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The 2014 NFL season began Thursday with the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks beating the Green Bay Packers 36-16. So far so good for Seattle, but history is not on the Seahawks' side. Over the last 15 years, only one franchise has repeated as champions (New England 2004-05).
Seattle Times columnist and Only A Game resident clairvoyant Jerry Brewer joined Bill Littlefield to explain why he thinks the Seahawks can buck the trend.
BL: Jerry, welcome back.
JB: Thanks for having me. I forgot how right I've been the past. [laughs]
BL: Well, don't ever do that. Only forget when you've been wrong. Anyway, given how hard it is to win one Super Bowl, let alone two, what prompted you to write recently, “failure to do so would be a disappointment?"
[sidebar title="Russell Wilson And Phish" width="630" align="right"]During the 2013 season, NFL Films produced a video about the connection between the jam band Phish and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.[/sidebar]JB: This Seahawk team was the youngest team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl. They're hungry. They have a quarterback who has yet to reach his prime. Russell Wilson's not even close to his peak as a football player. Marshawn Lynch, their star running back, is still in his prime.
And then the one thing you can never account for is the grit and determination that they have as a football team. They celebrated the Super Bowl like any team celebrates the Super Bowl. But I'll never forget, just 30 minutes after they won, there were people in the locker room talking about, "We're going to do this again."
BL: Among the believers, the Green Bay Packers have to be counted. They lost 36-16 on Thursday night to Seattle. I'm sure they think Seattle's going to be dominant this year.
JB: Yeah, I thought they were very impressed. Aaron Rodgers, who is the best quarterback in the NFL in my opinion, he basically said, "This is the Seattle Seahawks." They have a great defense. They can do this to opponents, especially at home. I mean, I would expect this Green Bay team to win 10, 11, maybe even 12 football games and Seattle just ran over 'em.
BL: In a single post-game interview following last year’s NFC championship, cornerback Richard Sherman went from being largely unknown to one of the faces of the NFL. Now he’s on the cover of the Madden NFL 15 video game, which, I understand, is quite a distinction. How have Sherman and the rest of the Seahawks reacted to his celebrity?
[sidebar title="Ozzie Newsome Looks Back" width="630" align="right"]After his induction into the National High School Hall of Fame, Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome spoke to OAG about youth sports and his groundbreaking NFL career.[/sidebar]JB: They've had a lot of fun with it. They have a way in the locker room of keeping Richard Sherman humble by cracking jokes on some of the things that he does. Actually, [Seattle head coach] Pete Carroll says that he had the best offseason that he's had in his entire NFL career.
The problem with Richard Sherman now is there's not a lot of passes thrown his way. He went the entire Green Bay game without a single pass thrown his way. So, he's just kind of on an island there, just hanging out with whatever wide receiver he's covering. And he might have to get used to that because if Aaron Rodgers has said, "I don't even want to mess with it. I'm not even gonna throw the ball in his area," what are some of the bad quarterbacks in the NFL going to do?
BL: Jerry, the last two times we’ve had you on the show you’ve correctly predicted the Seahawks’ future. No pressure, but what will it be this year?
JB: I see the Seahawks winning 13 games again, maybe 14. And I want to see New England and how improved the Denver Broncos are before we start declaring whether they're going to win the Super Bowl again, but they're going to go back in the big game in February.
BL: I can't believe you came up with such a cowardly response. Come, on. Push it through to the end. [laughs]
JB: I'll say this: Denver or New England, they're going to have to be exceedingly better than they were a year ago to beat the Seahawks. This is their time. They're going to have an opportunity to do what the Patriots did: win three Super Bowls in a four-year span. I would be surprised if the Seahawks don't repeat, [despite] knowing that it hasn't been done in the NFL in a decade.
This segment aired on September 6, 2014.
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