For anyone out there that's been paying attention, the 2012-2013 Seattle Seahawks have put together one of the best two-year runs in NFL history. They've finished 1st in Football Outsiders DVOA in back-to-back seasons, and since the start of the second half of the 2012 season, they've been nearly unstoppable.
FO's Scott Kacsmar did some digging of his own and had these two interesting bits of info on Twitter:
The only two teams to go two straight years without losing by more than seven points are the 1966-67 Green Bay Packers and the aforementioned Seahawks. And Seattle has gone 30 straight games with a lead in the fourth quarter or overtime.
The 1966 Packers won Super Bowl I and the '67 Packers repeated as champs. Comparing the landscape of the NFL in 1967 to what it's like in 2014 would be as silly as pairing a no-nonsense black cop with a white cop that doesn't play by the rules. Sure, maybe we'll find some common ground in the end, but most likely you're just going to be laughing at the edge of your seat for the next 96 minutes.
What I can tell you is this: Vince Lombardi left the team after 1967 and Bart Starr turned 33 in 1968.
Though there is more competition in 2014, it's important to note that Russell Wilson is going to be 26 and Pete Carroll signed a two-year extension. Even if Carroll decided to retire when he was 65, he'd still have three more years left with the team. Which is what he's signed up for, so it all seems to work out.
Going back to Week 9 of the 2012 season, including playoffs, the Seahawks are 24-5. They have outscored those last 29 opponents by 404 points, for an average of +13.93 per game. That's nearly a two-touchdown advantage over their last 29 opponents, and it includes five playoff games.
It includes a 3-1 record against the San Francisco 49ers, with two blowouts.
A 2-0 record against the Carolina Panthers.
A 2-0 record against the New Orleans Saints.
A 7-2 record against the AFC, including one of the biggest margins of victory in Super Bowl history against "the greatest offense ever."
They've faced the tough schedule, they've assembled perhaps the greatest defense of all-time, if not top five, they've done more than we could have ever asked for. And yet, all of the major pieces all seem to be in place for next season.
Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Percy Harvin, Russell Okung, Doug Baldwin, Zach Miller, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Brandon Mebane, Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Malcolm Smith, Bruce Irvin, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Byron Maxwell, Tony McDaniel, and certainly some glaring omissions. They'll still be one of the youngest teams in the league, and Christine Michael, Jordan Hill, Luke Willson, a few new rookies, should all be asked to take on a bigger role next season.
With free agency all but over (though certainly some notable names, like Sidney Rice perhaps, will be added) and the draft the biggest thing standing between Seattle and 2014, it's not too early to ask the question: Will the Seahawks be better in 2014?
They've lost Golden Tate, Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Breno Giacomini, Walter Thurmond, and Brandon Browner. And I think the bigger reason for them taking a possible step back in 2014 is actually just... how much higher can they "fly" as it were? (Hawks are birds, you see.)
The team we've seen over the last two years is one of the best anyone has ever seen, I think. Almost all indications, when I examine similar teams to Seattle in history, are that they have at least several more years of high-level contention for championships. But they can still win a Super Bowl and not be as amazing as they just were.
Are even better years ahead, or is this like Jackie Nichols' once told Helly Hunterson: It's as good as it gets.
I'll leave the polling up to you.