Bill Simmons thinks the Hawks are the second best team in football. Simmons does two things that I like, he doesn't take himself too seriously and he stays open minded. Still, his reason for picking the Hawks is rather Joe Morganian in its logic:
That first part about the Hawks being favored in 14 of 16 matchups is tantamount to "The Hawks are better than most of their opponents and so should win those games." By that logic the Patriots should go 16-0. I mean, they should be better than every team in football, right?
On the flip-side, Doug Farrar, who spends as much time covering the Hawks and analyzing the NFC West as anyone is more pessimistic, especially about Matt Hasselbeck:
I disagree with him on quite a few points here. For one, with Sean Locklear ready to step in at left tackle and Ray Willis at least serviceable at right, I think Seattle has better left tackle depth than almost any team in football. I don't think Branch has too much to prove after his preseason, Hackett is another story. Seattle has Leonard Weaver to work out of the backfield and just added Alvin Pearman, though I agree about the general shape of the Hawks' backfield blocking. Finally, Beck has been very resilient in his career, missing just 9 games in his 6 years starting, and I'm a firm believer in a player's own ability to stay healthy.
Ok, I've eaten lunch, time for some more substantiative blogging.