The Seattle Seahawks finished up their preseason campaign 4-0 with a comprehensively meaningless 17-13 win over the Oakland Raiders. Which means it’s football time now (next Sunday). Real football time! (In just over a week!)

As we and the Seahawks join together and embark on yet another Journey Towards The Center Of Insufferability, it’s worth pausing to acknowledge the hellscape of a world we live in. The NFL is an often miserable organization that conspires to keep decent players with decent politics unemployed, while struggling (and frankly failing) to deal with the violence of the game both on and off the field. It sucks. And in a time when everything sucks, it still sucks when sports suck too.

And while the Seahawks are loaded with good players with good politics (Michael Bennett, Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett, Russell Wilson, Justin Britt, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Michael Bennett, Michael Bennett), they are not immune from these larger forces. They didn’t sign Colin Kaepernick even though their backups behind Wilson are noted vagabond Austin Davis and someone who has been outplayed by Austin Davis. And they did add Tremaine Brock to the team, meaning that the vaunted Seahawks defense has two players in Brock and Frank Clark who are alleged to have violated the team’s zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence.

That’s all true. Also true? Football is fun to watch and the Seahawks remain really good at it. Whether that’s enough for you to stay engaged in this political climate… well I don’t blame you either way. But for those of you who are engaged, let’s break down where the team stands right now heading into a week one showdown with the Packers at Lambeau Field that is already giving me hives:

When we last left the Seahawks they were losing to the Atlanta Falcons, who went on to do us the kindness of losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl in truly horrific fashion. That version of the Seahawks was pretty good, and still managed to win a playoff game for the fifth straight season. Frankly though, its Super Bowl hopes were devastated by the loss of safety Earl Thomas to a broken leg.

As we pick up with the Seahawks in the present Earl Thomas’ leg works, and he hit the hell out of some dudes this preseason. The first time it happened I dove behind my couch in a sort of full body cringe, fearing the absolute worst. But when Thomas popped back up, fine, all at once I realized this year’s Seahawks team could be really, really good. The secondary as a whole should be excellent with Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Sherman joined by a competent backup safety in Bradley McDougald and a few new options at cornerback including Brock, reacquisition Justin Coleman and rookie Shaquill Griffin. It’s also easy to forget, but linebacking corps also remains excellent with All-Pro Bobby Wagner and noted screen whisperer KJ Wright.

The defensive line lost its top new addition Malik McDowell to a profoundly unfortunate ATV accident that may cost him his entire rookie year. Despite that bit of awfulness, you can look at Clark’s development, rookie Naz Jones, the newly acquired Sheldon Richardson (HOLY CRAP WE JUST ADDED SHELDON RICHARDSON!) and the continued presence of Bennett and Cliff Avril and feel confident that opposing quarterbacks will be harried frequently. Bennett got locked up for a while this offseason, which is great because he’s the best both on the field and off. Except for when he jumps offsides. Hopefully he’ll do that less this year (he won’t, but I’ll still love him all the same).

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Outside of the Thomas injury that left the Seahawks pass defense looking like some sort of Seahawks pass defense from the Brian Russell era (real heads remember), the Seahawks only real weakness last year was the offensive line. Surely that’s improved right?

Um… no. The offensive line is… well… it’s still bad. Center Justin Britt (who seems unlikely to unblock me on Twitter anytime soon now that he’s gotten really good at blocking outside of Twitter) is good, and received a contract extension despite the Seahawks’ strange prior unwillingness to keep their good linemen. The left side of the line looked to be in place with newly acquired Luke Joeckel and George Fant comprising a competent duo… but then Fant went down with a torn ACL in a meaningless game and things got problematic.

Right now the line from left to right looks to be Rees Odhiambo, Joeckel, Britt, Oday Aboushi and Gemain Ifedi. That’s… again… not good. Odhiambo looked competent in limited preseason action, but when pressed into duty last year in the playoffs he was a catastrophe. Meanwhile Ifedi has looked largely bad this preseason. And without Odhiambo on the bench, it’s pretty shallow behind the starters. Mark Glowinski (who may still start at right guard) and top rookie Ethan Pocic are capable backups. After them it gets very very bad very quickly. And that’s too bad because…

The rest of the offense looks deep. If anything it’s too deep. After last year’s Troymaine Pope situation (Young Pope you left us too soon), we now have the Chris Carson situation at running back. The team went out and got Eddie Lacy to complement Thomas Rawls and CJ Prosise this offseason. That’s a pretty good trio. But then they brought in Chris Carson with a seventh round draft pick and, well, he’s made things interesting.

Carson looks to be a physical and shifty runner. He is quick and powerful. He can catch passes, and he didn’t emerge from nowhere; he was really good on some pretty good Oklahoma State teams. Pete Carroll was excited about him post-draft, even grading on the Pete Carroll Excitement scale (which for reference sake goes from “drank too much coffee” to “shot of adrenaline to the heart.”) Carson should make the team alongside the aforementioned trio at this point… the question is whether he starts stealing carries from the supposed stars of the team sooner or later.

The pass catching crew is deep as well. Doug Baldwin quietly has blossomed into a true superstar wide receiver, a player whose route running is on par with anyone in the league not named Antonio Brown. Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett are both explosive playmakers and constant injury risks, but as long as one of them is playing the capacity for the offense to explode is there. Jimmy Graham looks fully recovered from his knee injury in 2015, and is coming off of a strangely underrated season. Graham was really good last year despite having his knee absolutely shredded. This year he could be dominant. And then behind those stars is a crew of really solid players. It’s unclear how this will all shake out; Kasen Williams stood out the most this preseason, and Jermaine Kearse has been shipped off (again HOLY CRAP WE ADDED SHELDON RICHARDSON), but there’s a whole host of players who have flashed.

What else, what else? Steven Hauschka is gone after years of providing the team with great kicking (and then last year when he forgot how to make extra points) and has been replaced by Blair Walsh, about whom the less we talk about the past the better. Walsh was once very good. Hopefully he will be again. Nothing else need be said. Nothing.

What else…

Oh yeah, the most important thing for a football team: the Seahawks have a great quarterback! Russell Wilson had his first injury plagued year as a pro last season, but looks to be fully healthy. He put up the best preseason numbers in the league this year, and if he can avoid getting hammered behind this offensive line, has the potential to be one of the four or so best passers in the league.

Which is to say, we Seahawks fans are really lucky. For those of us who choose to stick with football despite its cultural shortcomings, it’s a hell of a reward to have a team this good and fun to root for. Since Pete Carroll and John Schneider came to Seattle in 2010 the team has been consistently relevant and exciting. Some fan bases are lucky to get a playoff run every half decade. We get one every year. The world is shit, but the Seahawks aren’t. So if things go as well as they could (and week one at Green Bay… well it might not start right away…) get insufferable again. Because this Seahawks team could very much win another Super Bowl.