Was there anything wrong with the Seahawks team?
The franchise’s perennial excellence has been on pause through 10 games this season. The Seahawks enter Monday night’s game at Washington with a stunning 3-7 record and are reeling, having lost five of their past six games.
Seattle is a city that has won nine consecutive seasons since 2012. It also made it to the Super Bowl in seven of them.
The Seahawks are one loss from being eliminated from the playoff race by sitting in last place in NFC West.
In 2017, Seattle went 9-7, the last time they failed to reach the playoffs. In 2009, when Pete Carroll was head coach of the Seahawks and made the team one the most successful in the NFL, they were only 3-7.
Of late, Carroll, who’s always romped the sidelines with the youthful exuberance of a golden retriever running around at a park, has at times looked a lot more like the oldest head coach in the league, which he is at 70.
After last Sunday’s 23-13 home loss to a Cardinals team that was without starting quarterback Kyler Murray (replaced by journeyman Colt McCoy), an exasperated Carroll abruptly walked out of his postgame press conference only to return about 20 minutes later and apologize to reporters.
“I’m just not any good at this,” Carroll said of dealing with losing after returning to the interview room. “I’m not prepared for this. It’s new territory.’’
The day after the game, Carroll conducted a team meeting to invite some of his veteran players — such as linebacker Bobby Wagner, quarterback Russell Wilson and offensive lineman Duane Brown — to speak up and air their feelings.
“We’ve got a challenge that we’re facing that we’ve got to turn,’’ Carroll said. “We want to turn this thing as fast as we can. And we don’t have a moment to waste.’’
Much of the Seahawks’ slide can be attributed to Wilson being out of the lineup for a month with a finger injury. He has returned to the lineup for the last two games. One was against the Packers, which is the first shutout in 10 years. The second was at home on Sunday, when Seattle only scored one touchdown.
Those two losses marked just the third time in Wilson’s 10-year career that he’s gone two consecutive games without throwing a TD pass.
Only 32.4 percent are converted by the offense in third-down conversions. The Seahawks average just 55 offensive plays per match their low third-down production.
It is also wearing down the defense that has averaged almost 73 plays per match. Maybe it’s related, maybe it’s coincidence, but the Seahawks have been outscored 78-50 in the fourth quarter this season.
Maybe it’s too early to declare this the end of an era in Seattle. But maybe it’s not, with general manager John Schneider seemingly lost his touch unearthing terrific talent in the draft.
The Seahawks don’t even have a 2022 first-round draft pick, because it was dealt to the Jets for safety Jamal Adams — who hasn’t been the difference-making player Seattle hoped he’d be when the team made that all-in, win-now trade.
“We’ve got to be better,’’ Wilson told reporters. “The truth, too, is we are better than what we’ve been playing. We also believe that collectively we can do better. And the truth is, we got seven games to go.’’