Three best first seasons by head coaches in Seattle Seahawks history

Here is how the three best coaches in Seahawks history fared in their first seasons as head coach.
Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks
Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Seahawks are starting a new era in 2024, with Mike Macdonald now at the helm. Going from the oldest head coach in the NFL, Pete Carroll, to the youngest, Macdonald sets out to provide the Seahawks with new energy. Throughout the history of the Seahawks, they have had three head coaches who won the most. Chuck Knox (80-63, .559 win pct), Mike Holmgren (86-74, .538 win pct), and Pete Carroll (137-89-1, .606 win pct) are the three most successful Seahawks head coaches.

Between these three coaches, they made four AFC/NFC title games, three Super Bowl appearances (one SB win by Pete Carroll in the 2013 season), and 20 playoff appearances. Each of these coaches also finished their Seahawks' coaching careers with winning records. None of the other four coaches in the history of the Seahawks made the playoffs. Jack Patera had two winning seasons (was 9-7 in 1978 and 1979), but Tom Flores, Dennis Erickson, and Jim Mora never had a winning record in Seattle.

Each of these four coaches had losing seasons with the exception of Dennis Erickson, who went (8-8) in his first season at the helm of the Seahawks. Jack Patera went (2-12) in the Seahawks' inaugural season as a franchise. Tom Flores went an abysmal (2-14) in his first season as Seattle's head coach. Jim Mora in his one and only year as the Seahawks' head coach went (5-11). Mike Macdonald is hoping to have better luck in Seattle than any of these Seahawks head coaches did.

Chuck Knox first season as Seahawks head coach

Chuck Knox had an exciting first year as Seattle's head coach. The Seahawks never had a playoff berth prior to the 1983 season. After going 6-6 through 12 games, Knox lead the Seahawks to victories in three of their last four games (finishing the regular season 9-7), earning the Seahawks their first playoff berth. The Seahawks would dominate the Denver Broncos in the Wild Card Round, defeating them 31-7 for Seattle's first-ever playoff win.

Chuck Knox earns signature win in Divisional Round playoff game vs. Miami

Nobody expected the Seahawks to give the Miami Dolphins a game as Seattle went on the road for their Divisional Round playoff game. The Dolphins were big eight-point favorites and were expected to defeat the underdog Seahawks. Miami's team was led by Hall of Fame coach Don Shula who won two Super Bowls with the Dolphins in 1972 and 1973. The Dolphins had made the AFC Championship game in 1982 and were poised to get back to the Super Bowl after a (12-4) regular season.

Chuck Knox and the Cinderella Seahawks would deny the Dolphins a repeat trip to the AFC Title game. As Curt Warner would rush for 113 yards and two touchdowns helping lead the Seahawks to a 27-20 upset win over Don Shula and then rookie QB Dan Marino. The victory would catapult Chuck Knox's career in Seattle. The following season would be one for the record books, as the Seahawks had their best regular season to that point in the franchise's history going (12-4) in 1984.

Mike Holmgren's inaugural season in Seattle

The Mike Holmgren era got off to a hot start in 1999, as the Seahawks would win eight of their first 10 games to start the season. A December swoon would bring the Seahawks back to earth, as they dropped five of their last six games. Seattle would eventually clinch the division on the last day of the season. A 23-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs helped secure a playoff berth in the final regular season game at the Kingdome a week prior. The Seahawks made the playoffs in Holmgren's first year as Seattle's head coach.

The Seahawks would fall to the Miami Dolphins 20-17 in the last game ever played at the Kingdome, in the Wild Card Round. Despite losing in the first round of the playoffs, the 1999 season was a success for the Seahawks. Mike Holmgren guided the Seahawks to their first postseason berth since 1988. The 1999 season was also the first winning season for the Seahawks since 1990. Holmgren became the first Seahawks head coach with a winning record since Chuck Knox was coach.

Mike Holmgren's signature win

Mike Holmgren picked up a statement win, with a 27-7 victory over his former team the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football on November 1st, 1999 (the last time the Seahawks won at Lambeau Field). The game was Holmgren's first against his former team since leaving Green Bay. The Seahawks' defense was dominant that night, as they forced seven turnovers. Shawn Springs had two interceptions and also returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown as Seattle blew out Green Bay.

Pete Carroll's first year as Seahawks Head Coach

Pete Carroll had a tall task taking over a Seahawks team that went 5-11 the previous season under Jim Mora. The Pete Carroll era started off with a bang, as the Seahawks blew out the Niners 31-6 at home in the first game of the 2010 season. The Seahawks then had a few bumps and bruises throughout the year, including a rough stretch of games where they lost five of six games from mid-November through December.

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The Seahawks were able to regroup after losing three straight games in December, to beat the Rams 16-6 in their final regular season game. Winning on Sunday Night Football in a game that decided the winner of the NFC West. The Seahawks' win over the Rams guaranteed them a home playoff game in the Wild Card Round against the defending champions the New Orleans Saints. The Seahawks became the first team to win their division and make the playoffs with a losing record of 7-9.

Pete Carroll's signature win

When the Seahawks played the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card Round, no one thought Seattle had a chance to win. The Seahawks came into the game as 10-point underdogs against the defending champs. The Seahawks' offense came alive in this one, as they put up 41 points against the Saints' defense. Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown run known as the "Beast Quake" would help seal the deal, as the Seahawks went on to defeat the Saints 41-36.

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