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Top 12 stories from the Seahawks 2013 regular season

Posted Feb 15, 2014

A look back at some of Seahawks.com's most-consumed written content from the 2013 regular season.

Super Bowl XLVIII: Top 12 Stories | Top 12 Videos

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:

12. Comparisons between Russell Wilson and Drew Brees on collision course

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.

11. Seahawks defenders were not a happy bunch

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."

10. Richard Sherman getting the last word

All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman had recently returned a late-fourth-quarter interception 58 yards for the game-tying touchdown against the Texans at Houston's Reliant Stadium. Sherman's play - one he performed without one shoe, which came off during the run back - pushed the game into overtime, where the foot of kicker Steven Hauschka secured a 23-20 result that lifted the Seahawks to their first 4-0 start in franchise history.

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.

9. Being a Seahawks wide receiver comes with a catch

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."

Farnsworth profiles Maxwell and collects comments from coach Pete Carroll on how the team would use Maxwell and fellow reserve-corner Jeremy Lane moving forward. Maxwell would get the start in that week's game against the New Orleans Saints, contributing to a pass defense that held NFL MVP candidate Drew Brees to just 144 yards through the air. Maxwell went on to snag four interceptions in his next four games, including two in a game against Eli Manning and the New York Giants in Week 15, cementing his place in the starting lineup opposite All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.

7. 12th Man lifts CenturyLink Field into Guinness World Record book for loudest stadium

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.

6. Michael Bennett states his case for the defense

Defensive end Michael Bennett, who signed with the club on a one-year deal during the offseason, had just sacked and danced his way to the NFC West title and NFC's No.1 playoff seed. Bennett's play against the St. Louis Rams in the Seahawks' season finale gave him a team-leading 8.5 sacks and a team-high 25 quarterback hits while primarily playing in passing situations.

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. 

5. Michael Robinson released; Antoine Winfield retires

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.

4. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson drafted by Texas Rangers

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."

3. Seahawks get a six-pack of Pro Bowlers

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.

2. Focus on: "Oh-dark-45"

"No Time 2 Sleep."

That's the phrase quarterback Russell Wilson lives by on a constant quest to better himself and those around him. The mantra held especially true following the Seahawks' 17-10 Week 16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The result snapped a 14-game winning streak at CenturyLink Field and marked the first home loss of Wilson's young career. Wilson was in the film room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center at 4:45 a.m. the next day.

"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.

1. A closer look at the Seahawks' 53-man roster

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.