The Team You Didn't Expect to Make the Playoffs

Jamie BrownCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2009

RENTON, WA - MAY 2:  Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks smiles while stretching during minicamp at the Seahawks training facility on May 2, 2009 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

"What? How did they get in?"

That's the number one question around the water-cooler next January.

The question being asked by Rams fans across the globe.

The question being answered now, six months before the events transpire.

The questions surrounding the Seattle Seahawks.

Matt Hasselbeck is back, and ready to go. He had back problems in 2008, limiting him immensely. But if he can stay healthy, and that back stays intact, I can see Hasselbeck putting up the numbers he did in Seattle's Super Bowl season.

How many Hasselbeck-Houshmandzadeh connections can we expect in '09? A few more than the letters in T.J.'s last name, that is certain. But the real question is: how many TDs can the duo put together?

The answer: Enough.

Enough to make it deep into the playoffs, however not enough to get a ring.

Sure, Seattle's running game isn't the most amazing thing on Earth. And in previous seasons since their Super Bowl loss, the Seahawks have lost in both Divisional Playoff games. Not necessarily a bad finish, but it is disappointing for the franchise.

However, this year will be much different.

They have rejuvenated their O-Line, and now Hasselbeck won't need to take so many hits. The line could produce a nice running game. And the addition of T.J. means double coverage and some open flats.

Look for this team to get deep into the playoffs, if not the NFC Championship game January 2010. I can't see them going to a Super Bowl this year, but with the right draft picks next year, Seattle could be ring-bound again.