At the beginning of training camp, I considered the Seahawks to be a four-win team. Heck, to be honest with you, up until last week's preseason game, I wrote the Seahawks off as the worst team in the NFL, but something has changed my mind.
After watching the Seahawks these last two weeks and looking at their upcoming schedule, believe it or not, without leaning on my west coast bias, I'm predicting the Seahawks will be 10-6 in Pete Carroll's first year coaching the Hawks, guiding them to the playoffs in 2010.
You don't have to pinch yourself — this isn't a tale of fiction disguised as a sports article.
It's just that the more I watch Mike Williams, the more I'm convinced he was worthy of once being the 10th overall selection in an NFL draft.
And like Williams' career, the more you read this article it sounds like I'm doing an about face, it’s because well, I am.
Put the preseason stats aside, I know the Hawks' first team Offense has yet to score a touchdown in their opening possession. But I'm seeing little things in the Seahawks' preseason games that lead me to believe this team is better than advertised.
For instance, throughout the first three preseason games Matt Hasselbeck has looked very comfortable in the pocket, very protected. Yeah a couple sacks here and there, but for the most part, even without the Hawks' first round pick left tackle Russel Okung, the Seahawks offensive line play has been good.
The lack of production, to me, stems from the lack of a running game, but by the brief way wide outs T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch, Mike Williams and Golden Tate have been used, I have a strong inclination that when Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates releases the Hawks offense from it's current preseason cage, these birds are going to soar.
I'm convinced that Mike Williams has already earned the number one receiver role in the Seahawks offense, and once teams fear the 6"5 play maker, Ala like when Bates guided All-Pro wide out Brandon Marshall, the run game will be productive.
Watching the Seahawks' defense flip-a-switch by responding to local criticism with their play against the Vikings last week showed me:
A. Marcus Trufant is back to being a probowl corner.
B. There is a game changer now playing safety for the Hawks, and being from Texas he showed last week that he isn't going to be afraid of a good ole' fashion Wild Wild West shootout.
Come high noon Sundays at Quest Field, I gotta feeling there will be less bullets flying through the middle of the Hawks secondary.
C. With the position changes on Defense, Hawk fans, you can't call the defensive line undersized anymore.
Furthermore, there isn't a legitimate pro bowl quarterback in the NFC west besides Matt Hasselbeck; meaning if the Hawks' defense plays like it did last week against the Vikings, when this Hawk team plays it's division rivals, it's not unfathomable to think that the Hawks could sweep their NFC West foes.
Don't get me wrong I like the 49ers as the favorite in the NFC West, but QB Alex Smith hasn't exactly performed like a No. 1 pick, so to think that the Niners might under achieve isn't exactly out of the realm of possibilities.
Besides, Pete Carroll is a defensive guru and one has to look no further than all of the USC second half comebacks to understand Carrolls' ability to make in-game adjustments. A certain Notre Dame game immediately comes to mind.
Nevertheless, in game coaching is something that has been absent in the Seahawks repertoire since Mike Holmgren left, and I'm positive we will see an immediate improvement in that category this season.
Reading this story, if you still think I'm one Hawk away from a coo coos nest, let's take a look at the Hawks schedule, game by game and dare to dream.
First the Hawks open up against San Francisco, which I consider a loss followed by a win in Denver before losing at home in week 3 against Phillip Rivers and the Chargers.
Going into the bye-week I think the Hawks will beat the Rams in St. Louis to start the season 2-2.
Coming off the bye week, I expect the Hawks to cement themselves as a high fly passing attack as they beat the Bears in Chicago before coming home and beating the Cardinals at Quest field for their first home victory of 2010.
Capping what would be a five game winning streak I see the Seahawks finishing the first half of the season 6-2 with wins against Oakland and the Giants in weeks eight and nine respectively.
I believe after soaring high for a month the Hawks will return from the air to their usual road woes, with road losses to Arizona and the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
Getting back in the air, I see the Hawks flying high as they finish the first 12 games of the season 8-4 with wins against the Chiefs and Panthers in weeks 12 and 13.
In week 14, I think the national spotlight will be a little too bright for the young Hawks as they loose to the Niners in a game that will decide the NFC West crown.
Believing the emotional hangover will carry over to the next week look for the Hawks to loose a poorly played game to the Falcons at home, falling to 8-6.
With two weeks to go, I see the Hawks winning a nail biter in Tampa Bay improving the team to 9-6 while keeping their playoff hopes alive setting up what will be to this point, Pete Carrolls' signature game as a Hawk.
A match up at home against the hapless Rams for a Wild Card birth and a playoff spot, the Seahawks will win the game on a missed field goal by former Seahawk Josh Brown that would have sent the game into overtime, finishing the season at 10-6.
Go ahead you can pinch me now!
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