That five-year window of supremacy have all but closed for the Seattle Seahawks. It is interesting how the mighty have fallen. The reign of the Legion of Boom may not be over, but it sure as heck is getting closer to taking a final bow as the most feared defense in the National Football League.
After looking at what the Los Angeles Rams did to embarrass the proud Seahawks defense with a humiliating 42-7 defeat at home, it is clear that Seattle either has to blow up their roster or make some serious front office changes to get things right again. That’s a lot easier said than done. But in order to remain as one of the elite teams in the NFL, coach Pete Carroll and his staff are going to have to figure something out.
That includes solving the team’s current running back situation. But the core identity of Seattle in recent years has been the lights out play of a defense boasting with All-Pro defenders. Earl Thomas, Bruce Irvin, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, Michael Bennett and heavy-hitter Kam Chancellor all come to mind.
This rough-rider of a group, up until this season, has been a bedrock in the defensive department, ranking No. 1 in total defense in 2013 and 2014. The Seahawks ranked No. 1 in rush defense and No. 2 in pass and total defense in 2015. That’s a far cry from where they are this season. The Seahawks are ranked No. 15 in the league in total defense this season. As a result, Seattle is on the verge of not making it in into the postseason dance.
Inconsistent play and season-ending injuries to Sherman and Chancellor give the Seahawks a pass on that front. The Seahawks defense is not outright terrible, but there are some holes in that unit that Carroll will have to address in the offseason if Seattle is to remain in the upper echelon of teams. Otherwise, what we have seen since Seattle won the Super Bowl back in 2014, is a rapid deterioration of the Seahawks as a team with a fabulous fierce defense and Beast Mode-controlled offense.
Speaking of Beast Mode, the Seahawks have not been the same since they got rid of Marshawn Lynch by trading him away to the Oakland Raiders. Lynch briefly retired before Seattle traded the running back to the AFC team. That trade have hit the Seahawks in the rear end when it comes to running the football in the last two seasons. In 2016, Seattle averaged just 99 yards rushing per game. This season has been a tick better, but not by much with the Seahawks’ running back-by-committee going for 103.7 yards per game.
Those are not bad numbers, but they are not the stat lines that Seattle posted at the beginning of their run. During the 2013 and 2014 seasons, years in which Seattle went on to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, the Seahawks, behind the running of Lynch, were a dominant team on the ground. In 2013, the season that saw the Seahawks go on to record a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII (2014), Seattle averaged just over 136 yards per game.
The season after saw the Seahawks become the No. 1 team in the league in rushing, with Seattle churning out 172 yards on the ground per game. That rushing surge helped Seattle make their second straight Super Bowl, but the Seahawks eventually fell to the New England Patriots by the score of 28-24. The biggest play not to be called was the one Seattle declined to make with time running out in Super Bowl XLIX. Lynch, who had rushed for 1,306 yards during the regular season, was not handed the ball for what should been a shoo-in touchdown from the one-yard goal line.
Quarterback Russell Wilson throws his infamous interception on a slant route, and the Seahawks have not been right since then. Team infighting, the constant revolving door of losing top players and the lack of a potent running game looks like they have all torn at the fabric of what once made this team great. With the offense becoming more featured around Wilson, this Seattle team doesn’t feel or look the same. They no longer have that Legion of Boom identity. Sadly, this just be the time to move on from that era.
The Seahawks used to be fun to watch with Chancellor lowering the boom on offensive players and players like Wagner stuffing the run. What we see now is a limp team that isn’t even good enough to win its own division. While the Seahawks slept, everyone else got better.