Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are 4-0 and one of six remaining undefeated teams in the NFL.

Through four weeks, the NFL has seen teams meet, exceed or fall below expectations. Two teams — the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs — have stuck out as prime contenders. 

The Seattle Seahawks are the best team in the NFL

Andrew Oliveros | The Breeze

Following the end of Week 3 of the 2020-21 NFL season, the Seattle Seahawks are 3-0 and look like a team that can’t be stopped. There are other teams that are 3-0, but none of them are on the same level.

In Week 1, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson completed 31-of-35 passing attempts and threw four touchdowns. Wilson finished the week with an 87.6 quarterback rating, listing as the fourth-best in the NFL that week.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett and Wilson had perfect chemistry that game as he caught 8-of-8 passes from Wilson for 92 yards. Seattle running back Chris Carson had himself a field day, scoring two receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Newly acquired tight end Greg Olsen caught 4-of-4 passes and had one touchdown out of it.

In Week 1, Seattle’s defense was up against a top-tier Atlanta offense with former MVP and quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. On the other hand, the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense in the first week was going up against the injury-prone Houston Texans running back David Johnson. The best wide receiver for the Texans that game was Will Fuller V, who only had 670 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in the 2019-20 NFL season. The Chiefs had an easier task at hand than what the Seahawks were going up against.

In Week 2, Wilson continued his magic with five more passing touchdowns against Bill Belichick’s respected New England Patriots team. Seattle’s offense was a jack of all trades because Wilson connected with five different players for each of his touchdown passes. Seattle’s defense did give up 397 passing yards but only allowed six points out of it.

The Kansas Chiefs won a close matchup in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers, but it was no easy task. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert –– on his rookie debut — threw for 311 passing yards while Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Partick Mahomes only threw for 302 yards.

The Chiefs were down against the Chargers — who were 5-11 the season prior — at the end of the fourth quarter 17-9. The Chiefs barely got the win against the Chargers in overtime, winning 23-20.

In Week 3, Wilson threw five more touchdowns, which brings his total to 14 through the first three weeks — the most ever in a three-week span in NFL history. Wilson was also the NFC Offensive Player of the Week in Weeks 1 and 3.

Wilson connected with wide receiver D.K. Metcalf for 110 receiving yards and Lockett for 100 receiving yards, with three receiving touchdowns against Dallas.

Seattle’s defense made a statement against a top rushing squad in Dallas, holding the  Cowboys running back and the second-best rusher in the 2019-20 NFL season, Ezekiel Elliott, to 34 rushing yards. Seattle’s defense only allowed 61 total rushing yards from Dallas.

The Seattle Seahawks aren’t a perfect team, but what they’ve shown on the field to be 3-0 proves why they’re the best team in the NFL.

Contact Andrew Oliveros at oliverab@dukes.jmu.edu. For more coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.

The Kansas City Chiefs are here to stay

Madison Hricik | The Breeze

The Kansas City Chiefs took home the Super Bowl in February for the first time in 50 years, which was also the last time they made it to the championship prior to last season.

Since then, the offseason training despite the pandemic has made the team stronger. The Chiefs are 3-0 and first in the AFC West heading into Week 4. The team made a strong start and can easily maintain that record this season.

The results after three games into a 16-game season are fairly telling of a team’s chemistry. Week 4 marks 25% of a completed regular season, and following the seven ACL injuries the NFL saw during Week 3, teams will do whatever they can to keep their best players healthy. Thankfully, the Chiefs have avoided major injuries on their starting lineups.

It goes without saying that starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes had an exceptional season last year. Now with his 10-year contract worth over $500 million, Mahomes is already showing promise to help lead the Chiefs far this season. The record-breaking contract guarantees Mahomes’ position through 2031, giving him the opportunity to earn yet another Super Bowl.

The Chiefs’ offense is confident passing the ball. Within four games, the team has almost 900 yards in passing compared to 80 yards running. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill has 222 yards on the season so far and holds a projected 1,184 for the season. Hill was at a slower pace during the Chiefs’ playoffs last season, but his speed and agility have improved throughout the offseason.

In the rushing offense, rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has shown the consistency of a multi-year veteran. Having 240 yards and 55 attempts, including a touchdown, Edwards-Helaire is projected to have nearly 1,300 yards his rookie season. Drafted in the first round from LSU, the newest starting running back has shown promise in the running game for the Chiefs, which will be key against opponents like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers who’re leading the NFL in sacks.

The offense for the Chiefs is starting off the season like it’s still the Super Bowl. Mahomes has made smart and consistent plays that are putting the Chiefs in good scoring positions early and often. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has improved the team’s offensive game drastically since being appointed in 2018 and has built strong team chemistry and energy that’s given the team what it needs to succeed.

For the defense, the entire team has shown its ability to adapt quickly. Having already made 10 sacks compared to the two sacks the Chiefs have been dealt, the speed and power of the defensive linemen have continually made the Chiefs an even larger threat. The defense has two forced turnovers so far and will most likely hit 10 prior to Thanksgiving weekend.

Lastly, one factor that can help boost a team’s early success is the excitement from fans within the stands. However, this isn’t necessarily something that can be done with COVID-19 restrictions. But that obstacle hasn’t stopped the Chiefs’ success and energy. After a Super Bowl championship, the fan base’s excitement will be over the top, and it’s prominent even with limited or no fans in the stands. The championship high from the players alone has been a major feed of excitement and energy during games and may build hope for yet another deep playoff run.

All these elements combined have proven to work in favor of the Chiefs so far this season. Avoiding major injuries will be key for the Chiefs to keep their early momentum for the remaining season. The defense will have to continue to be a fast threat for all quarterbacks, which includes the need for players like Chris Jones to be leaders in statistics and chemistry. The offense needs to continue its success in passing and build more with the rush.

A 3-0 record, along with leading the division, shows promise for the reigning champions. The elements are there as well as a strong support system from the coaching staff. The Chiefs are having a strong start to the 2020-21 season and are looking like the best team in the NFL.

Contact Madison Hricik at hricikmn@dukes.jmu.edu. For more coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.