Peter King picks against Seattle because ‘history’ tells him to

Peter King shook this ball and it told him Seattle will not win the Super Bowl this season

Peter King says the Seahawks are the best team he’s seen during a 2014 camp tour.

Peter King says the Seahawks won’t win the Super Bowl.

The reason?


“… of the 27 teams I witnessed in person this summer (at 22 camps, four games and one joint practice session), Seattle’s the best I saw. Stubbornness is a good reason why one of the other 31 teams will be my call, but the reality of repeating is that it’s become the toughest thing to do in sports. Think of it: For eight straight years, the defending champ has either not made the playoffs or hasn’t gotten past its first playoff game.”

It’s nothing to do with any issues the Seahawks might face, or the quality of their potential opponents. It’s nothing about the motivational challenge of doing it all again…

Pete Carroll hasn’t focused on the R word. “Teams not repeating—that’s not topical to us,” he told me. “I just asked them to have the best offseason of their lives and to come back ready. They have.”

Nope. This prediction is all about other non-related teams failing to repeat in the past. It’s about Joe Flacco winning a title in a key contract year and failing to play at the same level with a $120.6m deal safely secured. It’s about the New York Giants — a 9-7 team during the 2011 regular season — failing to be anything more than a hot playoff outfit. It’s about an Aaron Rodgers-reliant Green Bay coming up against a killer pass rush and having no Plan B.

Because those teams failed, Seattle will too.

That’s the theory.

It’s not exactly a stretch to suggest the Seahawks won’t win the Super Bowl this season. But if they don’t, it won’t be because history says it’s unlikely. The 2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2011 New York Giants and 2010 Green Bay Packers were not built for longevity. An ageing roster with a QB earning his pay day, a hot playoff team and a typically modern day QB-dependent franchise. The Seahawks are none of those things.

King knows this, he’s been at camp. He’d probably concede they’re different to the other recent Super Bowl winners.

He even knows there’s still room for improvement…

Hard for any team that won the Super Bowl by 35 points to look better the next year. But if Harvin plays every week—which is no lock, with his recent injury history—I could well be eating my prediction in five months. Which, as you know, will be nothing new.

It’s not just Percy Harvin either. Russell Wilson is only entering year three of his pro-career, after setting records in the first two. The entire defense is pretty much intact. They’ve tied up the key components of the roster. Carroll set out from the start to ‘Win Forever’. Forever’s a long time, but 3-4 years at the top isn’t unachievable.

History won’t beat the Seahawks but a loaded NFC might. Arizona beat Seattle at Century Link last year. Tampa Bay came close. So did San Francisco in the Championship game. The Seahawks are not unbeatable even at home and the NFC West is a war of attrition.

They can be beaten. They will be beaten at times in 2014.

Point to a resurgent Packers team, the rivalry with the 49ers, the Saints behind Drew Brees. Get on the Denver bandwagon or believe in Tom Brady. There are others too. There are teams capable of matching up with the best.

But history?

That’s the last thing that’s going to stop the Seahawks.

History says you can’t draft a 5-10 quarterback and start him as a rookie. History says college coaches don’t work in the NFL. History says a 5th rounder can’t turn into the best cornerback in the NFL.

King will pick somebody else to win the Super Bowl this week. Probably Denver, New England or Cincinnati. Maybe Green Bay or San Francisco. Who knows. But it won’t be Seattle.

And his reason for not picking the team he declares as the best will be because they are simply ‘Champions’.


  1. bigDhawk

    King has bills to pay like everyone else. Nobody (except us) wants to read about the Seahawks repeating. People will, however, read about some other team (stacked with fantasy players they drafted) winning it this season. Clickeeclickee. King knows darn good and well the Seahawks will likely repeat, and probably 3-PETE. That just doesn’t sell at the moment.

    In unrelated news, the Ravens put Brent Urban on IR.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure someone with King’s excellent sources and access needs to rely on clickbait. He’s a terrific writer and MMQB is a must-read every week. But I disagree with his suggestion that the Seahawks will not repeat simply because history works against them. He basically says: “They’re the best, I know they’re the best, I should pick them — but I’m not because I’m not.”

      • cha

        What I’m surprised about with the national writes I’ve read talk about the chances for a Seahawks repeat, they frequently only discuss a healthy Harvin as the ‘how they could be better than last year’ angle. There doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement or insight that most of the Hawks’ best players still have their best years ahead of them and that’s baffling to me.

        • bigDhawk

          The ‘healthy Harvin’ angle is directly related to fantasy, which has a broad demographic. The eyes of that same demographic will glaze over if the conversation shifts to the dynastic potential of Seattle’s youthful roster, a topic that is entirely provincial to Seahawks fans.

          We would think a writer like King would be above any form of pandering, but it’s worked for the likes of Bayless. Perhaps not entirely, but I think to some degree an opinion like this from King has an element of saying what the majority of readers want to hear.

      • Mark

        To be fair Rob, you are not relying on this blog for your living. Peter King may have other sources of income, but I’d say he has much more incentive for his site’s success. I think the click-bait is not the only motivation, but I think it is a factor. I think Peter King ‘gets it’ given his site, but this is also the same of old-school thinking that leads Jaworski to pick Folk over Wilson. (And I believe that he also is promoting his brand, i.e. click-baiting.)

        Also, the players are starting to get it and that’s that the NFL follows the money. Currently the money is in fantasy sports, much more than actual games. This is driving the rules changes and NFL policies for the worse in my opinion.

        • Rob Staton

          Peter King has 1.3m Twitter followers. A significant number of those followers will read today’s MMQB even if he just tweets the link and says, “this is now live” (as he often does).

          He doesn’t need to do click-bait. And IMO, his opinion on Seattle’s Super Bowl chances is not an exercise in click-bait.

          • Coug1990

            Several people on here have made a point that PK is picking against the Hawks because it means more site views. Does it really? I think the Seahawks are at the point where if you are a writer and pick the Hawks you get clicks and if you pick against the Hawks you get clicks.

            People can bitch against both point of views.

            • James

              If your headline reads, “Seahawks to win again” then you get X clicks. If the headline reads “Seahawks to be dethroned” you get 10X clicks, to see if your team is the one. Journalism is dead, click-bait lives. Peter King’s sole purpose is to sell soap, to be a platform for advertising. That is why blogs like these are the only genuine sources for news and opinions, and that is true for current events as well as sports.

          • bigDhawk

            Good points, Rob. I guess for me it comes down to the obvious fact – as you clearly articulated in the OP – that this is not an intelligent opinion by King, by a long shot. King is not just missing the mark here. He knows exactly what he’s doing. So eliminating the possibility of honest error, what else could it be other than just a half-baked effort to meet a deadline for a Seahawks-related piece with something he thinks will appeal to more than just Seahawks fans?

            It also occurred to me that perhaps this is a sort of back-handed complement – “The Seahawks look so good and appear to be on such a solid track to repeat that any rationale used to pick against them can only be something as absurd as this…” – but I didn’t really get that vibe from reading the article. It just seemed more like something fans of the other 31 teams would get a rise out of while snickering, “Yeah, screw those Cheathawks.”

            • Arias

              Well, he even admits himself that his reasons for not doing so come down to him being stubborn. I would tend to agree.

              MMQB has established itself as a successful enough site that he doesn’t need to deploy click bait tricks to drive higher traffic numbers to it. That’s small picture thinking and King is way past that. The original content he creates from his stable of football minds is unique and drives traffic there all on its own. Not headline grabbing titles based around his forecasting predictions as a pundit.

  2. JS

    Hard hitting analysis from Mr. King. I can’t blame him if he is saying that he would take the field over the Seahawks because winning is hard. But he’s pretty much admitting that he’s going to take a shot in the dark because predicting is hard. My prediction: Peter King will not pick the Seahawks to win Super Bowl 50 because no one has ever won 3 in a row.

    • Jim Kelly

      Have to agree with you there.

      On a side note: Green Bay almost did three Super Bowls in a row. They won the last NFL championship prior to the merger, and then the first two NFL-AFL Championships/Super Bowls. They also won three straight back in the ’30’s. Dallas came close with three of four, and their only miss was because of a loss in the NFC Championship game.

  3. Ross

    This is a classic statistical fallacy. The probability of getting “heads” twice on two coin flips is 25%. BUT, given that you’ve already gotten “heads” on the first flip, the probability of getting heads on the second flip is still 50%.

    TRUE: Winning the Superbowl is difficult.
    TRUE: Picking the field over a specific team is always the correct choice. Just look at the Vegas odds

    FALSE: There is something UNIQUELY difficult about winning the Super Bowl a second time.

    • cha

      Nice reasoning Ross.

      I’ve never felt compelled to buy into the “every team in the league is now gunning for you” analyst-speak about a team that won the championship the prior year. If every team isn’t “gunning for you” every week, Super Bowl champs or not, they have no business being in professional sports.

    • MarkinSeattle

      On your last item, what makes winning a Super Bowl a second time uniquely difficult are several items.

      The first is that you play more games than any other team except one. This wears guys out, and consequently they are more likely to be hurt the following year. We saw this with the 2006 Seahawks. However, the team last year and this year is uniquely deep in my opinion. With the amount of rotation and how careful the staff is to rest guys that are even slightly hurt, makes me think that this is much less of an issue than it is for most SB champs. Factor in our well publicized youth, and I think we are uniquely positioned to avoid this unique pitfall (watch out Denver…).

      The second unique difficulty of Super Bowl teams is that they suffer from other teams overplaying their best players, and forcing them to pay more for they guys they do keep. Consequently, SB winners suffer a huge talent drain that they have to overcome while wrestling with Joe Flacco style contracts. While we did expend a fair amount of money doing just that, the losses were very minimal and at positions where talent could be upgraded this year (with the exception of Clemons). The tremendous bump in the salary cap helps here, as well as having Russell Wilson still in a very low level rookie deal (not to mention some of the other young players as well). Note, in some ways, this impact of the rookie salary cap hasn’t permeated into the national writers’ consciousness yet. If we win another, it may dawn on them that the rookie salary cap can help sustain success of teams closer to the 80’s/90’s dynasty teams.

      Third, everyone is shooting for you as you are the top dog. This is probably more pronounced for the teams that struggle into the playoffs, pull off a hot streak and win the Super Bowl (aka, the “Eli Effect”). Seattle was considered the favorite to win the SB going into last season, so I don’t think any of our opponents overlooked us last year (although I could be wrong). Seemed like we had everyone’s best game.

      I can’t think of any other unique challenges that a SB winner would face that other teams wouldn’t as well. While we will face them, I don’t think that they will necessarily have nearly as big of an impact as past Super Bowl winners.

      Granted, at the end of the day, the biggest question is can we get home field advantage and can we keep our best guys healthy? If the answer is yes to both of those questions, even Peter King will be favoring us come Christmas to win the Super Bowl.

      • Michael M.

        A few things to add to your list of “unique difficulties”

        1. Draft position – This is fairly self-explanatory. Rookies are having a greater impact on the game today than ever before, and having each of your own picks at the very end of each round is clearly a disadvantage.

        2. Undrafted Free Agency – Maybe this is a wash, since there will be plenty of players that want to try and catch on with the defending champs, especially given the reputation of the ‘Hawks staff as one that is willing to give guys a legit shot, but there are probably just as many guys who will look at the talent level of the roster and decide it it in their best interest to go after a less contested roster spot.

        3. Scheduling – It’s no secret that the NFL loves parity, so it’s a safe bet to assume anything they have control over will be done in a way that helps those teams that are down on their luck while hurting the successful ones. The ‘Hawks will face the 6th toughest schedule this season (based on last year win pct.)

        • JeffC

          I noticed they bunched the SF games together when they will likely get more healthy. That 7 game stretch at the end of the season is brutal.

  4. CC

    Thanks Peter – that is exactly the type of thing this team wants to hear! Doubt them, create penalties to stop them – it just gets better and better!

    I’ll just say – I expect them to win the Super Bowl this year also! Why? Because this team is better than last year – Percy wants to “win” a SB – and this team is “just getting started.” The offense is better and the D is very strong.

    The NFC West is still good, but has taken some hits – the NFC East is average and the AFC West is overrated. 14-2 or 13-3 is very possible.

    Go Hawks!

    • MarkinSeattle


      I agree, I love the doubt. This team feeds off of it. Hopefully we will see more of it from other national writers because it only makes our boys work harder.

  5. AlaskaHawk

    Peter King is correct that the odds are against us repeating. The pros at Vegas give us a 1:6 chance. So what! We still love the Seahawks and they have the best chance of repeating of all the teams out there.

    • Michael M.

      I’m no odds-maker, but I do believe the Seahawks are the only team with a chance of repeating.

  6. JeffC

    I’m more interested in who Michael Irvin and Paul Moyer pick as their super bowl winner.

  7. Zach

    Here’s the thing I have a hard time understanding. Why do any of you care who Peter King picks? This isn’t college football, where polls matter, and being underrated headed into the season can keep you out of the championship game even if you deserve to be there.

    Honestly, this need to have the greatness of the Hawks affirmed by every writer, TV pundit, and media member baffles me. We know how good this team is, and the proof will be provided on the gridiron, not in August columns. Is it not enough to be rooting for the defending champions, who also happen to be the best team in the league? Do we as a collective fan base also need to be constantly told how good the Seahawks are? Shouldn’t we be plenty confident on our own?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think it’s need or want to have everyone picking Seattle. I just found the use of ‘history’ as a reason for Seattle not winning it as a good debating point. There are teams capable of beating Seattle and if that was the argument I think it would be a lot harder to counter without sounding like a complaining fan.

      • CestrianHawk

        I think to be fair, he’s not saying history is the reason they’ll fail, but that history tells us that it is very difficult to win back-to-back SBs however good the team is. History simply reflects that fact, it’s not a causal relationship.

        Although this is a first time post, I’ve followed this site for years and always look forward to its insightful articles. I’ve supported/followed the SeaHawks for over thirty years, but it’s only been in the last few years, with sites like this and FieldGulls, that I’ve been able to really get a grip on what’s happening with the team. I’m still hoping they get picked for one of the Wembley visits in the near future.

        • Rob Staton

          But history is only relevant IMO if this Seattle team compares favorably to the other teams who failed to repeat. I think Bill Cowher said it today — out of all the teams with a chance to repeat, this team is built to do it.

          • CestrianHawk

            I agree that we are very favourably placed to win the SB again. The situation is no different to the start of last season, where we thought that we had a strong enough team to win it. But this was shrouded with caution, not because Seattle had never won the SB before but because of the vagaries inherent in the game (eg injuries and the play-off lottery). The learnings from history are manyfold, how strong the team is relative to the previous season is only one of them. Seattle is extremely well placed to win the SB again (probably better than most of the previous SB winning teams), but a professional gambler would always bet against it because the odds would always favour someone else doing it. History simply reflects that fact.

            This is a great team, whatever the final outcome. More especially, it promises to continue being so into the near future. I’ve learnt over the years to enjoy times like this because they are rare. Winning more trophies will help validate their greatness, but won’t IMO be the final arbiter.

    • Colin

      What you have presented is classic Seattle fan syndrome. This is a fanbase that as a whole, cannot handle criticism or negativity. Years and years of little/no recognition has damaged many of them. They crave attention, even though the Hawks are getting plenty.

      And I agree totally, it really doesn’t matter if we have Peter King’s blessing to win the SB, or that Cris Carter thinks our receivers aren’t pedestrian. I don’t understand why people need that approval.

  8. Mylegacy

    Luck be a lady….

    To me, the Hawks seem very well positioned to repeat.

    However, my wife’s sister – the Lady Luck insists she will have her say.

    She told me:
    “A tipped pass that’s intercepted by us…perchance, it’s tipped the other way…and is a TD for the Evil Californians. Just one of several key moments I moved time/space for your team. What if next year when you need my intervention I’m doing my nails, or out dancing with Raul and Guido (they’re both wonderful dancers – I can never get enough of their Mambo’s – especially Guido’s – it’s simply scrumptious.) Listen boys, I can’t always give you what you want – sometimes a girl just has to play with her toys – and your silly teams are one of my favorite toys.”

    And therein lies my quandary. Last year my wife’s sister seemed pleased with us – this year – who knows – remember, after all she’s a Lady, and lady’s have a wicked sense of humour.

    So the Lady Luck may be the only serious impediment standing between our Hawks and Glory Renewed! Guys, get out your rabbit’s feet, I hear the Lady likes stoking silky smooth fur. Lets give her what she wants…whatever – she – wants…

  9. Colin

    Peter doesn’t seem to have any issue picking the Patsies to win the Super Bowl every other year, as he’s done 7 of the last 10 years…. I guess if he is picking Seattle he can’t pick New England… no wonder he didn’t pick us.

  10. Dumbquestions

    King isn’t clickbaiting. He’s invoking Murphy’s Law. He acknowledges Seattle is the best team he’s seen this year – but he also notes the possibility that misfortune could strike, which is defensible and possible. If Sam Bradford can go down, Drew Brees can go down and RW can go down.

    The first flaw in King’s analysis: he doesn’t apply the same logic to other teams, where injuries to key players would hurt even more due to lack of depth.

    The second flaw: He’s not seeing signs of trouble elsewhere. I wouldn’t have guessed this at the end of last year, but I’m beginning to think the 49ers are headed for a pretty bad season. This sounds crazy, but I think they could go 8-8. Their defense is badly hurt, and their new pieces on offense don’t appear to be coming together.

    Take them out of the mix, factor in the injury to Bradford, and the NFC West looks a bit less dominant, which only helps the Hawks. If you allow the idea that San Francisco will regress in a significant way, try this exercise – name the top 4 NFC teams. Here’s what I come up with:

    1. Seattle
    2. New Orleans
    3. Green Bay
    4. Philadelphia

    The next 4:

    5. 49ers (just to give them respect)
    6. Tampa (my dark horse)
    7. Detroit
    8. Arizona/Chicago

    Carolina is going to be significantly worse. Atlanta will be slightly better. The NFC East is going to suck (again). And the AFC still has only two genuinely good teams.

    Yes, you have to think the Hawks will lose some games. But which ones? Before Bradford’s injury, I would have pegged Week 7. Now I can’t find a potential loss until Week 13, assuming the 49ers pull it together.

    – DQ

  11. Chris Ode

    Why is predicting against a repeat “listening to history” yet predicting the Broncos is acceptable? Per history, that’s even LESS likely. Blech..

  12. Spireite Seahawk

    Remember when everyone was telling us the number one seed never wins it. Yeah remind me how that went again.

    • Steeeve

      Exactly. And since there have been repeating Super Bowl winners in the distant past, but none recently, isn’t the league “due” for another repeating champion soon?

  13. monkey

    Last year, before the season started, I told anyone who would listen, that the Seahawks would win it all. I said they would win it all because they had the best team in the NFL, and it OBVIOUS to anyone who was really looking.
    History said that the Seahawks had never before won the Super Bowl. History said that the Seahawks had always (to that point) failed to live up to there potential, when they had a really good roster, such as during the 80’s, notably 84 when they had possibly the leagues best roster and of course in 2005.

    But that’s just the thing, history had virtually nothing to do with last years team, (for that matter, last years team has only a little to do with this years team), history doesn’t play the games, and what has happened in the past is not a very good indicator of what will happen in the future.
    A much better predictor of future results, is strength of roster, (overall talent, depth, health etc…), strength of schedule, and strength of opponents.
    History really has nothing to say about this year. Nothing whatsoever. Talent level, schedule, opponent strength…that does.

    • JeffC

      Yup. Just like the post above with the coin flip. The present flip is still 50/50, and presently, we’re the best team in the NFL.

  14. EranUngar

    I read King’s post and was amazed by it.

    Learning from history and implementing those lessons are very smart. History provides many reasons why SB champions fail to win it the following years. King pays attention to those lessons and validates that they do not apply to the case in hand.

    After verifying that none of those factores apply here he states that in spite of it all history still tells him not to.

    That is strange.

    If you ignore the fact that not of those historic lessons apply here you are actually using history as a game of chance. If you do that – History should tell you that the Seahawks will win it again.


    As a game of chance each team faces a 1/32 chance to win it this year. History tells you that in the past 10 years only 1 team repeated its SB victory. It also tells you that in the past 20 years only 2 teams repeated their SB victory. Hence the chances of repeating are only 1/10 historically speaking. Those historic odds are 3 times better then the basic 1/32 odds without history support.

    His conclusion should have been –
    History tells us that the chances of SB champions repeating is 3 times better then any other team. Since the Seahawks look to be one of those rare cases when a SB winner does not suffer from the usual ailments that hindered most other champions i will pick them to be that 1.10 repeat candidate.

    History tell him to….

  15. Ed Rice

    Mr. Kings’s opinions may be for clicks today but that option didn’t exist 35 years ago.

  16. Coug1990

    If his reasoning is that Seattle will not repeat because teams do not repeat anymore. Then, he better not pick the Denver Broncos to win it all. The Super Bowl looser has not made it back to the Super Bowl since the Bills did it in the 1993 season. Yes, that is longer than the no repeat.

    Furthermore, a Superbowl loser has not won the Superbowl since the 1973 Miami Dolphins.

    Let’s see if he is consistent. My guess is that he picks NO.

  17. CC

    CBS writers also do not have Seattle making it to the SB this year. I truly love this!

    Last year – everyone picked them and they had to manage the expectations of others. This year – no one is picking them and they’ll use it as a motivation.

    After I get back from Greece in October, I’m buying my plane tickets to PHX for the big game! Even if I don’t have tickets for the game, I’ll be able to enjoy all the SEA-peat moments leading up to and after the game!

    Go Hawks!

  18. Austin

    I know it borders on lunacy to predict an undeated season but I’m going to do it anyway. I don’t see a lost on the schedule and the only game they aren’t favored in is in San Fran and I think that will change come game time. It’s hard to top last year but this years team just might.


    He picked the 2010 Super Bowl right by dumb luck. But King’s picks are all cursed. Notice, no team he’s picked has ever won a Super Bowl. You guy should consider yourself lucky in that respect.

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