What has gone wrong with the Seahawks? Following a 25-24 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Seahawks will have a season with over 10 losses since the infamous 2009 season coached by Jim Mora, where they went 5-11. This was a season before Pete Carroll was hired as the head coach and three seasons before Russell Wilson was drafted. Carroll has not had a losing season in 10 years and Russell Wilson has not faced a losing season since his 2009 season at NC State.
So, What Has Gone Wrong With the Seahawks?
What Has Changed Since Last Year?
Firstly, the offense failing is one of the primary factors in the Seahawks season failing. It has slipped from 17th to 30th in the league. This is, most likely, due to two main factors: Russell Wilson’s finger injury in Week 5 and the hiring of Shane Waldron, the former Rams quarterbacks coach.
Wilson’s injury has affected the team in a way that the Seahawks have never been affected before. The Seahawks did not have reliable quarterback play for the first time in almost 10 years, and it clearly took a toll on the offense. Secondly, Waldron’s offensive scheme, one that appears to be extremely predictable, has not worked. This offense ranks 28th in yards and 31st in first downs gained. They also rank 29th in percentage of drives ending in an offensive score. They also rank bottom in 3rd down conversion percentage and second from bottom in 4th down conversion percentage. Finally, they rank bottom in average time per drive.
In terms of personnel, there haven’t been too many changes. In particular, the changes seemed to be positive ones, Gabe Jackson to improve the offensive line and Gerald Everett to help their receiving options. Both of them haven’t been playing badly, and since we can eliminate the personnel changes as the primary reason for what has gone wrong with the Seahawks, it comes down to either the scheme that Waldron is running or the injury that Wilson had.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Seahawks have regressed from 11th-worst, in yards, to second-worst. And while the defense ranks eighth from bottom in points allowed. That is not a sustainable way to play defense. The Seahawks defense has also let up the most first downs of any team in the league, in addition to having the sixth fewest number of takeaways from any team in the league.
The lack of turnovers and the lack of stops have led to the Seahawks defense not being able to prevent their opponents from scoring, and even though they have not let up many points, it is not a way that this defense can continue to function if they are to compete in the future.
Unlike the offense, the defense actually lost some cornerstone pieces to free agency. KJ Wright left the Pacific northwest after 10 years in a Seahawks jersey, and Shaquill Griffin, their number one cornerback coming into the season also departed for Jacksonville in free agency.
Has the Season Itself Affected the Seahawks in Any Way?
Coming into the season, the schedule that the Seahawks had to face was not even one that was extremely difficult. They had games against the Lions and the Texans, both teams that should be extremely easy games for a regular Seahawks team. The Seahawks did end up defeating the Texans but are still yet to play the Lions, in a game that has no bearing on the season. Those couldn’t be what has gone wrong with the Seahawks.
In terms of the other factors that could’ve led to the Seahawks having such a disappointing season are so minor that they can be rendered obsolete. Thus leaving the main factor for their performances the coaching and the players.
What Can Be Changed?
At this point in the season, there is nothing the Seahawks can achieve, and so they are just playing for pride. The only thing to do is to look towards the offseason and next season. The Seahawks do not currently own a first-round pick and so losing out does not benefit them in any way. Their highest draft pick, as it currently stands, is their second-round draft pick, likely in the range of 35th to 40th pick in the draft.
In terms of personnel changes, this season could signal the end to the Russell Wilson and the Pete Carroll era in Seattle. Wilson’s no-trade clause could be waived and he could perhaps force a move out of Seattle to a team with more likelihood of making the playoffs for his remaining years in the NFL.
They could also potentially be looking to change General Managers at the end of this year, with John Schneider’s time as Seahawks General Manager stained by disappointing draft picks and questionable free agency moves.
They could look towards a full rebuild, firing their head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator. This does not seem unlikely due to the way the Seahawks played on both sides of the ball. Identifying what has gone wrong with the Seahawks is the first step.
But whatever happens, having a post-season without the Seahawks is an extremely unfamiliar sight and, unfortunately, one that NFL fans might become accustomed to going forward.