The Seattle Seahawks have been playing professional football since 1976, and yet I can’t help but think of them as an expansion team.
Nothing about this team has a classic feel to it, and what do I mean by that? I don’t know; I’m in a very vague and unfair mood. But Nate Burleson managed to sneak onto the 35th anniversary team, so when I say that their history isn’t “storied” I don’t think anyone is going to argue with me. But despite my perception, this has been one of the NFL’s recent success stories. I don’t say that based on record alone as despite pockets of success this has not been a dominant team for long stretches of time, but in the sense that Seattle has fully embraced this team. According to ESPN.com 99.1% of the seats were filled at CenturyLink Field in 2011, and quietly (or loudly as it were) they find themselves with one of the best home field advantages in all of pro sports. Supposedly the decibel level is higher at their home stadium than in several NFL domes.
The Seahawks have to look back at 2011 and feel simultaneously discouraged and encouraged. The narrative early in the season was that the NFC was so stacked that you could win 11 games and possibly not make it into the playoffs. But as the season went on, and more teams began to falter, it became apparent that the bar was not going to be set that high. The Seahawks started 2-6 in the first half and then finished 5-3. If they could have found a way to win a few close games earlier in the season they very well could have snuck into the playoffs. Just the same, if you are a Seahawks fan you have to feel good about how they finished. Marshawn Lynch looked to be the most dominant and intimidating runner in football, and the defense looked significantly better down the stretch. Throw in Matt Flynn this year (or more importantly, subtract Tarvaris Jackson) and much like the other teams in this division, there is a lot of optimism going into the season.
So get out your rain ponchos and skittles, this is your Seattle Seahawks Retrospective!
Team Highlight: In week 13 the Seahawks got the national stage on Thursday Night Football against the Eagles and they did not disappoint. Marshawn Lynch was all, “I will not be tackled!” and the Eagles were all “Pretty much”. The Seahawks defense forced four turnovers from Vince Young and held DeSean Jackson to one catch for five yards. It was a game that went a long way towards ending the Eagles Wild Card hopes, while at the same time started to make Seahawk fans believe that maybe a late season playoff rally was possible.
Team Lowlight: Week 2 seemed almost doomed from the start. A week earlier the Steelers were embarrassed by their biggest rival Baltimore and came into their home opener more than cranky. The Seahawks were shutout and held to 164 total yards. It was already becoming apparent that the signing of Tarvaris Jackson was just as awful as it sounded. Even on a day where he was relatively efficient (20 for 29) and didn’t turn the ball over the Seahawks still were unable to accomplish anything on offense because he couldn’t push the ball down the field. There wasn’t a QB controversy because I think deep down everyone knew he’d just get hurt eventually.
Team MVP: With the exception of Shady McCoy, this was probably the easiest non QB MVP choice in all the retrospectives I’ve written so far. Marshawn Lynch had 1200 yards, 12 touchdowns, and ran as hard as any back in the league.
Needs: After the signing of Matt Flynn, maybe the most primary concern the team has is finding a way to get pressure on the QB. Last season Chris Clemons was the only player who could accomplish this. He had 11 sacks and the rest of the team barely had over 20 combined. They haven’t addressed this in free agency, so look for them to do something about it in the draft. Also, Marcus Trufant is gone and good corners don’t grow on trees. This is good, because if I was on a walk and I saw that tree…I think that’d really freak me out. If the Seahawks want to be a serious contender in the West they’ll probably have to address this need in free agency as counting on a rookie corner as a starter is a dicey proposition.
What’s a Seahawk Fan Drinking These Days: I called a thousand people from Seattle* and the answer seems to be “The Happy Hawaiian”. For this drink you’ll need Bailey’s, pineapple juice, and coffee liqueur. It’s the kind of fancy drink that’ll really go down smooth as you are celebrating the someday legendary Matt Flynn to Doug Baldwin connection.
* = he actually google searched “coffee booze drink”
Jango scale of sca…WE INTERRUPT THIS NORMAL FEATURE TO SHOW YOU THE NEW SEAHAWK JERSEYS OMG!
Entirely Too Early Prediction for 2012: As a huge Packer fan, I’m not completely sold on the acquisition of Matt Flynn for Seattle. He has only started two regular season games and he is used to being surrounded with far superior weapons than Seattle has at the wide receiver position. That being said, he is obviously an upgrade over Jackson. Just the same, I think Seattle will have another 7-9 season while they work the kinks out.
Come back tomorrow when we end our retrospectives with the division champion 49ers!