Seahawks gear up for playoffs

By Brandon Cline, Sports Editor

It wasn’t easy, but the Seattle Seahawks navigated their way through one of the NFL’s toughest schedules and ended up in the playoffs, which wasn’t a certainty when the Seahawks sat at 2-4 on Oct. 18, after a soul-crushing home loss to the Carolina Panthers.

The Seahawks went 8-2 after that game, with a scoring margin of +137 – a staggering number due in large part to Russell Wilson leading an offense that has been on a tear since the middle of November. Including a 39-32 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 15, the Seahawks offense averaged 32 points per game in their final eight games of the regular season. In their first eight games, they averaged just 20.88 points per game.

The defense came alive in the second half of the season as well, forcing 14 turnovers compared to nine in the season’s first half. When it was all said and done, the Seahawks defense led the league in scoring defense for the fourth straight year – giving up just an average of 17.31 points per game – a feat not accomplished by the Chicago Bears of the 80s, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ “Steel Curtain,” the Minnesota Vikings’ “Purple People Eaters” or the Baltimore Ravens’ defense in the early 2000s.

Simply put, the Seahawks finished the regular season on a roll, much like they have in the three seasons prior. Since the 2012 season, the Seahawks have gone 28-6, an .824 winning percentage, in regular season games that occurred in November or later, compared to an 18-12 record—a .600 winning percentage—in games that took place in September or October.

It’s no coincidence either. As the season wears on, the Seahawks begin to mesh together as a team, playing their best football at the most crucial time. So for me, it was hardly a surprise when the Seahawks went on their torrid streak the last 10 games of the season, despite losing running backs Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls, as well as tight end Jimmy Graham for the rest of the season—although Lynch is expected to be back for the wildcard matchup against the Vikings.

In the Seahawks’ 36-6 triumph over the Cardinals on Jan. 3, the Seahawks were without Lynch, Rawls, Graham, offensive tackle Russell Okung, offensive guard J.R. Sweezy, tight end Luke Willson and strong safety Kam Chancellor. Those seven players have combined for 13 Pro Bowl appearances, and the Seahawks still led, 30-6, at halftime against a 13-2 team before both sides rested their starters in the second half.

There was nothing fluky about the win; the Seahawks were simply the better team, enforcing their will on a team that didn’t seem to know what hit them. At its peak, that is Seahawks football under Pete Carroll. Shoving your greatness down the other team’s throat, not letting them breathe until 3,600 painful seconds have ticked off the clock, with each second seemingly taking longer than the last. When firing on all cylinders, they are absolutely suffocating.

“It seems our demise was greatly overstated,” said cornerback Richard Sherman in an interview with’s Michael Silver on Dec. 6 after the Seahawks defeated the Vikings, 38-7, in Minnesota. Indeed, Richard, it seems it was.