The Seattle Seahawks' season came to an end two weekends ago, much earlier than we have become accustomed to in recent years. This was the first time in the Russel Wilson era that the Seahawks have not made the playoffs.
All year, things just didn’t seem the same. Teams were scoring on our defense, we were losing games at home, and could not run the ball effectively. Three things you wouldn’t think of saying during the 2012-2014 seasons.
There were many problems you could point at this season that led to the Seahawks not making playoffs. Those three I mentioned above are some key ones, but even more glaring are the injuries, penalties, and lack of brotherhood we saw for the first time this season.
The Seahawks had key injuries that limited their ability to make some of the plays we are used to seeing them make. Jimmy Graham had a nagging injury that limited his snap count, George Fant didn’t play, as well as the running back position. Chris Carson seemed like he could be the answer at running back, but then broke his leg, Thomas Rawls was hurt occasionally and didn’t produce, Mike Davis looked like he was going to be good and hurt his groin, CJ Prosise couldn’t get on the field.
Defensively, however, was the bigger problem. Star defensive end Cliff Avril, corner Richard Sherman, and safety Kam Chancellor sustained season-ending injuries all around the same time in the middle of the season.
Earl Thomas missed a few games with another tweaked hamstring, as did Bobby Wagner. KJ Wright missed a game with a concussion and other key injuries here and there hit the Hawks hard.
This core group of stars that the Seahawks have had on the defensive side of the ball playing together as a unit for the past five years was all of a sudden in shambles.
Seattle was the highest penalized team in the NFL this year by a large margin. This team has never been extremely disciplined by any means, but the dumb penalties have never been so glaring as they were this year. People getting ejected, Thomas Rawls standing over a player after getting a first down on a drive, Bobby Wagner getting a roughing the passer that kept them on the field.
These penalties cannot happen if this team wants to be back in the playoff picture.
Not only injuries and penalties, but off the field problems as well kept this team from the playoffs.
Thomas made a comment about Bobby Wagner saying Wagner shouldn’t have played the game he was hurt and Wagner told Thomas to keep his name out of his mouth. Thomas went up to Cowboys coach after their game and said, “come get me.” Star defensive lineman Michael Bennett said that he doesn’t see himself returning next year.
All of these things were going on between a team that we have always seen to be brothers on and off the field, always backing each other, and playing great defense as a unit. Head coach Pete Carroll said that he doesn’t know if Avril and Chancellor will ever play football again due to the severity of their neck/spinal injuries.
Combine that with Bennett leaving and Thomas’ conversation with the Cowboys and the 2018 season could bring a completely new looking Seahawk defense. Regardless, if the Seahawks want to make the playoffs and become serious contenders again, they have to get a good offensive line to help protect Russel Wilson, a good, strong running game, and either health on their defense or the brotherhood and determination to be the best back again.
I realize that the Seahawks only missed the playoffs by one win, but without those factors, we could see this Seattle Seahawk team quickly go into a downward spiral in a rising NFC West division.