Seahawks face tough task to repeat Super Bowl glory
By Simon Evans
(Reuters) - The Seattle Seahawks will start the 2014 NFL campaign this week as the bookmakers' favourites to repeat as Super Bowl champions but they they will have a tough task living up to last season’s success.
Pete Carroll's team romped to a 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos in last season's title game but the division rival San Francisco 49ers, with dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick, offer a formidable challenge in the NFC as do Seattle's opening day opponent, the Green Bay Packers.
With Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints still an NFC contender, Seattle's Russell Wilson will need to maintain his solid start to his NFL career and hope that receiver Percy Harvin delivers a breakout season to make up for the loss of Golden Tate to Detroit.
Having lost five members of last season's defensive unit, one of the big questions will be whether the Seahawks' draft picks and promoted back-up players can maintain Seattle's status as the top defense in the NFL.
Charismatic cornerback Richard Sherman should help ensure a strong secondary again, however, after he led the league with eight interceptions last season and some outstanding displays in the post-season.
No team has won successive Super Bowls since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004 and Carroll says it is clear that repeating is a tall order in the NFL.
"The challenge of sustaining it is greater. It's been demonstrated that teams can get there, but for the most part they can’t stay there," said Carroll, whose Seahawks open the season at home to Green Bay on Thursday.
"There are all these natural things that happen to a team. There is attrition and expectations, all those things that you have to deal with after having success that make it very difficult." Continued...