Throw out the records. Not only do the readers not consider the Seattle Seahawks’ 2020 season a success, a good number categorize it as a failure.
Seattle’s season came to an end last Saturday with its 30-20 wild card playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field. The Seahawks finished the season 12-4 and won the NFC West championship, but exited the playoffs earlier than anticipated.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to assess the Seahawks’ campaign. Specifically they were asked how they characterized Seattle’s 2020 season.
POLL: How do you characterize the Seattle Seahawks’ 2020 season? Full context, including a look at the pros and cons, here: https://t.co/mO0X8L3C29
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 11, 2021
When one adds up the results from the poll posted on The Herald’s website and the one posted on twitter, one finds that few were satisfied with Seattle’s season. Just 15% of the responders labeled the season a success, while more than double that — 37% — described it as a failure. Nearly half the responders — 48% — placed it somewhere in between.
It truly is a testament to the Seahawks’ 11-year run under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider that a season in which the team won 12 games and a division title generated so little satisfaction from the fan base. It’s not as if Seattle came away with nothing from the season. It was just the fifth time in the franchise’s 45-year history in which the Seahawks won 12 or more games. It was Seattle’s first division title since 2016. And the Seahawks didn’t limp to the finish line, they won their final four regular-season games. Compare that to, say, the Cleveland Browns, who are in the playoffs for the first time in nearly 20 years, and still haven’t won 12 games in a season since 1986 or won a division title since 1989. Think 37% of Browns fans would have considered this type a season a failure?
And yet one can understand where Seahawks fans are coming from. Seattle came into the season with expectations, then went all-in when it sent a package including two first-round draft picks to the New York Jets in exchange for strong safety Jamal Adams. Adams himself, who never sniffed the playoffs during his three seasons with the Jets and lit up a cigar during his postgame press conference after the Seahawks clinched the division title, described the season as a failure. I don’t know that Seattle had a Super-Bowl-or-bust kind of roster, but one can argue that the resources expended warranted at least matching the previous season’s accomplishment of winning a playoff game.
I think what probably sticks in Seattle fans’ craws the most is the degeneration of the offense. The Seahawks came out so strong offensively, as the “let Russ cook” philosophy took hold and Seattle racked up yards and points at historic paces. But the second half of the season, despite a dramatic upturn in defensive performance, saw the offense cough and sputter to a halt. Knowing what the offense is capable of doing, then seeing it unable to do it when it mattered most, was maddening, and in the end it cost offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer his job even though the Seahawks set a franchise record for points in a season.
It’s a tough crowd, but such is life for a team that wins every year.