Today's question: Only two teams in NFL history have reached the Super Bowl in three consecutive seasons, and no team has done it in the salary-cap era. Can the Seattle Seahawks become the first?
Josh Weinfuss, Arizona Cardinals: By adding tight end Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks made it awfully tough for an NFC West opponent to stop them. I think the best bet to unseating Seattle this year will again come from Green Bay. It's hard to think that Aaron Rodgers, the defending MVP, won't be on top of his game again and make life miserable for the Seahawks, especially when he had an offseason in which to marinate in the way the Packers lost in the playoffs. Seattle has the offensive talent to steamroll this season. The postseason, however, may be a different story.
Nick Wagoner, St. Louis Rams: The fascinating thing in watching the Seahawks from afar will be how they bounce back from a crushing loss in the Super Bowl. There's no doubting the talent is in place and it would be foolish to write off an organization that has built what they have in Seattle. The NFC West is one of the toughest neighborhoods in the league, but it looks to me like the Seahawks are still the class of the division. Aside from the mental aspect of bouncing back from the loss, it will be interesting to see how that offensive line performs. That group has been better than its individual parts but expecting Marshawn Lynch to do the bulk of the heavy lifting forever is probably asking too much.
Paul Gutierrez, San Francisco 49ers: Let's see. The 1971-73 Miami Dolphins, who were fueled by a no-name defense to win two straight Super Bowls after losing that first game, and the high-octane offense Buffalo Billlls (yes, that's one 'L' for every Super Bowl loss from the 1990 through 1993 seasons). What do these Seahawks have in common with those decidedly old school AFC East powers? Not much, other than chasing history. These Seahawks, though, are built differently. Yes, their defense is the backbone of the team, but with a quick-strike offense that only became better with the addition of Graham at tight end, the Seahawks are a dangerously well-rounded team. Injuries to the defense and a tough early part of the schedule could portend a relatively slow start. But by December, they should be firing on all cylinders ... again. Besides, who is going to challenge them in the NFC? The Green Bay Packers? Been there, done that. The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles? They'll be busy beating each other up in the NFC East. So yes, the Seahawks can and should join the Dolphins and the Bills in the history books. The question, then, is this: Will the Seahawks dine on turkey again on the Levi's Stadium 50-yard line, to the chagrin of 49ers' fans everywhere?