Before training camp started, I must admit I was skeptical about the Seahawks' chances of making the playoffs. There were questions about the left side of the offensive line, uncertainty at the wide receiver position and a brutal schedule that includes the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears.
Now that the preseason is winding down, I feel much more optimistic. The Seattle Seahawks are a legitimate pick to make the playoffs, and if they can stay healthy, it could be a magical season.
Here are five reasons why the Seattle Seahawks will make the playoffs.
Pete Carroll is the architect, the alchemist and the mad scientist behind the organization.
In two short years, Carroll has turned over the entire roster and infused it with young talented players at virtually every position. He preaches competition on a daily basis and puts the best players on the field regardless of age, contract money or size.
So far Pete seems to be pushing all the right buttons, and the team has responded in a positive manner.
And to think I thought this guy made a mistake not playing baseball. The 5'10" quarterback defied the odds by beating out Matt Flynn to become the opening day starter. All he did was master the playbook, earn the team's confidence and excel in game situations every time he stepped on the field.
His arm is strong and accurate, and his ability to make plays outside the pocket gives the Seahawks an added dimension they could definitely use. Wilson made the most of his opportunity, and from the looks of things, he will be a starter in this league for years to come.
I wasn't sold on Robert Turbin when the Seahawks drafted him, but after watching him in training camp, I'm on the Turbin bandwagon. He's got size, speed and he can catch the ball out of the backfield.
Turbin's skill set fits nicely with Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch, and he's a great insurance policy if Lynch gets hurt.
Without question, the defense is the heart and soul of this team. They have a massive defensive line, agile linebackers and the best secondary in football. Rookie Bruce Irvin has shown flashes of brilliance with his pass-rushing ability, and Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas is super special. He deserves to be mentioned with the likes of Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu.
If everything goes well, they could potentially have a top-five defense in the NFL.
Although the San Francisco 49ers were an impressive 13-3 last season, the NFC West is not a strong division. The Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams are works in progress that will not get finished this year. The Seahawks should sweep those two teams and split with the 49ers, giving them five wins in the division.
If they can win half their games outside the division and get to 10 wins, the playoffs are well within their range.