After further review, we have confirmed that the Seattle Seahawks’ 2019 season was a success.
Back in April, ESPN Seattle reporter Brady Henderson predicted the Seahawks would go 11-5. How they got there looked a little different, but the result was the same and spot on.
An 11-5 season is nothing to stick your nose up at; there were times not that long ago that Seattle fans would have given anything for a season that went that well. Try not to forget that, especially if you’re stuck on how the season ended, which also wasn’t bad.
Say what you will about the officiating in their final playoff game (which admittedly stunk) or the close game that could have gone either way (also true), or even the questionable play-calling that resulted in a slow start in the first half, as they fell behind what became an insurmountable lead. That said, a hard-fought game on the road against the conference’s #2 team that was decided by one score is a respectable end to a really good season.
Seattle finished as a top-8 team and won 67% of its games (regular-season and playoffs combined). Short of making it to the conference championship or the Super Bowl, that’s about as good an ending as you can ask for.
The team had an up-and-down first few games, with close wins made more difficult by turnovers from RB Chris Carson and an overall ineffective run game. QB Russell Wilson and rookie WR DK Metcalf had an almost-instant connection, but defenses keyed on primary receiver Tyler Lockett and forced Wilson to find other options, which routinely became Metcalf or TE Will Dissly. The offense routinely put up points, but their defense also allowed an alarmingly high amount.
The result was a 3-1 record and a showdown with last year’s Super Bowl runner-up, the Los Angeles Rams. Seattle prevailed with a 30-29 victory and was well on its way to establishing itself as a contender in the NFC.
Over the course of their next seven games, the Seahawks did exactly that, earning victories over eventual playoff teams on the road, and participating in and winning two of the best games broadcast on Monday Night Football in recent memory.
By week 14, they were the conference’s #1 seed and led the NFC West by one game with a 10-2 record. Over the next four weeks, with mounting injuries at key positions and pressure on their healthy players, it would all unravel, as they lost to Los Angeles, beat Carolina, and lost back to back games against Arizona and San Francisco to close out the season as the NFC #5 seed, missing their chance to host a playoff game. They would travel to #4 Philadelphia in the wild card round, winning 17-9, with Metcalf posting a Seattle rookie record 160 receiving yards.
The following week they would travel to #2 Green Bay and frigid field conditions, and despite trailing 21-3 at halftime, they would narrowly lose 28-23 as their comeback and upset bid fell just short.
High point: OT victory over San Francisco 11/11/19
This was one of the most thrilling games of the season, and came against the 8-0 49ers on Monday Night Football, at Levi Stadium, with the stands packed with military veterans and their families as the nation celebrated those who have served on Veteran’s Day. Seattle was competitive throughout and could have won in regulation but allowed a late charge from the host team and traded gut-wrenching possessions in overtime before Seattle finally claimed victory.
Low point: losing at home to Arizona in week 16, playing the second half against backup QB (and former Seahawk) Brett Hundley while losing RB Chris Carson to a season-ending injury.
Honorable mention: losing to San Francisco in week 17, after the offense was on the half yard line with less than a minute remaining and trailing by five points. Wilson failed to snap the ball before the play clock expired, and the team was assessed a five-yard penalty. Wilson’s passed to Jacob Hollister on 4th and goal, and Hollister was tackled just short of the goal line, ending their chances at taking the #3 seed and winning the division.
Key losses: Frank Clark (DE) and JR Sweezy (OG), season-ending injuries to Chris Carson (RB) and Will Dissly (TE)
Clark’s departure left a gaping hole on the defensive line but was soon filled by newly signed players below. Clark has done well in his new home in Kansas City, while Sweezy was sorely missed for much of the season as the new-look offensive line struggled to open holes for Carson or allow Wilson time in the pocket. Carson may have been the most unfortunate player lost, as it was not until week 16 and Seattle did not have his backup (Rashaad Penny) who had also been lost to injury the week prior. Dissly’s injury was critical at the time, but the emergence of Jacob Hollister in week 10 somewhat made up for Dissly’s absence as the season wore on.
Key additions: Jadeveon Clowney (DE) and Ezekiel Ansah (DE), D.K. Metcalf (WR)
Clowney was a great add, even if it came at a high price and there is reason to believe he will not return unless he sees Seattle as a Super Bowl team, which they should be seen as since they were a mere stop on defense and a touchdown away from playing San Francisco for a third time and the right to represent the NFC in the biggest game. His relentless motor and constant pressure elevated Seattle’s otherwise lackluster pass rush at key moments in crucial games, and that can’t be forgotten, no matter if he leaves Seattle or not. Ansah was not the answer necessarily but had his share of good games
Metcalf has to be one of the best surprises of the season. A second-round pick who had meniscus surgery in the offseason, Metcalf quickly established himself as a force on the perimeter, finishing just 100 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season. If he stays on this pace, he’ll quickly become one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL.
Best surprise(s): Metcalf’s breakout season, Marshawn Lynch’s return in week 17 and very nearly leading Seattle to victory over San Francisco. The ending of the game was oddly reminiscent of Super Bowl XLIX, with Seattle on the goal line trailing by less than a touchdown, with the clock ticking down and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield.
Biggest letdown: Germain Ifedi and his love of false starts. Ifedi is a competent blocker but doesn’t seem to understand Wilson’s cadence the way you’d like him to. I’d say he should work on this, but after years of it, he might be too far gone. You might be happy to know that Ifedi finished 2nd in false starts in 2019, second to Laremy Tunsil of Houston.