Even if you’re not Pete Carroll, and you didn’t receive, on Christmas Eve, a contract extension paying you a rumored $11 million annually, the Seattle Seahawks still got you something. Tis the season and all.
They don’t even care if you were on the naughty list. They got you something. Five somethings.
Since Russell Wilson has arrived, a playoff berth, sitting under the tree at Christmastime, has been like the cozy, predictable, ubiquitous pair of socks from your grandmother. You know, the gift you can spot ahead of time, before it’s unwrapped, from the return address label even; the one you can count on year after year; the one you know will be there no matter what else is wrong with the world. They’re nice socks, too. Socks are an underrated present.
Then, one year (let’s call it 2017), no socks. What the? The gift’s missing and you wonder what happened. Is Grandma okay?
Guess what! The socks are back. She’s fine. The Seahawks are fine. They’re right where they belong this time of year: in the mix for another title, and trending up, not down.
Backing up a couple years, Seattle has made the playoffs the second-most times this decade, on seven occasions, tied with Green Bay and trailing only New England’s nine. Let’s never again grow used to being there in January.
A Shiny New Back
Before the Chiefs game, who thought Akeem King, the defensive back you forgot was on the roster, would be a factor? Who thought he’d play at all? Who thought he would help contain Travis Kelce (5 catches for 54 yards only)?
King played 13 snaps on Sunday night and made the most of them. Four tackles logged, and he was a major part of keeping the explosive Chiefs offense to a so-so day in the red zone instead of a great one. Kansas City went just 2-of-4 in the red zone, a major difference in a game decided by one score.
King earned more playing time. Merry Christmas to him and us.
A Top Offense
Did you know? The Seahawks are sixth in scoring this season and have so far bested the vaunted offenses of the Patriots (8th), Texans (10th), Falcons (11th) and Packers (12th).
Their 26.7 ppg far eclipses last year’s 22.9 effort.
They can rush the ball (no kidding) and Wilson can sling it with the best, as he proved in outdueling probable MVP Patrick Mahomes under the Sunday Night lights.
The line can block. The receivers catch everything, and sometimes more. Doug Baldwin caught this ball, which, uh:
The Seahawks are a top offense, like it or not. They’ve made the switch, found their proper play station, whether it’s Wilson who drops dimes or Chris Carson who wrecks boxes full of defenders. What a nice present.
With an extension through 2021 for Carroll, the Seahawks have something most other franchises only fantasize about: long-term front-office continuity.
And it does not matter that Carroll will turn 70 during the 2021 season, in September. He has the energy of two 35-year-olds and the body of one.
The Seahawks have the fourth-best record in the league since Carroll arrived. Even counting the pair of 7-9 seasons he posted at the start of his Seattle tenure, he trails only the Patriots, Steelers, and Packers in 2010s victories. Look.
NFL DECADE STANDINGS (regular season)
NEP: 112-31. Games behind: zero
PIT: 93-49-1. Games behind: 18.5
GB: 89-52-2. Games behind: 22
SEA: 88-54-1. Games behind: 23.5
With a Seattle win and a Green Bay loss to close out the season, the Seahawks would vault into third place for the decade.
What do all four franchises have in common? Coaching stability. Granted, there is some chicken-and-egg mechanism at work, with teams obviously loath to fire coaches who win the most. But it’s impossible to fail to notice: only one of those teams above has fired its coach this decade, and it was earlier this month at that, with poor Mike McCarthy in Green Bay.
Thanks for staying, and thanks for winning, Pete.
Have you every seen anything prettier? No. The answer is no.
Russell Wilson rainbow throw to Tyler Lockett and the ball drops straight into the bucket. pic.twitter.com/wQJmbNW1L2— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 24, 2018
Put that in your stocking and watch it on repeat.