Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 9/4/13

Before I get off on the wrong foot in Seahawks fans’ minds, let me just say this. I love the Seahawks. Russell Wilson is a dynamic young quarterback, Pete Carroll’s energy is amazing, and the team’s young roster should be a force to reckon with over the next several years. Still, they’re not the best in the league. As the start of the season gets closer, speculation will run rampant, especially when talking about the NFC West, probably the most intriguing division in football. The Rams are on the rise, the Cardinals should be way better with a real quarterback, and the 49ers and Seahawks should be duking it out for the top spot in the division. In the grand scheme of things, the Seahawks will likely emerge as one of the few teams that can hang with the 49ers and Broncos. Some have already predicted a Seahawks, Broncos Super Bowl. I won’t go that far, but seriously, these are good teams. The problem for the Seahawks is simple. They were electric a year ago, and probably overachieved down the stretch. Even if they achieve at their level of success, they probably won’t make a run as successful as last year. A season ago, the Seahawks had a defense that flew around the field making plays left and right. This year, the Seahawks will be starting familiar faces, but the man behind the unit, Gus Bradley, left for a head coaching job in Jacksonville. Last year, quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick took the league by storm, and surprise. That won’t happen again. We all know what Russell Wilson can do with the football in his hands, and trust me, teams will be far more prepared this time around than last year. You see, the Seahawks are a great team, but some of their success came from their surprising rise to the top of the league. No one expected the Seahawks to be ready to compete with the best the league had to offer a season ago, but now we know where they stand, at least we think we do. The Seahawks are still a great football team, but they won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year, and that may translate into a few losses they would have otherwise won, especially in a tough division. [follow]

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

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