After two consecutive bad losses, it seems that the Seahawks era of dominating the NFC West and the rest of the NFC is over. Even in games that they have won, Seattle has played down to opponents all season. There have not been any of the customary Seattle blowout wins in 2017. But with all that said, this is not the time for the Seahawks destroy the roster and start a rebuild.
Let’s start with the most obvious problem for the Seahawks this season. There have been injuries, and lots of them. On the offensive side, Seattle lost their promising rookie running back and multiple offensive linemen. The run game has been practically nonexistent, hurting the potential of what the offense could be. It has forced them to rely solely on Russell Wilson. Although Wilson has held up his end of the bargain, there is no way for him to maintain that type of success in every game of the season.
The Seahawks defense entered Sunday’s game against the Rams missing two out of three players in the Legion of Boom, one of their star linebackers, and a star defensive end. Without Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright, and Cliff Avril, there is no way that a defense is going to be able to maintain their level of dominance missing those players.
And on top of that, potential defensive player of the year Bobby Wagner has been dealing with a hurt hamstring for most of the season, but it finally hurt him enough where he could not practice leading into Sunday’s game. Even though Wagner played Sunday, he was nowhere near the caliber of player he has been all season.
With five Pro Bowlers out or playing with an injury, the Seattle defense was carved up by a top ten offense in the NFL this season. The past two games, with the defense dealing with the same type of injuries, they have given up an average of 388 yards per game. This is the first time this season that the Seahawks have had this tough of a stretch in the schedule while dealing with these injuries. It is not a surprise that the Seahawks lost. What the surprise is, is how they have lost. Seahawk fans have not had to deal with these difficult circumstances for years.
When looking at a healthy Seattle roster, they have multiple pieces that make them a Super Bowl caliber team. And the biggest misconception about this roster is that they are old and past their prime. However, when 53-man rosters were set at the beginning of the season, the Seahawks had the 11th youngest roster in the NFL. The average age of the Seahawks roster of 25.77 years old is behind teams that have undergone a rebuild in recent years.
Seattle has their strong core of players like Wilson, Wagner, Richard Sherman, Chancellor, Michael Bennett, Earl Thomas, and Doug Baldwin. But behind those guys, they have built a young, but talented roster behind them. Names like Paul Richardson, Shaquill Griffin, Frank Clark, Nazair Jones, Chris Carson, and more come to mind. What the Seahawks have been doing in recent years has been retooling their roster. They have done this so they do not HAVE to rebuild this team.
With a healthy group of starters, the Seahawks would only have four starters over the age of 30 (Jimmy Graham, 31, Duane Brown, 32, Bennett, 32, and Avril, 31). And there are only a couple of players pushing the age of 30, with Wilson, Baldwin, Sherman, and DeShawn Shead the only players that are 29 years old.
When the Seahawks decide that the time is right to move on from the Legion of Boom and other key players, they will have young players ready to take over. Griffin is already showing that he could be the next Sherman. Seattle has Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill being groomed by Thomas and Chancellor. Clark and Jones are ready to be the next Bennett and Avril. Tyler Lockett, Amara Darboh, and Richardson will be ready to fill in for Baldwin. Nick Vannett has the looks of a starting tight end. The Seattle front office is already in the midst of rebuilding, even though the team is still in playoff contention.
Seattle is not ready to rebuild this team. Although the two recent losses were to two teams that the Seahawks would historically dominate, the losses were bound to happen. The Rams and Jaguars have been rebuilding, and now they have built competitive rosters. Both losses were bad, but they were not losses that should trigger the Seahawks to start over. The Seahawks’ current window to win another Super Bowl is closing, but it will not, and should not, close this offseason.