Hawks season ends short of Another Super Bowl

Seahawks get ready for offseason earlier than hoped

February 8, 2017

The NFL season has been up and down for every franchise including the AFC Champion New England Patriots and the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons. The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the more “hot and cold” teams this year.

According to Footballocks.com, the Seahawks, at the beginning of the season, were tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Patriots with eight to one odds to win Super Bowl 51. Even with their odds topping the NFL, the Seahawks chance at a fourth Super Bowl appearance in their history ended in the divisional playoffs against the NFC second-seeded Atlanta Falcons, 36-20.

Seattle has been a part of the NFL for 40 seasons winning 10 division titles, three conference championships, and a victory in Super Bowl 48.

Since the realignment in 2002, the Seahawks have had their most successful run in their tenure. The Seahawks earned a playoff spot in 10 seasons going 13-10. Consistency has been a trait of Seattle’s with a regular season record of 137-102-1.

In 2005, the Seahawks finished with a team best 13-3 record earning them homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. After a dominant performance in the NFC championship against the Panthers, the Seahawks next opponent was the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 40.

Hype surrounded the 40th anniversary of the Super Bowl. The game is considered one of the worst Super Bowls in history due to its officiating controversy (ranked 39th on NFL.com). Pittsburgh won the game, 21-10, with many fans and analysts blaming the referees for Seattle’s loss.

Bill Levy was the head ref for the game. In 2010, Levy spoke about the game and how he has handled the criticism.

“It was tough for me. I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game and as an official you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights and I think about it constantly. I’ll go to my grave wishing that I’d been better.”

Seattle’s struggles continued until 2010 when USC head coach Pete Carroll was hired to be the next coach of the Seahawks. Carroll brought a defensive mindset to Seattle and began creating what would be one of the most dominate defenses in NFL history.

Carroll’s defense made history in 2013 becoming the first team since the ’85 Bears to lead the league in yards, points, and turnovers. Along with second year quarterback Russell Wilson and All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks ran rough shot over the NFL to earn an appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII. Their opponent would be the Denver Broncos whose offense in 2013 scored more points than any team in NFL history.

The first play of the Super Bowl was a bad snap by Broncos center Manny Ramirez that flew past Peyton Manning into the end zone, resulting in a safety for the Seahawks. It took 12 seconds for Seattle to get the lead and they never gave it up. Seattle’s defense gave a performance for the ages forcing four turnovers and holding the NFL’s No. 1 offense to a measly eight points.

ESPN reporter and analyst Stephen A. Smith gave his take on the game.

“I was dead wrong because I thought somehow someway Peyton Manning would be able to figure them out. They got punked. Seattle’s defense is lethal.”

The Seahawks dominated Super Bowl 48, 43-8, earning the first world championship in Seahawks history.

Coming into the 2014 season, the question surrounding Seattle was if the Seahawks can repeat as champions.

Early season struggles slowed the Seahawks chances of the playoffs. Seattle fixed their issues quickly getting them back on top of the NFC with a record of 12-4 and for the second season in the row, homefield advantage.

Seattle defeated the Green Bay Packers in one of the greatest comeback performances in championship history, 28-22 in overtime. Seattle was going back to the Super Bowl for back-to-back seasons.

Super Bowl 49 featured the two most successful teams since 2012, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Super Bowl 49 (ranked the third best on NFL.com) was a slugfest for all four quarters.

The Seahawks jumped ahead to a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter. Seattle’s offense stalled for most of the fourth whereas New England’s offense had their best quarter of the season. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 13 of 15 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns featuring a three-yard completion to Julian Edelman with 2:06 remaining.

Down four with two minutes to go, Seattle’s offense regained their rhythm from earlier in the game. The Seahawks drove all the way down to the Patriots five to have a first and goal with a minute to go. Running back Marshawn Lynch was near unstoppable for the game with 102 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. On first and goal, Lynch ran the ball down to the one yard line.

All that stood between the Seahawks and a second Super Bowl victory in a row was one yard. With 24 seconds remaining, Russell Wilson threw an interception at the goal line to Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler to lose the game, 28-24. Color commentator, Cris Collinsworth, was stunned.

“I’m sorry but I can’t believe the call. You’ve got Marshawn Lynch in your backfield. You’ve got a guy that’s boarder line unstoppable in this part of the field. I can’t believe the call.”

In their three Super Bowl appearances, Seattle has proven that to be champions, everything must fall into place exactly right. Sports analysts can look at the Seahawks as the team that was one yard short of back-to-back titles, or the team that gave the most dominant performance in Super Bowl history in 2013. The Seahawks represent the city of Seattle well. Bold, young, and destined to be on top again.

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