Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Seahawks eager to D-light

'It's our time to prove why we're the No. 1 defence'

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In the midst of being reclusive for most of the week leading up to his first Super Bowl, Marshawn Lynch spoke a truth about his Seattle Seahawks.

What they might lack with a roster void of Super Bowl experience, they make up for with an attitude and approach Pete Carroll has instilled from the moment he landed in Seattle.

"I stay ready," Lynch said. "So there ain't no getting ready."

If there is an overbearing quality Carroll has produced in his four seasons in charge of the Seahawks it's a continuous trend of always being competitive. They don't get blown out. They don't get overwhelmed. They don't succumb to the moment. They treat each week as an individual, singular event.

The Seahawks are trained to operate in this manner and it's why even against Peyton Manning, even against the most prolific, pass-happy offence in NFL history, Carroll's team will not be astounded by what they walk into Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

"You don't see nervousness in guys' eyes," Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. "You don't see guys acting any different than they would on any other day or any other week of the season. They're going out there and following the same routine as they have all season long. You just get the sense that guys are comfortable in the situation and comfortable in the moment because you don't really think about the moment."

Seattle's been here once before, eight years ago with a different style of team that was unable to match the physicality of Pittsburgh.

Thing is, this version of the Seahawks look awfully familiar to that Steelers team.

Ben Roethlisberger was in his second season as the Steelers' quarterback, just like Russell Wilson is with Seattle. Roethlisberger was less of a passer at that time because the Steelers had a running game led by Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis that was in the top five in the NFL during the regular season. The Steelers also had a defence that was No. 4 in the league during the regular season.

It might be a painful comparison for Seattle fans, but the similarities are notable.

Wilson can win the game with his arm if needed but Lynch and the running game is always Seattle's priority. The Seahawks defence was the best in the NFL in scoring, total yards allowed and turnovers forced. They are unlike anything Manning and the Broncos have seen this season.

"This is something that we've been looking forward to. Us being the No. 1 defence, them being the No. 1 offence, I think it's fitting," Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "It's our time to prove why we're the No. 1 defence."

Also not to be overlooked it Seattle red zone defence that was the best in the NFL. It's inevitable that Manning will move Denver's offence. He's one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history because he's been able to find quick solutions to problems defences present.

Seahawks 27, Broncos 22

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2014 C11

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