Seahawks put it together under Holmgren, Hasselbeck and Alexander
Too late for the spoiler alert. Then again, the game took place 13 years ago, so you’ve had plenty of time. How the Seahawks got to the game may be a better story than the game itself, unfortunately. While Chuck Knox got off to a great start with Seattle, injuries to Curt Warner and the retirement of Steve Largent took their toll. After three losing seasons, Knox left the team. HIs replacements fared no better, though. After seven years of utter mediocrity under two head coaches, the Seahawks hired the man who would prove to be their best coach, up to that time.
Mike Holmgren joined the Seahawks in 1999, and immediately had them back in the playoffs. This was Seattle’s first playoff trip in ten years. Holmgren was a huge hire, as he never had a losing season with the Green Bay Packers. He took them to the playoffs in every year but his first, and won one Super Bowl, lost another. So it wasn’t too surprising that he got Seattle into the playoffs so soon.
The Hawks would slip back for a few years, but Holmgren had them back in the post-season party in 2003. In his third year as a starter, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck led the Seattle offense to their first 400 point season. The slashing runs of Shaun Alexander were instrumental to the team’s success. Much like 2018, the Seahawks were very much a run-first offense. The difference is that the runs were almost exclusively Alexander.
An aside about the great Shaun Alexander. As you may remember, the Hawks only ran the ball 409 times in 2017, up from 403 in 2016. From 2001 through 2005, Alexander averaged 331 carries himself. His peak was the ridiculous sum of 370 runs in his spectacular 2005 season. That wrecked his career, as he only appeared in 27 games over the next three years, and had over 250 carries once. Please avoid the temptation to run Chris Carson 300 times, Pete.