Well, the Seattle Seahawks’ crazy and exhilarating season finally came to its conclusion Sunday.
In what felt like an appropriate ending to a topsy-turvy campaign, the Seahawks played yet another crazy game against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoff round, rallying from an 18-point halftime deficit before finally falling 28-23 at Lambeau Field.
I know emotions are still raw, but now that the season has ended it’s time to hand out a grade.
The Seahawks finished the regular season 11-5 and in second place in the NFC West, earning the NFC’s first wild-card berth into the playoffs. Seattle was 11-3 and in control of its own destiny for earning a first-round playoff bye, but home losses to Arizona and San Francisco to end the season dropped the Seahawks into a wild-card game — Seattle came just one inch short of beating the 49ers to claim the division title and earn a home wild-card game. The Seahawks topped Philadelphia 17-9 on the road in the first round of the playoffs before bowing out to the Packers.
If one were grading strictly on entertainment value the Seahawks would get an A+. This was the season when one could never leave one’s seat when watching a Seattle game, no matter how lopsided the score might be.
Seattle was the team that just found ways to win. The Seahawks tied an NFL record with 10 victories by a single score. Seattle had three games (L.A. Rams, Cleveland, Tampa Bay) when it mounted fourth-quarter comebacks to win and four games (New Orleans, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Green bay) where it got itself back into contention after trailing by two touchdowns or more.
But the Seahawks also weren’t very good at handling prosperity, letting bad teams like Atlanta and Carolina back into games after building 20-point leads and having to hang on at the end. This was a team that played to the level of its competition.
The biggest reason for Seattle’s ability to win the close ones was Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ quarterback finally received the MVP consideration he’s deserved for some time now, finishing 341-for-516 for 4,110 yards with 31 touchdowns versus just five interceptions. With Wilson leading the way Seattle’s offense finished ninth in the NFL in scoring and eighth in yardage, despite still being a run-heavy team in what’s become a passing league. When games were close late, Wilson could be depended upon to make plays to win it for Seattle. In case there was any lingering doubt, this is truly Wilson’s team now.
And it has to be, because Seattle’s once-great defense has finally sunk into the bottom half of the league. The Seahawks, who led the league in scoring defense every year from 2012-15, finished 22nd in the league in scoring defense and 26th in yards allowed. The biggest culprit was the pass rush which, despite the addition of Jadeveon Clowney, too often was unable to get pressure on the opposing passer — Seattle finished tied for 29th in the league with 28 sacks and 28th in quarterback pressure percentage at 19.3 percent.
All of this coming from the context of a team picked by most to be middle-of-the-pack before the season began.
So having stepped off this Disneyland-like roller coaster ride, what grade do you give the Seahawks for their 2019 season? Let us know here: