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Top 12 stories from the Seahawks 2013 regular season
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Last weekend, we took a look back at the Top 12 stories surrounding the Seahawks' run through their 43-8 victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. Today, we're executing a similar exercise in rehashing some of Seahawks.com's most-consumed written content, as we recount a regular season that saw the club finish an NFC-best 13-3 while claiming the NFC West crown and the conference's No. 1 playoff seed.
These are the Top 12 stories from the Seahawks' 2013 regular season:
Seven days before the Seahawks' Week 13 Monday Night Football matchup with the New Orleans Saints, inevitable comparisons between the 6-foot-and-under club of QBs started to brew. The 5-foot-11 Russell Wilson and 6-foot Drew Brees had spent time together at the 2013 Pro Bowl, but now they'd matchup on opposite sides of the field for the first time.
As Digital Media Writer Clare Farnsworth notes, the game would carry some extra meaning for Wilson, who admired the play of Brees growing up. But in a bit of a veteran-youngster role-reversal, Farnsworth resurfaces some Pro Bowl comments from Brees on how flattered he was to be compared to the up-and-coming Wilson. The story offers an excellent inside look at the signal callers' persona ahead of what then was considered to be a ballgame between the top two clubs in the NFC.
Coming off a dominating 45-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 at CenturyLink Field, you'd think the Seahawks defense would be grinning from ear-to-ear. That wasn't the case for this never-satisfied Seattle squad, and especially not against the then-winless Jags, who racked up 265 yards of offense to go with their 17 points in a game that saw Seahawks backups play the entire fourth quarter.
"That still can’t be an excuse,” Chancellor told Farnsworth after the victory. “We want our backups to be ready and prepared, as if they were starters. I still don’t feel that happy right now. … I still think it’s too many yards, and we hold ourselves to a higher standard. You can ask anybody that and they’ll say the same thing, that’s too many yards."
In this piece, Sherman opens up to Farnsworth on how the play came to be. We also hear from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck - Sherman's teammate at Stanford University who then was the next opponent on the Seahawks' schedule - who believed the best was yet to come from his former teammate.
Through the team's 11-1 start, Golden Tate led the club in receptions (46), Doug Baldwin led the team in receiving (663), and four players - Tate, Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, and Zach Miller - shared the edge in touchdown grabs (4). But those statistics ranked well below the top numbers around the rest of the League. And that's exactly how coach Pete Carroll drew it up for an offense that finished 31st in pass attempts during the regular season.
"We have elite receivers – and yes, I said elite receivers – on this roster that are capable of doing so much more,” Baldwin said. “But we’re winning games, and that’s all that matters."
Farnsworth's chat with Baldwin is worth another look, as he calls attention to the efficient and consistent playmaking we saw from the receiving corps all season long.
8. Next man up: Byron Maxwell
With starting corner Brandon Browner (groin) missing time due to injury and backup Walter Thurmond serving a League-imposed four-game suspension, third-year cornerback Byron Maxwell was the Seahawks' next "Next Man Up."
This was the first of two 12th-Man influenced Guinness-World-Record-breaking moments at Seattle's CenturyLink Field this past season. It came in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers - the Seahawks' highly-anticipated, nationally televised home opener - when fans recorded a decibel reading of 136.6, topping the previous mark of 131.7 set two years ago during a soccer match in Istanbul, Turkey.
Less than one month later, the Kansas City Chiefs orchestrated a record-breaking attempt of their own (137.5), but the 12th Man roared back and retook the record (137.6) in an early December game against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
Farnsworth catches up with Bennett on his decision to join the Seahawks this season while making note of what worked and what needed work as the club turned their attention toward the postseason.
Fan-favorite fullback Michael Robinson and accomplished cornerback Antoine Winfield were released on the Seahawks' roster cutdown to 53 players at the end of August - two moves that turned some heads around the Pacific Northwest. The team had seen enough from second-year fullback Derrick Coleman and fourth-year pro Walter Thurmond to feel comfortable moving on without the veteran services of Robinson and Winfield.
It later came to light that Robinson was dealing with a serious medical illness at the time of his release. After losing and regaining 33 pounds, he would rejoin the Seahawks at midseason and enjoy the ride to the Seahawks' first Super Bowl victory.
On the morning of Thursday, December 12, 2013, quarterback Russell Wilson received a phone call from Arlington, Texas on his way to work. On the other end was Jon Daniels, the general manager of the Texas Rangers, who informed Wilson his club had just selected him in the MLB Rule 5 draft.
For Wilson, who played second base at Virginia's Collegiate High School before continuing the sport at North Carolina State University, it marked the third time he had been drafted by a professional baseball team. The Rangers, meanwhile, are hoping Wilson will come down to spring training to speak to their minor leaguers about the work ethic, character, and focus it takes to win.
“I’m sure I’ll go for spring training and just talk to some of their players and hang out some,” Wilson said. “That would be kind of a cool experience. ... Obviously I love baseball. But football is where my first love is."
Cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor, free safety Earl Thomas, center Max Unger, running back Marshawn Lynch, and quarterback Russell Wilson received recognition for the 2014 Pro Bowl. For Sherman, it was his first time being named to the League's all-star game. He wasn't voted to the Pro Bowl in 2012, despite being named first-team All-Pro.
"It’s kind of ridiculous how that turned out last year,” Sherman said. “I’m just glad they got it right this year.”
Of course, as it turned out this year, none of the Seahawks named to the Pro Bowl ended up making the trip southwest to the Aloha State. They had far bigger and more meaningful opportunities awaiting them in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
"No Time 2 Sleep."
"He couldn't sleep," Carroll said. "And I couldn't sleep. So we found ourselves sitting in the room watching the film together."
Farnsworth recaps the early-to-rise encounter between the Seahawks quarterback and head coach.
The very first look at your 2013 Seahawks. Farnsworth provides a position-by-position breakdown of who made cut, who was let go, and highlights several need-to-know nuggets about each unit ahead of the team's regular season opener against the Carolina Panthers.