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Monday Round-Up: 2013 Seahawks Ranked Among NFL's Top-50 Most-Influential Teams Ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII Anniversary

Matt Verderame of Sports Illustrated breaks down why the 2013 Seattle Seahawks are one of the 50 most-influential teams in NFL history.


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Monday, January 29— about your Seattle Seahawks.

Sports Illustrated names the Super Bowl XLVIII-winning squad amongst the NFL's Top 50 most-influential teams of all time.

On Friday, the Seattle Seahawks will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their 43-8 Super Bowl XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos, securing the first championship in franchise history. In Sports Illustrated this week, 31 media members worked together to rank the 50 most-influential teams in NFL history, with Seattle's groundbreaking 2013 team making the list.

Writer Matt Verderame breaks down the selection process for the group to find the biggest influencers in league history, examining the 2,321 teams to play a season across the NFL and American Football League dating back to 1920. Verderame breaks down the process for the reader.

During the offseason we brought together a 31-person blue-ribbon panel consisting of media members, analysts, former front office personnel and more, having each vote on more than 100 candidates. Each panelist voted for 50 teams, with their top team earning 50 points and their 50th team garnering a single point.

From those tallies, we detailed why each team deserves to be on the list, including quotes from panelists for every squad. Most importantly, SI reached out to a star player or head coach for every team from the Super Bowl era (1966 to present), gaining valuable insight into what made those teams so unique.

In 2010, Pete Carroll took over as Seahawks coach, after winning two national championships at the University of Southern California. After falling to the Chicago bears in the 2010 NFC divisional round, Seattle failed to make the playoffs in 2011, then in 2012 reached the divisional round falling 30-28 to Atlanta. But in 2013, the Seahawks were finally able to put it all together. Second-year quarterback Russell Wilson led a high-powered offensive attack that averaged 26.1 points per game (8th). Running back Marshawn Lynch recorded 1,257 yards on the ground along with 12 touchdowns, marking the fifth of six 1,000-yard seasons for the Pro-Bowl back. Defensively, Seattle allowed just 14.4 points per game, ranking first league-wide, and also led the NFL in total defense, passing defense and takeaways. Seattle cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner combined with safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor to form the 'Legion of Boom,' becoming one of the most-renowned position groups in league history.

Verderame breaks down why the 2013 Seahawks earned a spot at No.42 on the list, going down as one of the most-influential teams to play the game of football. Seahawks Legend K.J. Wright adds a quote about why the 2013 Seahawks' defense was unstoppable.

Why they mattered:

In the golden age of two-high safety looks, the Seahawks flipped the script on the NFL.

Seattle dominated with a Cover 3 (four underneath players, and three deep players), playing Earl Thomas as a post safety while Kam Chancellor roamed the box. With Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner on the outside, the Seahawks rolled to their first Super Bowl title, defeating the high-powered Broncos, 43–8.

Seattle's brand of football wasn't original but certainly brought the scheme to another level, largely because of the exceptional secondary personnel. With Sherman, the Seahawks' secondary had one of the great zone corners in league history, while Thomas was a worthy heir to Ed Reed's free safety throne.

By holding Peyton Manning and Denver's record-setting offense to only eight points in one of the Super Bowl's biggest blowouts, Seattle showed the coverage is capable of dominating even the best units.

In addition to the defensive importance of Seattle's championship, the Seahawks were only the second team in NFL history to win a title with a Black quarterback in Russell Wilson. And Wilson led Seattle back to the Super Bowl the following year, falling to Tom Brady and the Patriots in the final seconds.

Panel quote:

"There are two types of dominant defenses. The first type excels in a number of areas. That team finds what you do best on offense and shuts it down. (Bill Belichick defenses are a good example.) The other kind of defense just has great players that fit the scheme. They line up, run the strategy they want to run and dare you to get past them. The 2013 Seahawks are a great example of this second type. You knew they would run Cover 3. The Legion of Boom was so good that it didn't matter how much you prepared. They allowed a league-low 14.4 points per game in '13 and then shut down Peyton Manning and the powerful Denver defense, 43–8, in Super Bowl XLVIII. Pete Carroll's Cover 3 style then spread throughout the league, with ex-Seattle coordinators such as Dan Quinn and Gus Bradley earning head coaching jobs." —Aaron Schatz, ESPN+ NFL analyst, founder of Football Outsiders

Team quote:

"We probably called the same play about 93% to 95% of the game. We called the same damn play, but we ran it so well. We ran Cover 3. That's all we ran. We knew exactly what our opponents were going to do, we knew how we'd fit what we called their issues and we played super fast—faster than anybody in the league. We did what we did, and nobody could figure it out." —K.J. Wright, Seahawks linebacker, 2011–20

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