Putting A Bow On Seattle Seahawks’ Wild Season

Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson runs past Green Bay Packers' Kenny Clark for a first down during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer) ORG XMIT: WIMG135

The last few weeks were very interesting for Seattle Seahawks fans.

If you took your glasses off, or put on a blindfold and just listened, it felt almost like the good old days of a few years ago.

The Seahawks were right in the mix for one of the top seeds in the NFC, almost right up until the end.

A certain former running back was, improbably, back on the team. A getting of the band back together, so to speak.

You had vintage Russell Wilson, more or less, doing Russell Wilson-like things. The aforementioned running back, Marshawn Lynch, was bouncing around and making people miss out of the backfield. His hair was flying this way and that. He was running into people, then running around them. He even launched himself over the pile and into the end zone, at least once.

And then, in the first weekend of the playoffs, that team from New England, responsible for that play from a few years ago that shall not be mentioned, was vanquished. Disposed of with alacrity by a team, the Tennessee Titans, that most weren’t even paying attention to.

The New Orleans Saints also lost that first weekend.

Psychically speaking, everything was set up for Seattle to wipe away a few years of history. To right wrongs and injustices. To reunite a coach, a running back, and a quarterback who were supposed to conquer the world together, over and over again. To make it seem like this decade included 2013 and 2014, but then jumped right to 2019.

But then reality hit at Lambeau Field. That place where sailing ships and sealing wax often run aground of reality.

It felt like removing the blindfold. Putting your glasses back on. Maybe downing a nice stiff cup of coffee.

Beast Mode, for all his attributes, quotable press conferences and past accomplishments, was not the savior we had hoped he would be.

To paraphrase the ending of Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises: Yeah, but wasn’t it fun to think so?

It sure was. Skittles were flying off the shelves at stores throughout the Pacific Northwest. People were coming in to work on Monday, loud and proud. They were celebrating Blue Fridays as though they were some kind of weekly federal holiday. There were probably a few people walking around muttering “I’m all about that action, boss,” as if that statement carried the same relevancy today that it once did.

What we now know is that losing your first-, second-, and third-seed running backs during the regular season, as Seattle did, is not something most teams recover from. Not even ones who can call up out of retirement, one of their greatest players ever in Lynch.

And having a defense that couldn’t get off the field at key points, especially against the Green Bay Packers, is not a formula for success at the highest levels.

Sure, Jadeveon Clowney added something on the defensive line that sort of made up for a secondary that didn’t have the same shutdown qualities of yesteryear.

And now the Seahawks will likely do everything in their power to hold on to Clowney, who is a free agent, though that is by no means a certitude for next season.

The world of the NFC looks very different than we thought it would—than we wanted it to.

The 12th Man will have to sit idly by this weekend and watch two teams it lost to in recent weeks—the 49ers and the Packers—duke it out. The Niners look like the better of the two teams and will be playing on their relatively new home field against a Packers team they’ve already rolled once this season. (Don’t expect a repeat of that game; lightning rarely strikes twice, at least in the NFL. Expect something much tighter and more competitive).

Speaking of Seahawks former greats with long, bouncing hair, San Francisco has one in its secondary. His name rhymes with Pritchard Berman. He could very well add another piece of jewelry to his collection. And that, for Seattle, has got to hurt more than a little.

But such is the life of a sports fan. And as with life, it must go on. You won’t see the Seahawks do a tent fold job and pack it up for good.

Not as long as Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson are here.

But motivational speeches and tactics only go so far.

What improvement tools do they have at their disposal?

Well, there’s the draft, free agency, and coaching and scheme changes. Expect some mixture of all of these.

There will also be flowers and green grass growing again outside.

One thing we’ve learned is that you can never go home again. Someone might have said that once before.

Whatever they do, they will have to do it in a new way. Likely with younger players. Faces and moves and plays we’ve never seen.

That, if nothing else, should get everyone excited for the future.

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About Paul Redman 122 Articles
Paul Redman is a writer and chef in Seattle who grew up in the Midwest. His work has appeared in print and online, including San Francisco magazine, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Contrary. He eats too many chicken wings and cracks way too many dad jokes and food puns. Follow him on Twitter @predman.