It may be easy to look at both Seattle and Miami and know why Matt Flynn decided to take his talents to the Pacific Northwest, however from an unbiased opinion it may be a little different. Both teams were fairly close on their offensive rating in the 2011 season (Miami placed 20th overall and Seattle not to far behind at 22nd). Both have talent in the backfield for a decent ground game (Reggie Bush in Miami and Marshawn Lynch in Seattle). Miami even had Joe Philbin, Flynn’s old offensive coordinator, but that still wasn’t enough to catch the second most sought after quarterback in the free agency, next to Peyton Manning of course. I want to try and point out a few reasons as to why Flynn picked Seattle over Miami purely on the statistics I have found.
#1. Peyton Manning. Miami put all of their eggs in to the Manning sweepstakes trying to lure him into to playing in South Beach. In doing so they gave away the best player on their team. Which leads us to….
#2. Two words, Brandon Marshall. Releasing him to the Bears may have been the biggest loss in both Manning and the Flynn lottery this year. Marshall was Miami’s top rated wide receiver and arguably the best player on the team. I feel this was a huge reason why Manning and Flynn pulled the ‘Fins out of the quarterback race.
#3. Weapons. Without Marshall The ‘Fins lack a great passing offense. Bush will have to carry a lot of the load himself and Flynn may not have time to find receivers open causing him to hold the ball too long and make mistakes. Seattle has a bag full of hot receivers including a Pro Bowl tight end to pick up blocks and has good hands (Zach Miller). Flynn will have more options to spread the ball around the field.
#4. Defense. It’s comforting for a quarterback to know that his defense can turn the ball around and give it back to his offense quickly. Seattle was ranked in the top ten defenses of 2011( #9), while Miami sat just over the top 10 (#12). With new comer Jones and returning defender Bryant, there is a lot to look forward to on the other side of the ball as well.
#5. Fan base. Seattle’s fan base is undeniably loyal, though we will be the first to throw a quarterback under the bus if does not pan out. However the 12th Man is an important weapon to have at home and I’m sure a definite confidence booster (or destroyer).
Flynn also has ties with the front office in Schneider, the man who originally picked him in the 7th round for the Packers in 2008. Many doubted that Matt would come back to Seattle after flying to Miami that Saturday morning and felt we let him slip through our grasp. John and Pete both had discussed “Not panicking” when it came to the quarterback selection, that it could set the franchise back “several years.” Signing Flynn at 26 Million with 10 million guaranteed is a great deal for both parties. In case Flynn turns out to be a bad gamble, the league will not lose out as much as a “Kolb” type deal. I, personally, find it hard to believe that a guy, who in his first two starts, broke franchise records against solid teams (2010 Pats and 2011 Lions) won’t be the guy to take us to a Championship. It will take time, but after it does, Flynn will be a break out to watch in Seattle.