The 2011 Seahawks were a halfway decent team hamstrung by a subpar quarterback. They finished 7-9, which might have been good enough to win the NFC West most seasons, as it was the season before. Seattle won the Matt Flynn free agent sweepstakes, then proceeded to bench him because Russellmania is running wild. They also added really ugly new uniforms.

Five Fast Facts About The Seahawks:

– Doug Baldwin wants to wear those barefoot running shoes on the field, citing how he can actually feel like chalk when coming down with a foot out of bounds.

– A few months ago, we learned that the Seahawks could have been called the Scampi. Failing to secure that manifestly superior name makes their history of disappointment richly deserved.

– The Seahawks released Kellen Winslow over the weekend. Given your taste in predictable jokes, he’s either now a F*CKIN’ SOLDIER FOR HIRE or was just dishonorably discharged.

– Worth noting that Marshawn Lynch was driving a Ford Econoline van when he got arrested on suspicion of a DUI back in June. I move for him to hurry up and retire so BEEF MOE and Rob Ryan can embark on their poon cruise through the interstate highway system.

– Max Unger watched the No Reservations episode last night about Austin and it really made him want to go to Austin. This isn’t just me projecting my thoughts onto Max Unger. No, that really happened.

Notable acquisitions: Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson, Braylon Edwards, Bruce Irvin, Deuce Lutui

Notable departures: John Carlson, Robert Gallery, Justin Forsett, Tarvaris Jackson, Raheem Brock

Vegas win total over/under: 7 wins

KSK verdict: OVER

Fantasy player you’ll want to dig at with rusty hooks: Golden Tate

Marshawn Lynch somehow escaped suspension for his latest episode of vehicular mayhem so BEEF MOE should be a relatively safe option as a starting back, even if you shouldn’t hold your breath for another double-digit touchdown season out of him. I go with Tate because I’ve seen Tate floated as a sleeper breakout player in 2012 by no fewer than four publication. Each time I’ve seen it, I’ve actually stopped myself and said out loud, “No, he’s not. Stop that.” Suffice it to say, it’s good thing I work alone at home.

Fan forecast, by KSK contributor and SB Nation video host, Matt Ufford:

My father has only ever given me one piece of advice about rooting for Seattle teams: “The only thing you’re entitled to is disappointment,” a statement that nicely captures the essence of Seahawks fandom in a single sentence. I haven’t had a sunny outlook at the beginning of the season since 2005, the year the ‘Hawks went to the Super Bowl and this is me changing the subject.

And so this sense of hope I have — nay, confidence! — about the 2012 Seahawks worries me. I keep looking over my shoulder, triple-checking blind spots for unseen dangers, worrying that every shadow is a falling anvil. And every time I get through my OCD checklist of precautions, I come back to this feeling: the Seahawks are actually good.

Maybe I’m crazy. As Vikings fans can attest, there’s a euphoric high you get when your team ships Tarvaris Jackson off to some other sucker, and perhaps that’s clouding my judgment. It’s not that Jackson’s a bad quarterback; bad QBs start two games and get benched. The problem with Jackson is that he’s not bad enough to get fired. Cheering for a team quarterbacked by T-Jack is willful submission to mediocrity. It’s a prison sentence in a sound-proof booth, where your shouts of “HE’S COSTING US WINNABLE GAMES!” cannot be heard by the general manager or coaching staff.

So here I am before Week 1, looking at the depth chart and there’s Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn and no Tarvaris and I’m breathing for the first time in two years, gulping in the sweet sweet air. Goodbye forever, T-Jack. I fucking hate you.

What’s that? The rest of the team? Pretty solid, actually. There’s good depth at wideout: Sidney Rice, Ben Obomanu, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and even Braylon Edwards are all decent enough to warrant a spot-start in your fantasy league, only to inevitably disappoint you with one catch for 12 yards because all the other receivers got more looks. Marshawn Lynch has been paid, so the Beast Mode switch may be set to “OFF,” but rookie Robert Turbin has looked excellent in the preseason. The offensive line isn’t a team strength and dependent on the health of Russell Okung. Rookie J.R. Sweezy, a defensive tackle at NC State, may start at guard, which would worry me if I weren’t so thrilled by the name J.R. SWEEZY.

The defense is young and excellent, and should provide enough sacks and turnovers to merit a draft pick in your fantasy league. Brandon Mebane anchors a solid defensive line, and the secondary is one of the best in the game: CB Brandon Browner, SS Kam Chancellor, and FS Earl Thomas are all Pro Bowl-caliber players. The only real question is whether rookie Bobby Wagner can effectively replace the underrated David Hawthorne, who departed for the Saints. Wagner’s looked capable in the preseason, but I’m still allowed to worry.

So there you are. Unless I’m crazy — and it’s possible because T-Jack is gone he’s gone thank God he’s gone — the Seahawks will be a winning team in 2012, and one that could challenge the 49ers for the division crown (whatever that’s worth in the NFC West). But lest you be tempted to cheer for them, keep in mind that they signed Kellen Winslow. I guess every story needs a villain.

Ufford clearly submitted this write-up before the weekend. With Winslow gone, you can give into your C-HOX cheering temptation, apparently.