With Sunday’s humiliating defeat to the Chicago Bears, the Seattle Seahawks are going to end the 2021 season at the very bottom of the NFC West. They haven’t done that since divisional realignment in 2002, and their only other bottom-dwelling season in the NFC West came way back in the team’s inaugural season in 1976.
As for the Seahawks’ previous last place finish? Exactly 25 years ago.
The quarterback you see in the main image of this article is former Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta, who came in off the bench for Seattle’s 1996 regular season finale against the Oakland Raiders. He went 5/16 for 41 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and never played another NFL down.
As grim as that sounded, the Seahawks were 7-9 that year and were actually tied for last place in what was Dennis Erickson’s second season in charge. Seattle was 5-5 before completely collapsing out of the playoff hunt.
You have to go back to 1994 for their previous outright last place (so no tiebreakers) finish, and the 6-10 mark was enough to get Tom Flores the merciful boot after a third straight 10+ loss campaign.
Through franchise history, Flores and Jack Patera are responsible for six of the eight seasons of bottom of the barrel football, while and Dennis Erickson and Carroll have the other two.
This isn’t the season we expected, but it’s the season we got, and I guess when you go 25 years making the playoffs more often than not you are bound to have a stinker eventually. I don’t think anyone anticipated that it would happen this way.