It's funny what happened to Trent Dilfer. Just a few years removed from Tampa, Dilfer had accumulated an impressive resume - a Super Bowl victory with Baltimore, 15 straight wins, and a newfound confidence. Then the Ravens got greedy. They cut him and signed Elvis Grbac in perhaps one of the worst decisions made in the last 20 years, right up there with Brian Bosworth's film career, Crocodile Dundee 3, and Return to the Blue Lagoon. Thus, Dilfer was out looking for a job. He was signed by Seattle, but rather than making the Super Bowl-winning quarterback their starter, Mike Holmgren gave the reigns to Matt Hasselbeck. After the Hasselbeck proved that he was not ready for primetime, Dilfer started the final 4 games. And guess what - the quarterback that no one wanted brought Seattle close to a playoff birth and has amassed 19 straight wins.
#11 Seattle Seahawks (9 - 7) Second in the AFC West
The Seahawks had a few delightful weapons that flourished last year: Koren Robinson and Shaun Alexander. Alexander ripped the Raiders on national television for over 200 yards. That game proved to be the nail in the coffin for Ricky Watters. Robinson started to emerge as a go-to receiver, finally giving Seattle the beginning of a replacement for Joey Galloway. But, it's how Holmgren manages his quarterback situation that will prove key. That being said, this will probably be a case of one of the better teams not making the playoffs. Seattle is very high on my list, but will still finish 3rd in the NFC West and most likely be on the outside looking in, come January.
The Good: The offense should be able to put up some points. Dilfer won't kill you. In fact, he's good at managing a game and making just enough plays to keep the defense on their toes. Alexander will have a good but not great season. He'll put up solid numbers, but I'm still not sold on him. On the other hand, Robinson should have a great season. I really like this young kid. He'll see more double teams, but that's probably fine with him.
The Bad: At least they cut Levon Kirkland. I loved the Captain, but it became apparent that there was too much weight on his old fanny. I guess everyone knows the story of his experience at Duke's weight loss program. It was painfully evident during the season that his best days were far behind him. The run defense was pitiful and Kirkland was the guy they brought in to shore up that part of the game. John Randle, another acquisition last year, is also getting old and slow. Chad Brown has remained pretty much nameless. That's not to say that he hasn't had a decent career, but he's got to be thinking about what might have been. Alexander's big game came against Oakland and then he sort of pulled a LaDanian Tomlinson.
The Ugly: This team will suffer from the realignment changes for a few years. St. Louis doesn't look to be getting any worse and San Francisco will only get better. That doesn't leave much for Seattle.
Synopsis: The Seahawks will need to march through their non-division schedule like world-beaters because they'll be pressed to finish .500 in their division. 8 – 10 wins. But sadly, they'll be a playoff-caliber team that won't be in the playoffs.