After an impressive 2011 campaign, where the defense stepped up in a big way, it's possible that the Seattle Seahawks defense could be even better in 2012. The Seahawks finished up the 2011 season allowing just 3.8 yards per rush; good enough for fourth best in the NFL. It was a vast improvement over the previous few seasons and it showed that the defensive line had improved quite a bit.
The secondary was much improved as well, with the team defense ranking No. 11 at the end of the season. The Seahawks allowed just 219.9 passing yards per game, putting them in the upper third of the league. On the year, the Seahawks had 22 interceptions, allowed just 18 passing touchdowns and registered 33 sacks. Add in a safety, 13 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions returned for touchdowns and 105 pass deflections for good measure.
I think that bringing in Jason Jones could end up looking like a genius move for the team. The defensive tackle comes over from the Tennessee Titans and may not seem flashy, but he is another huge guy that could put up big numbers if given the playing time. 2012 draft picks Bruce Irvin (defensive end) and Bobby Wagner (linebacker) could also see a lot of playing time as the team tries to get tougher on defense at two key positions. Drafting Irvin was a shocking move by the team, but if he can rack up some sacks it could look like a steal. Then there is Wagner, who has great speed at the linebacker position and could see a lot of playing time this season.
K.J. Wright is the anchor of the defense again this year, with Leroy Hill, Alan Branch, Chris Clemons and Red Bryant all coming back to present a tough defense against the run again. The secondary is as strong as ever, with Walter Thurmond and Marcus Trufant returning from injuries to add to the depth of Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner and Earl Thomas. I might go as far as stating that the Seahawks not only have the most talented secondary in the NFL, but the deepest one as well. Opposing quarterbacks had better beware as the 2012 season gets started.
What Seahawks fans don't want to do is get bogged down by numbers this year. The Seahawks have to play some teams that can really put a lot of points on the board, potentially skewing the numbers that the defense can put up. Going against the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Detroit Lions could mean that there are going to be some big plays coming against Seattle. At the end of the day though, it is all about how well the defense can bounce back on the next play and if they can simply contain the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford.
To answer the original question, I do believe that the Seahawk's defense is going to be even better than they were a year ago.
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*Ryan Christopher DeVault is a lifelong fan of the Seattle Seahawks that continues to hold out hope that the team is heading in the right direction with Pete Carroll and that the team will play in the 2013 Super Bowl.