The Seahawks lost to the Falcons in disappointing fashion last Saturday evening. On the bright side, though, the Seahawks still have the core pieces returning and should be back with a vengeance next year.
The Seahawks finished the season with a 10-5-1 record, leaving fans unsatisfied due to the inconsistent play throughout the year. The win over the Patriots in week 10 was a glimmer of what we thought this team could be. Getting blown out by the Packers, on the other hand, made us unsure of what group would show up week to week.
This inconsistency can improve with individuals getting healthy, younger players gaining experience, and greater attention to detail as a collective group. There are many reasons to be hopeful for next season and going forward.
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The Seahawks Super Bowl window is not closing, and we still have several more years with the core group. The key players are all returning and will come back driven and motivated to win another championship.
In 2017 we will see the return of several injured players, most notably Earl Thomas and Tyler Lockett. Thomas simply can’t be replaced, as we saw in many games after his injury, especially against the Falcons. Tyler Lockett is also a key part of the offense and special teams, and his big play ability was missing in the playoffs.
Russell Wilson will also get back to full health, after suffering 3 injuries during the year. He clearly wasn’t himself for most of the season, and his lack of running was missed. You could see his explosiveness start to come back in the playoffs and it made a difference.
To be successful next year the offense needs to fix one major issue, which is the offensive line. If the big men up front get better, this will be a very hard offense to stop. The offensive line was very inexperienced this season, and growing together as a group will be important.
The defense needs to work on finding cornerback depth, especially with DeShawn Shead going down with an ACL injury. The Seahawks also need to add players at linebacker and on the defensive line. They could benefit from adding a veteran free agent, like defensive end Calais Campbell.
Another area to look forward to are the many rookies going into their second year. Players like Ifedi, Fant, Prosise, Collins, Vannett and Reed will all make significant strides in their ability with the added experience. There were a lot of rookies that were counted on to contribute with big minutes this season, and they will become much more dependable.
Overall, though, this season has left me with feelings of both disappointment and hope. This team had the talent and experience to get back to the Super Bowl, but they underperformed. But with all the star players returning, and with a few improvements in the offseason, they should be back on top.
This is a special team and they will have their eyes set on a getting another ring next year. It will take a championship offseason to get back to where they want to be. Making a couple good signings in free agency, drafting well, and players working hard in the months off will all set them up for success.
I anticipate good things for next season and truly believe the Seahawks will be back stronger and ready to dominate. They have talented players, an inspiring coach, and one of the smartest GMs in the league. The Seahawks will be back playing before we know it, with a hunger to prove the doubters wrong yet again.