The Russell Wilson-quarterbacked Seattle Seahawks have had a lot of success against the Bill Belichick-coached New England Patriots. At least during the regular season.
Belichick is arguably the greatest coach in NFL history. During his 20-plus years as head coach of the Patriots he’s accumulated the most Super Bowl victories (six) and the most Super Bowl appearances (nine) in league history, while his 274 career victories ranks third behind just Don Shula and George Halas. And yet, since Wilson entered the league in 2012, the Seahawks and Patriots have played one another three times during the regular season and Seattle won all three times (we won’t talk about a certain Super Bowl XLIX).
Every time the teams played was a nail-biting game that came down to the wire. The most recent example was last Sunday, when the Seahawks made a goal-line stop on the game’s final play to preserve a 35-30 victory.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to weigh in on the Seahawks-Patriots rivalry, specifically asking which of the three regular season meetings between Wilson’s Seahawks and Belichick’s Patriots Seattle fans enjoyed most.
POLL: Which Seahawks-Patriots game from the Russell Wilson/Bill Belichick era is your favorite as a Seattle fan? Full context, including an overview of the games, here: https://t.co/KEUCkwYQeR
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) September 21, 2020
Add together the results from the poll posted on twitter and the results from the poll posted on the blog and it’s a three-way horse race. Last Sunday’s game received the most votes at 37%, but that was just a smidgen more than the 2012 game, which took in 36% of the votes, and the 2016 game wasn’t far behind at 26%.
So it seems that all these games are remembered fondly by Seahawks fans. That makes a lot of sense. Any victory over what’s considered the NFL’s evil empire is going to be cherished.
I’m a little surprised the 2012 game didn’t receive the most votes. That game played such an important role in shaping the Seahawks into the model franchise they are today. When Pete Carroll took over as head coach of the team in 2010, he was hardly a sure bet to succeed. Yes, he built a college dynasty at USC, but he was considered a failure in his previous stint in the NFL (coincidentally as head coach of the Patriots immediately proceeding Belichick), and he left college under the cloud of looming sanctions. His first two seasons in Seattle the Seahawks finished 7-9.
The 2012 arrival of Wilson changed the franchise’s historical arc, and the Week 6 24-23 victory over the defending AFC champions was Wilson’s coming-out party. After five weeks of taking a back seat to Marshawn Lynch and the running game, Wilson had his breakout moment against the Patriots, going 16-for-27 for 293 yards and three touchdowns, two of those TDs coming in the fourth quarter as Seattle overcame a 23-10 deficit.
I would have though that would have been the favorite Seahawks-Patriots game among Seattle backers. It almost was, but not quite as last Sunday’s game came out on top, almost certainly with the aid of recency bias. But even the 2016 game which, other than being a victory over New England is perhaps most notable for being the highlight of C.J. Prosise’s Seahawks career, received more votes than I expected.
All of which proves that any victory over Belichick’s Patriots is a memorable one.