The 2005 Seattle Seahawks advanced to the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit. That team finished 13-3 — 8-0 at home — and went 10-2 in the NFC and undefeated in the NFC West. That team also won 11 straight after a Week 4 loss at Washington and clinched home-field advantage before resting their starters during the final week.
Led by a rushing attack highlighted by a mauling offensive line and the league’s MVP in Shaun Alexander, the Seahawks efficient offense went on to beat Washington in the division round before pounding the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship game. The 2013 Seahawks are 11 games into the season and have a lot of work to do before matching what their ’05 brethren accomplished, let alone meeting expectations.
The similarities between the two teams, however, is quite remarkable, at least through the first 12 weeks of this season. Both had MO’s to run the ball and set the tone that way. They each used the passing game to set up the running game in order to keep opposing defenses from stacking the box regularly. Both teams rushed the passer well, were efficient at getting off the field on third downs and won the turnover battle week-in and week-out.
There are a few negatives, also. Both the 2005 Super Bowl team and this year’s 10-1 Seahawks were highly penalized, among the most in football. There are some key differences, too, highlighted in red in the chart below.
There’s something to be said about many good NFL teams displaying analogous statistics, even as time passes and the game changes. But even with such consideration, this year’s Seahawks and the one from eight seasons ago under coach Mike Holmgren have a lot of promising similarities. A deeper dive suggests, at least in my opinion, that this year’s team is better.
The 2013 Seahawks appear to be deeper and certainly possess more offensive weapons, particularly now that Percy Harvin is healthy. The punishing style employed by running back Marshawn Lynch is also an advantage, perhaps evening out some of the advantages the ’05 team clear has in offensive line play. There is no Walter Jones or Steve Hutchinson, but Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable’s zone blocking scheme makes up for some of that, too.
The biggest differences are on defense, where this year’s team boasts several Pro Bowl caliber players — perennial pro bowlers at that — and despite my affinity for Matt Hasselbeck, whose receivers dropped more passes than any other quarterback in the league during his Seattle tenure, the 2005 Seahawks did not have Russell Wilson, and that may be the impact difference between the two teams.
Again, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have a long way to go to match that ’05 team’s success. There are five games left in the regular season and then at least two playoff wins before Wilson and company can be placed on the same pedestal. A lot can happen between now and then — it’s two months worth of football, after all. But this football team oozes moxie, toughness, emotional maturity and talent, and even though I’m not the gambler Steve Sandmeyer allegedly is, I’m betting on No. 3 any day of the week and twice on game day.
– Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)