At the conclusion of the NFC Championship game, the Atlanta Falcons stood victorious, having defeated NFC powerhouses the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers in consecutive weeks by decisive margins. Carried by a feisty defense and by far the NFL’s best offense, led by its MVP-caliber quarterback, Matt Ryan, the Falcons final challenge will take place at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas to face the AFC champion New England Patriots for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LI. At…
Week four brought the Detroit Lions, the Hawk’s third straight game against an NFC North opponent. Thus far, they had split the difference, going 1-1. The Detroit Lions had had a heartbreaking start, as the franchise’s inability to bank road wins continued. Quarterback Matt Stafford had yet to win a road game against a team with a winning record in his career; that said, the Seahawks were 1-2, so this had the stuff of a hard-fought battle.
On a beautifully sunny Seattle day, the 0-2 Seattle Seahawks hosted the 0-2 Chicago Bears. Although, the situation was different for the two teams. The Seahawks had lost two tough road games, and they took the Rams to overtime; whereas, the Bears once promising season was derailing. Giving up 31 points to the Green Bay Packers, and 48 points to the Arizona Cardinals, the Bears defense was reeling. The Seahawks would be no less challenging, as the Bears would be down their starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, and their star wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery. An uncharacteristically weak Seahawks defense was eager to shake off the rust and get the first W of the year. They accomplished a shut-out, as Seattle cruised to a 26-0 victory.
The Seahawks were slated to face the NFC North Conference for the 2015-2016 season, including a much-hyped Sunday Night Football rematch against the Green Bay Packers. At one of the most historic football shrines in America, Lambeau Field, Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson and the big D entered into an electric atmosphere where Packers fans awaited their chance to knock the Seahawks down.
The hype for the 2015-2016 Seahawks season was unlike any season before it. Coming off of two straight Super Bowl appearances, and the belief that the Seahawks had lost the Super Bowl more than the Patriots had won it, fueled the perception that the Seahawks were as unbeatable a squad as any in NFL history. The Legion of Boom was in its prime. Bobby Wagner’s and Russell Wilson’s contracts were settled, the latter’s contract having been a controversial subject for fans. Beast Mode was back, and who didn’t love to see those Lynch runs? Everyone was confident, including the Seahawks themselves.
On a team with a young core of super-talent, postseason experience, and a reputation for closing games, the wheels were coming off the wagon. Third down was an impossibility for the offense. Third down stops were an impossibility for the defense. At moments, the Hawks looked familiar, and any person could be forgiven the thought that this was when they would, “turn it on.” Slowly, sourly, the Seahawks tasted something they had not tasted in ages—desperation.
No one could know. Russell Wilson was about to go on a hot streak unlike any the NFL had seen.
In a thrilling and sometimes cringe inducing fashion, the Old-Testament Denver Broncos stuck it to the fun-loving Carolina Panthers for a 24-10 victory in Super Bowl 50. In a game polluted with turnovers, an amazing 7 fumbles and 2 interceptions, the Broncos were able to steal drive after drive, no two thefts being more symbolic than Von Miller’s two strip fumbles off Cam Newton for the game’s opening and closing touchdowns.
It’s hard to judge who is hotter right now–the Bronco defense or the Panther offense, but I’m going with the big D. The Panthers have had two consecutive blowout games where they were up by multiple touchdowns by the end of the first quarter. That’s not a normal thing, my friends. And I’m assuming that, unless Manning throws a pick six to start the game, the Denver D will not surrender in such a fashion.
Your Super Bowl is the Carolina Panthers versus the Denver Broncos. To me, this game personifies the old school versus the new school trends in the NFL. The Broncos will bring their aging quarterback with his 2000s offense and its heavy pass rush defense while the Panthers will bring their young, 2010s QB (great thrower, great runner) and their fiesta defense that feeds on a strong stable of linebackers.
The 2015 Seahawks ends in disappointing fashion but how the team evolved and improved is a testament to the organization. Whether it was going to Rawls or cutting Cary Williams or dumping the run-first offense, the Hawks always embrace change and take big risks to improve. From 2-4 to 11-7, the Seahawks showed us the entire gamut of what a football season can be. Through dramatic highs and dramatic lows, the Hawks ultimately found their stride in a rebuilt offense led by its superstar, Russell Wilson.