As we gather with friends to watch Super Bowl XI we’ll be feeling a little twinge of sadness that our team isn’t there for the second year in a row. The Seahawks loss to Atlanta a couple of weeks ago ended the season for the players and the 12s leading to comments, rumors and speculation about the future. That same Atlanta team that could’ve scored more than 40 points against a once powerful defense, chose to take a knee with a few seconds left in the game preserving a 36-20 final score for the history books.
Coached by former Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn, the Falcons finally got back to a Super Bowl after years of frustration. Their reward is a meeting with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the team that broke the Seahawks momentum with that sudden, heartbreaking finish to Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona.
Doesn’t it seem like that moment, or nightmare, whatever you want to call it, signaled a sharp switch in momentum for the Seahawks. There’s a good reason, it did.
Consider all the changes to the team since that dark moment in the early evening of February 1, 2015. First and foremost Marshawn Lynch is gone. The heart and soul of the offense and in my opinion the heart and soul of the team has retired. Thomas Rawls is potentially the wonderful replacement but he still hasn’t had a long stretch of career with some kind of injury, something Lynch was able to in his time with the Seahawks.
The “legion of boom,” may still be a legion but without some of its boom. Right after helping the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII cornerback Brandon Browner signed a free agent deal with the Patriots and was a key reason for that game closing, gut wrenching Malcolm Butler interception that gave New England the title the following year in SB XLIX.
Browner was re-signed by Seattle the following year but then cut before the first game. The magic was gone from his few years alongside Richard Sherman in the Seahawks stingy defensive backfield.
In their quest to get one of the best tight ends in the business, the Seahawks traded one of the best centers to the Saints. Welcome Jimmy Graham and goodbye Max Unger, another clear sign that things would never be the same. The offensive center is the leader of the line, the guy who holds it all together. With Unger gone the Seahawks struggled to find the chemistry needed to protect their young, now highly paid quarterback Russell Wilson.
Without listing all the changes the Seahawks roster and coaching staff has undergone since the glory days of 2014, let me just conclude with this thought. The National Football League is designed to allow all of its franchises to get a shot at glory thus keeping the interest if fans all across the country and all across the world. The league would rather not have teams repeat as champions year after year. The New England Patriots are an exception to the rule. A victory in Super Bowl in LI would be the 7th for the Patriots, and the fourth for quarterback Tom Brady. They are the exception to the rule. Sure there have been great Super Bowl runs in the past by the 49ers and Steelers and now the Patriots but those runs of success are rare and that’s the way the NFL likes it.
The Seahawks have their work cut out for them in 2017. There are more questions than answers now and only time will reveal the truth about the up- coming season. In the meantime 12s will always be hopeful, always be supportive and always be there, because that’s the nature of great fans. We don’t hang our heads, we hang our 12 banners on the front of the garage and expect to win every single Sunday.