Ok, as promised, I would start by breaking down the NFC West. Since the Seahawks have been on top for a while, we will start with them. From the top, they have an above average coach, which means a lot to any team. A couple of years ago, I would have called Mike Holmgren a great coach, but I have felt he has slipped a little since the SuperBowl. On offense, the team went through some major changes. Of course, we are talking about the cutting of Shaun Alexander, and the signing of Julius Jones. While Alexander has dropped off quite a bit, his lack of production coincides with the loss of Steve Hutchinson, All-Pro Left guard. Letting Hutch go was the biggest mistake the Seahawks have made, ever. WIth Walter Jones at Left Tackle, and Hutch right next to him, Alexander has huge lanes that complimented his running style. The signing of Julius Jones is a bit of a reach. The guy was not even the best runner on the Cowboys last year, that would be Marion Barber. I think that the Hawks will play running back by committie with Maurice Morris, Jones and T.J. Duckett, as each bring something to the table. I personally believe Mo Morris will be the best of the three this year. He is a hard runner, and sees the holes well. The Offensive Line will still be formadable with Walter Jones being the anchor. Let's not forgett All-Pro Matt Hasselbeck, one of the games best at his position. The problem lies with the wide receivers. Starting will be Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram, no real headliners there. And their backups at WR are weak at best.
The Defense will be one of the NFL's better defensive clubs. The defensive line is well above average, with Patrick Kerney and Rocky Bernard being the anchors. Two of the three Linebackers are All-Pro, Lofa Tatupu and Adrian Peterson, and are, in a word, Great. The secondary is decent, but the only great player the Hawks have back there is Marcus Trufant.
Based on the Schedule, I see the Seahawks winning 9 to 10 games this year, maybe just enough to get in to the playoffs. I have the Hawks beating the Bills away, and the 49ers and the Rams at home in Quest field. I have the Giants beating the Seahawks in a tough one on the road, then the Seahawks comming back and beating the Packers back at home. The Seahawks should get the best of the Bucs in Tampa, and dropping the next game in Sanfrancisco. The Eagles win the next game, followed by a crushing of the Dolphins the next week, followed by a beat down of the Cardinals. Now comes the tough part of the schedule. I am calling 4 losses in a row, by the Redskins, Cowboys, Patriots and the Rams, respectfully. Now I know what you are going to be yelling about, a loss to the Rams. However, in recent times, the Rams have given the Seahawks big problems. The only way the Seahawks could even win those games against the Rams was last second field goals by sharp-shooting kicker, Josh Brown. The only problem is that Brown now plays for the Rams. The Hawks should win out the rest of the season by beating both the Jets and the Cardinals.
That would be a 10-6 record, good enough for the the playoffs in the NFC. Just like any team, however, a key injury or playing a hot team could be the death-nail to the Seahawks.
Next entry will break down the Sanfrancisco 49ers, as I see it the 2nd best team in the NFC West.