The Breda Report: Getting Defensive

Any hopes of a second Seahawks Super Bowl berth in team history will not be found solely on the arm of one Matt Hasselbeck but in the play of eleven particular men on the defensive side of the football.

"Offense wins games but Defense wins championships."

Matt Hasselbeck is currently on pace for a record-breaking season. This is even more noteworthy because of coach Mike Holmgren's reliance on the pass since the ground game has been virtually grounded since the 2007 season began.

After suffering from bruised ribs and various aches and pains brought on by an onslaught of defenders taking advantage of the suddenly pass-happy Northwest offense, the offensive line have made the appropriate adjustments with successful results.

In the past few weeks, Matt has looked more the effortless maestro in this Seahawks symphony.

With Brett Favre and Tony Romo being sure locks for the first two out of three spots to fill the NFC Pro Bowl QB roster, Hasselbeck deserves serious consideration as well.

Yet when Seahawks fan's dreams at night are filled with playoff victories in January and the hope for their second Super Bowl appearance in just three seasons, it won't be Matt Hasselbeck's arm alone that can punch that ticket to Arizona come February.

Make absolutely no mistake about it. If the Seahawks can upset the Packers and Cowboys on the road and represent the NFC in the biggest show on earth, it will be because of the best unit in the NFL that nobody seems to be talking about.

Your Seattle Seahawk defense.

"He is a freak of nature. He eats all the right stuff, gets his rest, does whatever it takes. He is going to be prepared for a football game. Whatever he's doing is working. Thirteen sacks? I might need to go over there and get in that hyperbaric chamber with him."

- DT Rocky Bernard on Patrick Kerney

Over the past month, you would be hard pressed to find another defense in the NFL playing as well as the Seahawks. Thanks in large part to an interior line - led by Rocky Bernard and rookie Brandon Mebane - who have played outstanding especially in light of losing Marcus Tubbs to another knee injury even before the season began, DE Patrick Kerney is having a career year, currently leading the league in sacks at 13.5.

"Lofa Tatupu had one of the great games I have ever seen a linebacker play."

- Mike Holmgren

Lofa Tatupu is once again having just another ho-hum pro bowl season highlighted by another supernatural performance in Philadelphia, culminating in a 3-interception day.

"First and foremost, it is becoming a shutdown corner that helps us get to and win the Super Bowl. And then, we need to get him across the water."

- Jim Mora, secondary coach

Ever since CB Marcus Trufant was moved back to his preferable left side, he's lived up to the expectations placed upon him this season by making a strong case for the pro bowl with a conference-leading 7 interceptions. The NFL will announce the cornerback from Tacoma as NFC defensive player of the week on Wednesday.

"The best term I've ever heard is, 'It's like a fistfight in a phone booth,' "

-Matt Hasselbeck on Seattle's defensive stops on the goal line this year.

With Tatupu earning the honor last week, this will make it the first time since 1997 that the Seahawks have had back-to-back winners for the weekly defensive recognition.

And why stop there? Let's not forget about athletically-gifted beast of nature Julian Peterson who has 9 sacks, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. Perhaps the beauty of this defense is in the fact that different players seem to step up big each week.

Even defensive coordinator John Marshall - who has taken a lot of criticism from fans earlier this season for running vanilla schemes, seemingly underutilizing the abundance of talent at times - has appeared to get the message by hitting the gas instead of the break pedal.

The locker room is as healthy as it has ever been. Thanks in large part to team president Tim Ruskell, the Seahawks mantra has become "Team First".

And yes Anastasia, it is true. Defenses win championships. With a secondary that is playing strong and cerebral giving up the rare big play, this rounds out precisely the type of unit teams need to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

So while Matt Hasselbeck is a primary component to this team's success and deservedly enjoys any press that comes his way this season, in the end, it will be this defensive unit that allows us to cross the finish line.

It is especially ironic that this unit has inexplicably become one of the best in the entire NFL while nobody in the national media seems to notice or even care.

This is especially fine with me, considering the best revenge is to waltz into an arena that nobody gives us even a chance (Packers and/or Cowboys), only to release these defensive warriors on the largely unsuspecting.

Let the home crowd of the NFC favorites sit with mouths open and eyes glazed over as players like Tatupu, Peterson, Kerney and Trufant remind them ever not-so-gently that the Seattle Seahawks are still one of the class teams of the conference, nowhere near ready to give up that distinction.

We certainly won't be surprised if we make it to Arizona come February.

Leave that to the short-sighted masses and those on the ESPN payroll.


Todd Breda is the owner of Seahawks.NET. When he's terribly busy not writing Breda Reports, you can find him either scanning the skies for UFOs or perusing NET Nation where he's known as "Aros". Todd, like Matthew, is also bald. If you would like to contact Todd you can reach him here. Top Stories