No. 1 defense/seed combo is nigh unbeatable

For the second straight year, the Seahawks are the No. 1 seed in the NFL — and this time, no one should be questioning whether they can use that home-field advantage to win the Super Bowl.

Not after they did it last year.

Forget the fact that no Super Bowl champ has won a playoff game since 2005, when New England did it, and no champ has repeated since the Patriots did it in 2004.

Forget the fact that four teams have not even made the playoffs the next season or that four were bounced in the first game.

Pete Carroll didn’t want to hear it after the Hawks beat St. Louis at home in the season finale for the second straight year to secure the top seed. It’s the fourth time in Carroll’s five seasons the Hawks have beaten the Rams in Seattle in the season finale — three of those wins resulted in NFC West titles.

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Carroll’s Legion of Boom channels Grant’s Purple People Eaters

Earl Thomas punches the ball out of the hand of Benny Cunningham at the goal line, saving a TD and giving the Seahawks the ball (Seahawks.com)

If you want to know the secret to Seattle’s uncommonly dominant defense, all you have to do is go back about 40 years to the Purple People Eaters.

Before the Seahawks — led by the Legion of Boom — capped a three-year run as the No. 1 scoring defense Sunday, the last defense to accomplish that feat was the Minnesota Vikings, from 1969 to 1971. Led by one of the NFL’s legendary lines — Alan Page, Carl Eller, Leonard Marshall and Gary Larsen — they were known as the Purple People Eaters.

It might not surprise you to learn that those Vikings were coached by Pete Carroll’s mentor, future Hall of Famer Bud Grant. (To add to the historical symmetry, Grant’s D-line coach was Jack Patera, who later became Seattle’s first coach. And Eller finished his career with Patera’s Hawks in 1979.)

Continue reading Carroll’s Legion of Boom channels Grant’s Purple People Eaters