The Seahawks had to go to Green Bay to play the Packers on Sunday. There was a lot of excitement and general football interest in this one because it was the first game back for Aaron Rodgers after his COVID kerfuffle, and the first game back for Russell Wilson after his grisly finger injury.
I don’t think the analytic wing of Seahawks fandom had much hope for the Seahawks prevailing, but I do think your everyday beer-swilling, boorish Seahawks fan probably believed in an upset for the good guys. I, of course, ever-the-pessimist, not only expected a surefire Seahawks loss, but I didn’t even bother really watching the game (I saw most of the first half in a Round Table Pizza with the sound off).
I can’t remember a season where I’ve consistently missed out on watching so much Seahawks football. I’ll regularly dodge the Mariners or the Husky basketball team (admittedly, my Kraken viewership has waned considerably), but I’ve always made time for the Seahawks until this season. Of course, most of that has to do with me just having better things going on in my life, but regardless, you’d think at some point I’d have to pay for it. I’d return home having missed the greatest Seahawks game of all time.
That decidedly has not been the case!
The Seahawks lost 17-0 to the Packers on Sunday. Clearly, when you go on the road and play an Aaron Rodgers-led offense, and you hold them to 17 points, you’ve done your job on defense. Even though I’m criminally uninformed, no notes! Great job, everyone, go grab some cake and ice cream and enjoy the party.
The Seahawks’ offense, on the other hand, is bad. I don’t know if it’s the offensive coordinator or the play-calling, but since Shane Waldron is a first-timer for both jobs, I think it’s safe to say he shoulders some blame. The vitriol isn’t quite there for me, because Russell Wilson has been decidedly un-Russell Wilson-like this year, which I think we all should’ve seen coming.
This is the Superstar Trying To Force His Way Out Of Town playbook to a T. See, it’s subtle, but it’s highly effective. You start with a superstar. He’s had a miraculous career where he’s won lots of games and done remarkable things. He’s still close-enough to the prime of his career that you know there are lots of great seasons ahead. Then, he gets mad about this n’ that, and either publicly or privately demands to be traded. The important thing here – unlike most other trade demands – is that the team doesn’t trade him. At least, not right away. Instead, they mend fences and the superstar returns.
Only, his game is a little … off. He’s suddenly not very good! He’s suddenly below .500 with a 4.33 ERA, in the case of 1998 Randy Johnson, who would go on to be traded to the Astros halfway through and compile a 10-1 record with a 1.28 ERA the rest of the way. Or, he’s throwing multiple interceptions in the endzone, and generally not knowing where the ball needs to go, in the case of Russell Wilson.
We KNOW Russell Wilson isn’t finished. But, he’s playing JUST bad enough to provide nothing for this Seahawks team, so everyone won’t feel quite so bad when he gets traded next year. It’s brilliant, really, because all it does is harm the team trading you away. It reduces your own value – just temporarily – but that will be easily rectified when you go to a new team and suddenly start trying again.
Yeah, I’m saying Russell Wilson isn’t trying. Because, that’s the only explanation I can come up with for why the Seahawks are 2-4 in games started by Wilson. See, this goes beyond a 3-game Geno Smith stretch. You can’t watch the way Wilson is playing and the decisions he’s making with the football, and come away with any other impression. It’s like he’s willfully defying the whole point of bringing in this offensive scheme just to do his own thing.
We’ve seen the Seahawks lose before, obviously. But, we’ve rarely seen the Seahawks so non-competitive. Even in the losses of old – as recently as LAST YEAR – I would always believe the Seahawks were going to win those games, late into the fourth quarter, until the score got impossibly out of reach (and even then, the 2014 NFC Championship Game did a lot to warp my thinking towards what’s possible in a positive sense). But, this year? I almost never feel good about what I’m watching with the Seahawks. This is the third time we’ve lost by more than one score; we used to go multiple seasons without losing games by 9 or more!
Even if we lost, we were always fun to watch (usually in a heart attacky sort of way)! We were almost always the best game on television in any given week. But, now it’s like we’re only comprised of the worst elements of traditional Seahawks games with none of the old magic. We’re not even stressful to watch anymore, because that stress always came with the belief that we deserved to win games. I’m not sure if we even have more than two wins in us the rest of the way.
This is Russell Wilson’s last year in Seattle, so soak it in. He’s going to be traded in the off-season, and we’re going to get peanuts on the dollar for our trouble.
This is also going to be a multiple-year rebuild, so I hope you’re prepared to hurry up and wait. Remember when the Mariners were great from 2000-2003? Remember how many games they won in that stretch? And then, suddenly, the Mariners in 2004 fell off the cliff and ended up winning only 63 games? This is like that. Most of our stars were still attached to that squad, no one really saw it coming, but the fall from grace was there in all its glory. These Seahawks finishing with 5 wins and giving away a Top 10 pick to the Jets is absolutely the equivalent to those Mariners. And there’s no telling when we’ll be able to get back to our former glories. The Mariners are STILL waiting to be as good as they were from 2000-2003; I might be retired and stuck in an old age home by the time the Seahawks are seriously contending for Super Bowls again.
This got real dark. But, that’s what happens when you get shutout for the first time since 2011 in the NFL. Unfortunately, we don’t have a facsimile of the 2012 season waiting right around the corner. Instead, we likely have the second-coming of a Tarvaris Jackson-type to take over next year.
By then, I fully intend to still have better things to do with my time on Sundays. Here’s to missing many more Seahawks games!