Fans in Seattle are hopeful about the Seahawks' postseason prospects behind quarterback Russell Wilson. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Fans in Seattle are hopeful about the Seahawks’ postseason prospects behind quarterback Russell Wilson. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

In Sunday’s late NFL Wild Card game, Washington will host Seattle. The Seahawks last made the playoffs in 2010 after racking up a somewhat less than impressive 7-9 record, but they surprised many by advancing to the second round. This year’s ‘Hawks went 11-5, and many wonder whether they’re built for a longer playoff run.

Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer says trying to compare this season’s squad with their 2010 counterparts is like “night and day.”

“That team, that was the jalopy that got into the playoffs,” Brewer said. “This team is young, it’s athletic, it’s on the rise, where the other team was just trying to keep something together. This team has a legitimate chance to be competitive against anybody in the playoffs, where you knew it would take a major upset for the 2010 team to advance.”

[I've gone] from believing that Pete Carroll was going to get fired within four years to now thinking that he has a legitimate chance to win – not go to, win – a Super Bowl in Seattle sometime in the next five years.
– Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times

Head coach Pete Carroll, who’s in his third season in Seattle, has been instrumental in assembling the roster, along with general manager John Schneider. Brewer said they’ve been looking for key attributes when selecting players.

“Young, big, fast, loves football, has a nasty streak, very competitive as well,” Brewer said. “I think they probably hit on about 90 percent of the moves they made, which is just a ridiculous number. And so what they’re left with now is, I think, the second-youngest team in the NFL, and a team that can be together for the next four or five years, if they all stay healthy and motivated.”

However, Carroll, who has also coached the New England Patriots and at USC, has been something of an enigma. Earlier this season, Brewer said Carroll had him “all twisted up.” That’s because with Carroll, “you don’t exactly know what you have.”

“Most people consider Pete Carroll a failure as an NFL head coach,” Brewer continued. “But he’s made the playoffs in four of the seven years that he’s coached. I go from believing that Pete Carroll was going to get fired within four years to now thinking that he has a legitimate chance to win – not go to, win – a Super Bowl in Seattle sometime in the next five years.”

Brewer also wrote that “covering Carroll is like trying to watch a magic show while skydiving.”

“He’s all over the place,” Brewer said. “It is an adventure. When he has a press conference, it’s sensory overload. All the things that he’s doing, he’s trying to tell four or five jokes. Pete Carroll does nothing in conventional fashion, but for whatever reason, it’s working for him in Seattle.”

In terms of Sunday’s game against the Redskins, Brewer said the Seahawks have an edge.

“The teams mirror each other in some ways, but the big difference is the Redskins don’t have a great defense,” Brewer said. “Seattle has a great defense, and so when it comes down to it, I think Russell Wilson will be able to make a few plays at quarterback for the Seahawks. I’ve got them winning 26-17.”