevin Norwood heavily this season.
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