While the two No. 1 seeds, Denver and Seattle, have the best odds of reaching the 2014 Super Bowl, it’s important to note that the last three Super Bowl champions emerged from Wild Card Weekend. If there’s one thing the NFL has proven over the years, it’s that the playoffs are wildly unpredictable. Upsets can, and do, happen. But, having the No.1 seed definitely helps and when you have an outstanding defense, a killer record on home field and behind a raucous crowd your odds are increased. Which is why NFL oddsmakers have the Seahawks listed at 5/2 odds to win the 2014 Super Bowl and lift the Lombardy Trophy for the first time in franchise history. The Seahawks first challenge is the New Orleans Saints, a team they’ve destroyed twice. If they beat the Saints they face the winner between San Francisco and Carolina. Below is my Seahawks Super Bowl preview for you to ponder along with NFL Playoff Spreads.
While the Seahawks home record was dented with their Week 16 loss to Arizona, there’s no doubt that CenturyLink Field remains a fortress. The team possesses the league’s No. 1-ranked defense and No. 4-ranked rushing offense for a lethal January combination. They are ranked best in the league (273ypg), with a league best ranked pass rush (172ypg), and an 8th ranked rush defense (101). They allow 14ppg good for best in the league. Michael Bennett leads the Seahawks with 8.5 sacks and 18 solo tackles, while Richard Sherman has 8 interceptions. As a team they have 28 interceptions.
Another reason for the Seahawks confidence is the play of second-year quarterback, Russell Wilson, who is so calm under pressure and saves his best for when it matters the most. He’s a difference-maker at the position and someone who inspires a ton of confidence. Russell Wilson has 3357 pass yards with 26 touchdown passes, 9 interceptions for a 101.2 QB rating. Golden Tate leads their receiving core with 898 yards and five touchdowns, while Marshawn Lynch leads with 14 touchdowns and 1573 yards combined.
The Bottom Line: Seattle should be able to get by the Saints, and if it does, it will host the NFC Championship Game in two weekends against either the 49ers or Panthers. The Seahawks destroyed the 49ers on their tuff this season, but that wasn’t the same team that showed up in Seattle in Week 2. They’ll want to play Carolina and if they do the Seahawks are going to the big dance.