Seattle Seahawks: The Team to Beat in the West

Daren lewisCorrespondent IJune 24, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 24:   Wide receiver Deion Branch #83 of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by Osi Umenyiora #72 of the New York Giants at Qwest Field September 24, 2006 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

In 2008, the Seattle Seahawks were hampered by injuries. During the season, over half of their starters on offense got hurt to go along with their best pass-rusher, Patrick Kerney. Injuries included the starting quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, left tackle Walter Jones, and three starting receivers.

In 2008, the Seahawks finished third in the NFC West after owning the division for four strait seasons.

In 2009, Seattle will have a new head coach, Jim Mora. 

Overall the Seahawks have had a pretty good offseason.

Along with the healthy veterans returning, Seattle has added more talent to the roster.  The team added a couple of the top players in the draft and also made a splash in free agency.

With the fourth overall pick in the draft, the Seahawks selected linebacker Aaron Curry.  Curry was rated the best overall player on many draft boards.

He is one of the best linebackers to come out of college in a long time. You place him next to Leroy Hill and Lofa Tatupu, you may have one of the best linebacking cores in the league.

In the second round, Seattle added center Max Unger. Unger was one of the top centers in the draft. He is a very smart player and a vocal leader along the offensive line.

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The Seahawks made a trade with Detroit, receiving defensive tackle Cory Redding and a fifth round pick for Pro Bowl linebacker Julian Peterson. Peterson was a great player in Seattle but his talent won’t be missed due to the addition of Aaron Curry.

One of the biggest free agent signings of the offseason was the signing of wide receiver TJ Houshmanzadeh. Houshmanzadeh and a healthy Nate Burleson should provide excellent targets for Hasselbeck.

With two new defensive tackles, Cory Redding and Colin Cole, along with a healthy Patrick Kerney, the defensive line should be better in 2009.

With the healthy returning players and the offseason additions, the Seahawks have a complete team that should be ready to compete in '09.

The Seahawks play in a weak division, which should make their path to the playoffs a little easier.

The St. Louis Rams are a mess right now and don’t look to provide much competition within the division.

The defending NFC and NFC West champs may suffer from a Super Bowl hangover as many teams do. Not to mention the departures of their offensive and defensive coordinators. The team will also be dealing with the Anquan Boldin distraction, which may turn into a problem.

The San Fransisco 49ers are a young and improving team. This could be the year they get over the hump and make it to the playoffs.

The Seattle Seahawks seem it be flying under the radar a bit, but as of now, they seem to be the team to beat in the West.

Don’t be surprised to see the Seahawks making the playoffs in 2009.

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