The Seattle Seahawks went from back-to-back Super Bowls to a 9-7 non-playoff team in 2017. What the heck happened?
Let’s flash back to the Seahawks of 2012.
The Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, Jeremy Lane and JR Sweezy. Plus, Seattle acquired Marshawn Lynch the previous year for a 2012 5th-round pick. Bleacher Report gave that draft class an ‘F’, the only team to get that failing grade.
The crazy thing is a lot of people agreed, myself included. The Seahawks took a chance on a lot of guys nobody wanted. Pete Carroll and John Schneider had a plan, and that plan involved building a team with a huge chip on their shoulder.
Russell Wilson was ‘too small’. Marshawn Lynch was ‘a liability’. Richard Sherman was a receiver in college, and was passed up in five rounds before the Seahawks gave him a chance. Kam Chancellor was also ignored until the fifth round. Doug Baldwin wasn’t even drafted. Hell, Brandon Browner was playing in Canada. I could go on and on, but the point of mentioning all this is to explain why these guys were so good.
They had something to prove. They had a chip on their shoulder.
That team of misfits went on to make the playoffs in 2012, and came within one defensive stop away from making it to the NFC Championship game.
But they still didn’t get the respect they craved.
Fast forward one year to 2013, the greatest year in Seattle Seahawks history. That team went 13-3, won the NFC and obliterated Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to win their first-ever Super Bowl.
In 2014, the Seahawks had another great year. They won the NFC again at 12-4, including that memorable comeback against Green Bay. They came one yard away from winning their second straight Lombardi Trophy when Malcolm Butler crushed all our hopes and dreams. Did that interception cause Seattle’s fall from greatness?
No. Saying one play derailed the Seattle Seahawks is asinine, but I hear it all the time. Calling a pass play at the one yard-line was a horrific idea, but it didn’t cause their fall from the top.
The Seahawks stopped being great when they lost their chip on their shoulder.
Russell Wilson got paid and married a celebrity. Richard Sherman got paid. Kam Chancellor got paid. All these misfits nobody wanted gained the respect they craved so badly. They didn’t lose their talents; they lost their drive to prove the doubters wrong. Nobody doubted them anymore; they had already proven their worth. They all became complacent.
This is exactly why I am optimistic about this 2018 Seahawks team. They are hungry again. Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin should’ve both been day-one draft picks. Chris Carson was a seventh round pick. The Patriots let Justin Coleman go for a seventh round pick. Everybody is doubting the offensive line. Everyone is doubting the secondary.
The chip is back.
These Seahawks want to win, and they want to prove their doubters wrong. And we are all here to witness it.