Underrated -- Seattle Seahawks
Maybe the Seahawks have been labeled with the stigma of benefiting from "that" officiating call, but teams still seem to be overlooking their defense and the whole team in general. For them to be seated behind a Dallas Cowboys team they easily handled at home is a little puzzling, to say the least. The old adage goes that defense wins championships, and, if that is still the case, the Seahawks' defense alone should put them closer to the top 10.
Through five weeks of the season, you would be extremely hard pressed to find a single average player on that defense, never mind a bad one. They are led by the most ferocious sub package defensive line (four players with 10 or more pressures) in the entire NFL (sorry, Giants fans, your pass-rushers haven't shown up yet this season) and a set of defensive backs who can bully opposing wide receivers and throw off the timing of any passing game (Seattle's corners are allowing only 0.88 yards per coverage snap, best in the league). Cap that off with a three-down linebacker pairing of K.J. Wright and Leroy Hill that is equally comfortable covering as playing run defense and you have a defense that asks very little of its offense.
Given that this is an elite defense, it must be the offense that has the analysts doubting and underrating the team.
Certainly, Seattle's 17.2 points per game average doesn't inspire confidence, but the performances and the way in which the Seahawks play suggest they are good enough to win a lot of games being carried by their defense. They have a pair of tailbacks who break tackles for fun (30 missed tackles forced on 130 carries by Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin leads the league by some margin) and do a lot of work driving defenders to maximize the yardage they are given on every single carry (Lynch is tied for seventh in yards after contact per attempt). Meanwhile, out wide, the pairing of Sidney Rice and Golden Tate is just starting to come to life after a lackluster start to give Russell Wilson the help he needs. Against Carolina, the two combined to catch every ball thrown their way for 98 yards and a touchdown. Wilson must improve, but, with a top-three defense and those weapons, are the Seahawks really a middle-of-the-road team?
*edit* the author was debating the Seahawks current power rank and forgot the link:
http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/ ... ta-vikings