On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks faced the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 49. In a game that came down to the wire, the Seahawks suffered a heart-wrenching defeat, losing by a score of 28-24. With that loss, the Seahawks’ season came to a crushing end.
The Seahawks had a chance to go down in history as back-to-back Super Bowl winners — a feat that is becoming increasingly rare in the N.F.L., with the Pats being the last team to accomplish that feat. Russell Wilson would have had two Super Bowls in his first three seasons. It was a promising prospect, and the ‘Hawks had the game in hand. Instead, this game will go down in the history for an entirely different reason: the worst play call in Super Bowl history. With that play, the dynasty talk came to a screeching halt, and the Seahawks will regroup and try to make sense of the disaster that was left on the field.
It was a season in which the Seahawks encountered their fair share of adversity. Despite the changes over the summer, most experts predicted that the ‘Hawks would go deep in the playoffs, again.
The losses of Golden Tate, Brandon Browner, Sidney Rice and Michael Robinson were big. Seattle needed to find a receiver to replace the dynamic Golden Tate. Tate is a special player, and it looked as if a healthy Percy Harvin would be able to take care of this loss of versatility on offense. The loss of Brandon Browner was huge for the ‘Hakws. His physical play allowed the Seahawks to dominate receivers on the left and ride sides of the field The now Super Bowl champion is a big corner who was a pillar of the Legion of Boom.
The Seahawks started the season with a dominating victory over the Green Bay Packers. Prior to their 9-1 run to finish the season, the Seahawks were 3-3 in the early parts of the season. They held victories over the Packers, Broncos, and Redskins; however, they dropped games to the Chargers, Cowboys and Rams.
The defense did not look as synced as it did in the previous season, as there were changes, such as the loss of Brandon Browner. QB Russell Wilson was playing well, but the offense wasn’t as sharp as it was in the previous season. The offense was missing Golden Tate and Sidney Rice, so Russell Wilson had to adjust to some new receivers in his third season, mainly Percy Harvin. Amid rumors of his locker room antics, Percy Harvin did not last long in Seattle, as he was shipped off partway through the season in a shocking trade to the New York Jets. The one constant on offense, however, was Beast Mode. RB Marshawn Lynch had an excellent season, despite some tough defensive matchups.
The Seahawks finished the season with a 9-1 run, with their only loss coming on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. With each win, Seattle’s defense looked as dominant as ever. The 9-1 record, however, was misleading. Out of the teams that Seattle played during that run, none were a true contender or threat. They played two games each against the Cardinals, during the Cards’ quarterback disaster period, as well as the sinking-ship of the Niners. In their first game of the playoffs, they thumped the team that they had started the 9-1 run with: the Carolina Panthers. The first true threat that they faced since the Dallas game came in the NFC Championship, where they played the Packers, and the Packers gave them a run for their money.
The injury bug bit the Seahawks hard this season. Throughout the season, the Seahawks lost for some time TE Zach Miller, C Max Unger, CB Byron Maxwell, LB Bobby Wagner, DT Jordan Hill, FB Derrick Coleman and OT Russell Okung. Heading into the Super Bowl, CB Richard Sherman, as well as safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, all had serious injuries. In the Super Bowl, the Seahawks lost CB Jeremy Lane after his intereception, due to a gruesome injury.
Despite the adversity that the Seahawks faced, they played like true champions. They showed that they are never truly out of a game. They came within inches of being repeat Super Bowl champions, and there is no reason to believe that they can’t get there again.
The Seahawks aren’t in danger of losing many players through free agency, but they will need to re-sign CB Byron Maxwell and G James Carpenter. Maxwell may see significant offers from other teams, so the Seahawks will have to step up and make an offer, or start CB Tharold Simon in his place. It will be interesting to see if they sign restricted free agent wide receivers Jermaine Kearse and Ricardo Lockette to deals, as well as Super Bowl 48 MVP LB Malcolm Smith. The Seahawks have already lost defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to the Falcons. The most likely candidate to replace him will be cornerbacks coach Kris Richards. It will be interesting to see how this change affects the defensive strategy of the juggernaut that Dan Quinn has built.
Seattle’s biggest need this off season is at wide receiver. The emergence of WR Chris Matthews in the Super Bowl may give the Seahawks something to work with next season, but it would help the Seahawks to set their sights on a veteran receiver. A veteran stud receiver could help open up the field for Russell Wilson, and give him confidence to air the ball out. There is a wide variety of good receivers that will be available on the market this offseason, so the ‘Hawks will have plenty to choose from.
Featured Image: Seahawks.com / Rod Mar