By John Boyle
NFL games aren’t won in March, every football fan knows that, but that doesn’t mean outside perceptions of teams can’t change this time of year.
Even before the new league year started—meaning the beginning of free agency and trades—anyone who was paying attention knew the Seahawks had a pretty good thing building after an 11-5 season that saw them only seconds away from making the NFC championship game. But after the Seahawks acquired receiver Percy Harvin in a trade last week, then in the following days signed free agent defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, the Seahawks have, in the eyes of many observers, gone from team on the rise to team to beat without stepping on the field.
Following the trades that send Harvin to Seattle and Anquan Boldin to San Francisco, the MGM Grand made the Seahawks and 49ers co-Super Bowl favorites at 5-1 odds.
Today, ESPN.com put out its pre-draft power rankings, and guess who was at the top? Yup, the Seahawks.
“The offense (Harvin) and defense (DEs Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett) have been supercharged… The Niners should be worried.”
Greg Cosell, one of the most respected analysts there is in football, praised Seattle’s moves in a column for Yahoo! Sports, ending the piece saying:
I will be very anxious to watch Seattle in 2013. They could well be the model for the NFL of the future — the ideal fusion of Saturday and Sunday football.
Of course, none of this means a darn thing now (just ask the “dream team” Eagles who “won” free agency two years ago). It is, nonetheless, interesting to see how much attention is being focused on a franchise that is used to flying under the radar. And if last week’s moves work out, the Seahawks bandwagon will only continue to fill up in the fall.