This week, a lot of Seahawks fans are left wondering “what to do next?” following Seattle’s 42-7 loss to the Rams. It’s not hard to understand why a 35-point loss would prompt many to ask for changes — regardless of the injuries affecting the Seahawks, losing a few starters wouldn’t be nearly as painful if they had managed to draft more quality backups in the last five years — but what makes days like Sunday stand out aren’t that the Seahawks sometimes get blown out.
It’s that the Seahawks never get blown out. It’s not unusual for a team to lose by 30 points, it’s unusual for a team to go 5-6 years without getting blown out.
Of course, Seattle has lost a few games in recent history by double digits, including in the playoffs. They were straight up immune to games they didn’t at least have a chance to win in the final minutes from 2012 to 2014, but even from 2015 and on, the Seahawks kept themselves in contention every week up until a 38-10 loss to the Packers last December. But that game was in Lambeau, not at home. That loss dropped Seattle to 8-3-1, this one basically ended their season.
Nothing has felt as “warning sign: danger ahead” as Sunday’s loss, but that’s also a fact worth beholding for a few moments: The Seahawks haven’t had a day or week this bad since the middle of 2011, a span of six years and seven seasons. That’s amazing. That’s rare. That’s worthy of a moment of remembrance if this is indeed the first time Seattle will miss the playoffs since Russell Wilson became the quarterback.
Consider how lucky that is.
The Cleveland Browns have lost 29 of their last 30 games.
The Jacksonville Jaguars just ended a 10-year playoff drought.
The Buffalo Bills have an 18-year playoff drought right now that they’re trying to end with a wild card berth.
The Indianapolis Colts thought they were much better set after the 2012 draft than the Seahawks were, and seven seasons later we see who the clear winner was and the Colts are starting over again.
Bears, Giants, 49ers, Lions, Bengals — You know how this game continues already. There are so many franchises that are painful to follow, and the Seattle franchise has provided consistently entertaining, competitive, historical, winning football for basically all of the Pete Carroll era. And even now, as low as so many people feel about the team and the franchise, they aren’t officially eliminated from the playoffs. With two weeks left. The Seahawks won’t even finish below .500 and when they were healthy, Seattle had a very clear path to another postseason appearance.
This is as bad as it has gotten in six or seven years, and that should tell you just how good it has been for like the last 72 straight months. So thank you.
Thank you for Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright, Jimmy Graham, Marshawn Lynch, and Troymaine Pope. Thank you for great wins, thank you for tough wins, thank you for wins that I regretted even watching, thank you for hail mary wins people despite you for, and thank you for all of the losses that very nearly could have been wins.
Thank you for winning one Super Bowl, and thank you for losing another Super Bowl, that at least crystalizes that team in a memory that will go on for decades; sometimes it’s better to be on the bad side of history than to be forgotten by history. “The Packers did what in the NFC Championship? Uhhh… cool.”
This post is also in no way a eulogy to the Seahawks window of opportunity. There’s no way that a team could beat the Eagles by 14 points just two weeks before they suddenly needed to be in “rebuild mode.” Seattle may need to re-think a few philosophies, re-tool a few positions, and replace a few players, but they are also still returning at least four guys next year who look like mid-career Hall of Famers. Four. And those four might not even be the same four for all people. This is simply a post about being grateful, not because I think the grave’s full.
Thank you for years of avoiding weeks like this one. It would be insane to not forgive a team for getting blown out, but you’ve managed to make it easy to forget what it feels like to get blown out. Thank you.