When Five is Less than Four

The Seahawks have “improved” this year, if you’re going to buy Jim Mora’s line of reasoning. This was a 4-win team last year, after all, and dag nabbit, we’ve got five this year! Five is more than four, ergo, improving team. Why, we’ll be 13-3 again in less than a decade! Unfortunately, this line of reasoning is as faulty as the San Andreas — this team has taken a severe downward dip this year, especially in the latter half.

In 2008, the Seahawks were injury-riddled. The entire offensive line was on the IR for the last four games — do note, however, that the backups played better than the 2009 line is playing right now. Matt Hasselbeck missed the majority of the snaps. Our entire wide receiving corps was destroyed. There were injuries on defense too, but there literally wasn’t an offense. None of the problems with last year’s team was fixed because of an institutional hubris insisting that it was the injuries, had to be the injuries, look at all the injuries!

And we bought in, most of us. I know I did. I saw these guys playing first hand in training camp, they looked good! They looked bigger, stronger, faster than before. They had a chip on their shoulder and something to prove. They came out and annihilated a very bad St Louis Rams team. Sure, there were signs for concern, but come on, we always start slow, right? A loss to the 49ers (and of our QB) was tough, then having a game stolen by the NFL against the Bears? You gotta be kidding me! At 1-2, with no Matt Hasselbeck, the season was over.

Now, a 1-2 deficit is easy enough to overcome, especially in this awful division. We couldn’t do it, and it is now clear that we never could have done it. This 2009 Seattle Seahawks team is one without a backbone, one without a spirit, one without a leader. Yes, they have platitudes, yes they have a coach who won’t stop screaming them from the top of Tiger Mountain, but friends, this is a team without a core. In a locker room of leaders, no one will lead.

The Bucs and Seahawks joined the NFL together in 1976. Coming from opposite corners of the country, they’ve shared the cycle of ups and downs, each with many more down than up. Yes, we were able to dodge the flamboyant pirate decals, but they made up for it with a pewter Super Bowl ring that we never won. And now, after seven years of hope for the Seahawks, after believing with all our hearts that this team was good, was great, was going to contend for the biggest title in sports, here we are: Waking up on the shortest day of the year (mercifully!) with pitch black skies and pounding rain, cadavers of our half-eaten buffalo wings strewn across the coffee table, the not-quite empties lining the bottom of our recycling bin, the lime green jersey discarded mid-game just a hair closer to the trash than it was the last week.

The season was a tailspin and we finally crash landed. With any luck, the rescue crew will be here soon in the form of a new front office staff and, potentially, new coaching staff. Many players must be sent to pasture, including some of our favorites. The rebuild is upon us and we can go in one of two ways: the Rams or the Ravens, the Raiders or the Falcons, the Browns or the Cardinals.