The Seattle Seahawks’ 2017 season came to an unfamiliar early end Sunday. Seattle’s 26-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field assured the Seahawks would miss the playoffs for the first time since 2011, though Seattle’s fate was sealed moments earlier by the Atlanta Falcons’ 22-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers to clinch the NFC’s final wild-card berth.
It was a turbulent season for the Seahawks. Seattle was expected to be among the favorites to reach the Super Bowl when the season began. However, the Seahawks had an up-and-down campaign, finishing 9-7. Not only did Seattle’s five-year streak of making the playoffs come to an end, so did the team’s five-year streak of posting double-digit wins.
The biggest issue for Seattle was injuries on defense. Three Pro Bowl-caliber players — cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril — suffered season-ending injuries. As a result, Seattle’s usually dominating defense finished tied for 13th in the NFL in points allowed per game at 20.8. The Seahawks ranked third in the league last season and led the NFL in the category the previous four years.
Meanwhile, Seattle’s offense was inconsistent. The running game never came around as the Seahawks finished 23rd in the league in rushing yards per game at 101.8, with no running back gaining more than 240 yards. The offense became far too dependent on quarterback Russell Wilson, and by the end of the season that formula was no longer working.
So where do the Seahawks go from here? Seattle has some key players who become free agents this offseason, but for the most part the core players remain under contract for 2018. Should the Seahawks choose, they can take another stab at it with roughly the same roster with the belief that 2017 was an anomaly.
However, Seattle’s roster is aging, and the injuries suffered in 2017 may now be more the rule rather than the exception for those core players who are now coming up on 30 years old. Avril may be forced to retire because of his neck injury, while the Seahawks may have to make hard decisions with regards to Chancellor and Sherman. Even defensive stars who weren’t injured, like free safety Earl Thomas and defensive end Michael Bennett, were questioning whether they’d be retained by Seattle.
Should the Seahawks keep the team intact, should they blow it up and start over? Have your say here: