When Michael Bennett said the Seattle Seahawks had the best defense of all time, people laughed in his face.
Well, who’s laughing now? The Seahawks are back in the Super Bowl and on the brink of their second world championship in as many years.
“Just happy to be back in that situation again,” the Seahawks defensive end said on Tiki and Tierney. “It’s good when you’re on top.”
And defense got them there.
With all due respect to Seattle’s offense, which erupted for 21 points in less than six minutes of game time in Sunday’s NFC Championship win over Green Bay, the Seahawks’ defense has played lights out for the last two months. Since losing to Kansas City in Week 11, Seattle has allowed an average of just 9.8 points per game in their last eight games.
“It’s just one of those things where we’re playing for each other,” Bennett said. “It’s not really about the stats. With the media and Twitter and all kinds of things, it’s kind of made everybody a selfish society. That includes football, too. Everybody wants their stats. For us, it’s just about playing at a high level. We already had as much success as you could possibly have in the first couple years of your career. We already had All-Pros, Pro Bowlers, got big contracts and won a Super Bowl. So for us, it’s just about our legacy. We hold everybody to a high standard.”
That standard will be on display in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, when the Seahawks face the New England Patriots. New England has found itself in a bit of a firestorm because of “DeflateGate,” but Bennett feels the whole story has been overblown.
“(It’s) just another reason people (are using) to (explain why) the Colts lost the game,” he said. “I mean, they didn’t stop the run. That’s why they lost the game. If they would’ve stopped the run, they would’ve played a better game. So I don’t think the ball really had that big of a difference in the game.”
The Patriots rushed 23 times for 226 yards – 9.8 yards per carry – and three touchdowns in their 45-7 destruction of Indianapolis in the AFC Championship. New England’s win set up a Super Bowl matchup for the ages with Seattle.
“That’s what it’s about: getting a chance to play against the best,” Bennett said. “I mean, they’re good on defense. We’re great on defense. They’re good on offense. We’re great on offense, too. It’s one of those things where it’s going to be good. They got a Hall of Fame-type coach. We got a Half of Fame-type coach. So the stage is set.”
Bennett was not surprised that the Seahawks beat the Packers despite trailing by 12 points with less than three minutes to go.
“You got play all the way through,” he said. “That’s what makes us different. Anybody that’s been in championship situations knows that the games always come down to the end when you’re playing against great teams. You just don’t blow great teams out like that. It always comes down to who gets the ball last or who makes the biggest play towards the end of the game.”
Bennett is also confident that Richard Sherman (elbow) and Earl Thomas (shoulder) will be ready to go for the Super Bowl.
“They’re going to be fine,” Bennett said. “It’s the part of the season where injuries are just injuries. You got so much time to heal. Guys are going to play. You got to play through everything at this point. I think we got guys with the mindset like that. Sherman wants to be the best of all time, so he’s going to play. Earl wants to be the best of all time to, so they’re going to play the game – and they’re going to play at a high level.”