New England claimed Super Bowl XLIX with a 28-24 victory over Seattle on Sunday. Vikings.com will take a glance this week at the offseason moves an in-season factors that preceded the past five champions' path to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
Super Bowl XLVIII
Seahawks 43, Broncos 8
Feb. 2, 2014, East Rutherford, N.J.
2013 Seahawks regular season record: 13-3
Season before: 11-5, lost in the Divisional
Season after: 12-4, lost in the Super Bowl
Coaching: Pete Carroll was in his fourth season at the helm in Seattle, former Vikings Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell was in his third season in the same role, and Dan Quinn was in his first in charge of Seattle's defense. Quinn returned to Seattle, where he had coached the defensive line in 2009-10, after two seasons as Florida's defensive coordinator.
2013 draft picks [round, (overall), position]:
2 (62) RB Christine Michael
3 (87) DT Jordan Hill
4 (123) WR Chris Harper
5 (137) DT Jesse Williams
5 (138) DB Tharold Simon
5 (158) TE Luke Willson
6 (194) RB Spencer Ware
7 (220) OL Ryan Seymour
7 (231) DE Ty Powell
7 (241) DT Jared Smith
7 (242) OL Michael Bowie
Vikings for Percy Harvin in exchange for picks that led to Minnesota drafting Xavier Rhodes (round 1-25th overall) and Travis Bond (round 7-214th overall) in 2013 and Jerick McKinnon (round 3-96th overall) in 2014
Added through free agency:
Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Tony McDaniel, Tarvaris Jackson, O'Brien Schofield (waiver claim)
Kam Chancellor, Steven Hauschka, Chris Maragos, Clint Gresham, Antoine Winfield (released at end of camp)
Marcus Trufant (end of career), Alan Branch (free agency to Buffalo), Jason Jones (free agency to Detroit)
Offense returned: Russell Wilson was back for his second pro season and had a symbiotic relationship with young receivers Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, whose collective production escalated from 77 catches for 1,145 yards and 10 touchdowns to 136 catches for 2,002 yards and 14 TDs from 2012 to 2013. Marshawn Lynch's rush yards dipped from 1,590 to 1,257 but his receiving yards went from 196 to 316 in 2013.
Defense returned: Red Bryant and Chris Clemons up front, linebackers Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin, and their entire starting secondary from the previous season, led by boisterous Richard Sherman at cornerback, free safety Earl Thomas and Chancellor at strong safety.
Team overcame: It's hard to say a team that finished 13-3 faced much adversity, but the Seahawks were unaffected by an injury to Harvin that caused him to miss all but one regular season. In fact, they turned it into an advantage in the Super Bowl when he led them with 45 rushing yards and added an 87-yard return of a kickoff for a touchdown that gave Seattle a 29-0 lead a few seconds into the second half.
Defining theme during 2013 offseason: grow around your quarterback, maintain ability to torment other QBs. Wilson had an impressive rookie season, helping Seattle finish 11-5 and convincing Seahawks coaches and execs he would be a player to build around (sound similar to Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota last season, except for Bridgewater perhaps facing more challenges?), and he responded well. The Seahawks did a free agency line change on defense, but found players that could pressure quarterbacks and assist one of the strongest secondaries in the league.