Super. Bowl. Champions.
I'll say it again for those of you who missed it the first time. Super. Bowl. Champions.
By now many a Field Gulls reader; nay, the entire Seahawks' nation; knows the story of how the second-youngest team in Super Bowl history (according to NFL Films) took on the offensive juggernaut known as the Denver Broncos in what was largely billed as "the unstoppable force versus the immovable object".
The Broncos came in with the highest-scoring offense in the 2013 NFL season, culminating with Peyton Manning's fifth league MVP award and the AFC championship. Meanwhile, the Seahawks boasted one of the best defenses in the league according to Football Outsiders, posting a -25.8% DVOA. (If you want the official NFL stats, the Hawks' D gave up an average of 14.4 points/game during the regular season, good for first place. They also gave up 273.6 yards/game; again, good for first place; and led the league with 28 picks.)
Unstoppable force, meet the immovable object. Final score: Seattle - 43, Denver - 8.
Yet the journey to obtain the status of champion started after the disappointing loss to Atlanta in the 2013 playoffs, and the offseason began. I won't go into the draft trade specifics, but rather will focus on the Hawks' season which propelled them to the top. NOTE: While putting this together, I was having some issues getting the videos to load, so I apologize in advance.
Week 1: On the road at Carolina. Seattle victory, 12-7. 1-0.
Week 2: Home opener against San Francisco. Seattle victory, 29-3. 2-0.
Week 3: Jaguars visit the CLink, get crushed. Seattle victory, 45-17. 3-0.
Week 4: Doin' the Texas Two-Step. Seattle victory, 23-20 (OT). 4-0.
Week 5: Hawks falter at Indy. Seattle loss, 28-34. 4-1.
Week 6: Titans visit, Hawks rebound from first loss. Seattle victory, 20-13. 5-1.
Week 7: Showdown in the Arizona desert. Seattle victory, 34-22. 6-1.
Week 8: "Meet Me in Saint Louis", the Seahawks' musical. Seattle victory, 14-9. 7-1.
Week 9: The Comeback. Seattle victory, 27-24 (OT). 8-1.
Week 10: The Payback. Seattle victory, 33-10. 9-1.
Week 11: Defeating the Purple Monster. Seattle victory, 41-20. 10-1.
Week 12: Bye
Week 13: Easy Brees-y. Seattle victory, 34-7. 11-1.
Week 14: Rumble in the 'Stick. Seattle loss, 17-19. 11-2.
Week 15: One Giant Shutout. Seattle victory, 23-0. 12-2.
Week 16: Battle of the Birds. Seattle loss, 10-17. 12-3.
Week 17: Sacrificing the Ram. Seattle victory, 27-9. 13-3. (NFC West Champs!!!)
At this point, with their 13-3 season the Hawks clinched the top seed in the NFC Playoffs, and therefore earned a first-round bye and home field advantage. The 49ers would travel to Green Bay while the Saints paid a visit to Philly, with the Niners and Saints advancing out of the Wild Card.
NFC Divisional Round: Beast Mode, redux. Seattle victory, 23-15.
NFC Championship: Tipping Point. Seattle victory, 23-17.