Today, I’m looking at something else entirely.
And yet, it’s sort of related.
As we all know, Seattle is now assured of finishing the season with a losing record for the first time in the Russell Wilson era and only the third time under the lethal combo of John Schneider and Pete Carroll (2010, 2011, 2021).
And, as Mookie pointed out on Monday, Seattle is now guaranteed to finish in the division cellar for the first time since 1996.
What Mookie didn’t draw attention to was the fact that Seattle fell from 1st place last year to last place this year. And while the Seahawks aren’t the first team to accomplish this dubious feat, the 2021 team is the first one in Seahawks history to do so.
Let’s dive into history and look (briefly) at Seattle’s 11 division titles:
The Seahawks won their first division title in 1988 (with a 9-7 record). The next year they came in 4th (with a 7-9 record), but there were 5 teams in the division.
Their next division title came in 1999, ironically with the same 9-7 record that the 1988 team had. They fell to 6-10 the following season, again finishing in 4th place ... in a division with 5 teams.
Their third division title came in 2004. Their record that year? Yep, 9-7. They backed it up with another division title in 2005 (13-3). And backed up that division title with another one in 2006 (9-7). And pulled off the four-peat with a 10-6 record and another division title in 2007.
In 2008, they finished 4-12, but somehow managed to come in 3rd (out of 4 teams) in the division. So no first-to-worst there.
In 2010, they won a division title with a losing record (7-9); the first team in NFL history to do so in a full season, as I recall.
They finished in 3rd place the following season then drafted Russell Wilson and kicked off a 9-year run that saw them win 4 division titles while never finishing lower than 2nd in their division.
So .... with 4th place now guaranteed, the Hawks have officially gone from 1st to worst (in their division) for the first time in franchise history.
And yet ...
The first-to-worst distinction doesn’t truly capture the ignominy of Seattle’s pathetically awful and maddeningly inconsistent 2021 season. No .... to fully understand and/or appreciate how terrible this season has been, particularly in comparison to what was expected of the Seahawks this season, we need to consider ...
Seattle’s season-to-season drops in won-loss records.
As was mentioned above, the Seahawks won 4 straight division titles from 2004 to 2007, finishing with a 10-6 record that final year (2007). In 2008, they went 4-12, giving them a season W-L record that was six games worse than the previous year.
That is currently the largest season-to-season decline in franchise history.
However, if the season ended today, the Seahawks 5-10 record, coming after a 12-4 season, would top that 6-game drop since 7 down (in the win column) and 6 up (in the loss column) is a 6-1/2 game decline.
Why does this matter since the season isn’t yet over?
Well, because there are only 3 possible outcomes for the Seahawks, record-wise, at this point ... excluding ties.
- Two wins gets them to 7-10
- One win and one loss leaves them at 6-11
- Losing to both the Lions and the Cardinals would drop them to 5-12
Y’all can probably do the math as well as I can. Only that first bullet (7-10) results in less than a 6-game decline.
Seattle is favored by roughly a touchdown over the Lions, but they’ll be underdogs at State Farm Stadium (aka Seattle’s House of Horrors) in Week 18.
If I were a betting man, I’d probably break my “don’t bet against Seattle” principles and put money on the Seahawks completing the biggest season-to-season collapse in franchise history.
I would be hoping that I lost that bet though.