It all started on February 2nd, 2014. Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks got off to a strong start and were dominating the Broncos 22-0 going into halftime. The energy from the fans in MetLife Stadium all but gone, no one expected the Seahawks to control the game like they did. Some people had their doubts about post-season Peyton, but did we really think that he would be THAT non-existent? Many of us believed that the NFL is an offensive driven league. So when the #1 offense in the NFL goes up against the #1 defense in the NFL, offense should win right? Well, we already know the answer to that question. The Broncos came out of their locker room looking for a fresh start going into the second half, and just 12 seconds in, Percy Harvin takes one to the house for 87 yards and the rest is history. The Broncos' high powered offense did not stand a chance against the Legion of Boom--a self-proclaimed title made by the Seahawks' secondary--consisting of guys like Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Byron Maxwell and their leader, Richard "CRABTREE!!" Sherman. Most of the players on Seattle's defense that have become stars are late round draft picks or UDFA's playing with a chip on their shoulder.
Following the aftermath of this year's Super Bowl, there has been plenty of speculation about what it takes to win a Championship. If you're a team starting from scratch, do you focus primarily on offense or defense? If you asked the majority of NFL fans that question a year ago, you'd most likely hear more offense than defense. If you ask that question now, you'll likely hear a lot more defense. I can't tell you how many times I've heard Lions fans tell me that the only way to turn this team around is to focus primarily on defense in the draft, especially in the early rounds, and make references to what the Seahawks have done.
In the past 5 years, the Seahawks have drafted 46 players. 27 of those players have been on the defensive side of the ball, and 19 on offense. However, out of the 20 players selected in the top 4 rounds, 11 were on offense and 9 on defense. Do the Lions really HAVE to focus on defense early in this year's draft? Seattle found offensive weapons like Wilson, Okung and Tate all in the top 3 rounds. On defense, they've found guys like Bruce Irvin and Earl Thomas. Their front office has an incredible success rate on their picks, no matter which side of the ball they're looking at. If the Seahawks can build a defense primarily on late round picks, then it tells me that it's more important to pick the best player available that can benefit your team, rather than focus on one side of the ball. They've found guys like Richard Sherman, Malcolm Smith, and Kam Chancellor all in the 5th round or later.
If the Seattle Seahawks have tought us anything, it's that a good front office wins championships, not defense. The Lions' front office needs to continue to have drafts like 2013, and eventually they will be contenders. Focus on selecting players who are the best available and can improve the team, no matter which side of the ball they are on, and everything will fall in place.