By what can only be attributed to greater fan awareness of this particular contest, the Seahawks upset the San Francisco 49ers last week in the semi-finals of Pro Football Weekly's Best Defense in the NFL Tournament. In PFW's defense, every single one of their analysts picked the Niners to win and head to the finals prior to the start of the voting, but Seahawks fans turned out in droves to vote Seattle through. That, or maybe people around the nation hate the Niners as much as Seahawks fans do? Either way, it was a shocking upset, and in a rematch of Super Bowl Extra Large, Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and the fellas will square off against the vaunted Steelers defensive unit.
Now, I realize I sound a little cynical and perhaps fans are projecting for what the Seahawks' defense hopes to become in 2012, but it's pretty hard to argue against the Niners starting D from last year. With arguably the best front seven in the NFL, S.F. finished 4th in total defense, 2nd in points given up per game, 4th in yards surrendered per game, and only gave up three touchdowns on the ground. The Seahawks' young defense is improving, added some nice pass rush weapons in the draft, and has a shot to be counted among the best in 2012, but if I'm being honest this is a bit of a reach. Either way, check out what the PFW staff has to say, both above and in that link, and let me know what you think below.