On this week’s Monday Night Football, the curtain began to fall on this era of Seahawks football, and in some ways it was a fitting result. In a 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team, Seattle offered most of the bizarre trappings Seahawks fans have come to expect from their team. There were strange plays: The Seahawks scored on a defensive two-point conversion that resulted in an injury to opposing kicker Joey Slye. They also successfully recovered an onside kick with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give them a chance to kick a game-winning field goal, only to have the play negated because a Seahawks player on the opposite side of the formation lined up illegally inside the hash mark. The game also featured inexplicable play-calling, resulting in much consternation over where the football was going on offense: Quarterback Russell Wilson did not target receiver D.K. Metcalf until the third quarter and did not complete a pass to him until the end of the game. One significant feature of Monday’s loss was different, though: It likely ended Seattle’s playoff chances and put the team among the worst in the NFL. The Seahawks are 3-8. Only four other NFL teams—the Lions, Texans, Jaguars, and Jets—have three wins or fewer through 12 weeks.
Seattle is not used to this kind of company. The Seahawks are on their way to a losing season for the first time in a decade. They have made the playoffs in eight of the past nine years and have won a Super Bowl in the past decade, a run powered by the current triumvirate of Wilson, head coach Pete Carroll, and general manager John Schneider. The shock and frustration at this unusually difficult season for the team were obvious on Monday: Several players, including Wilson and safety Jamal Adams, were glassy-eyed when they spoke to reporters after the game following a team meeting in the locker room.
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“I was in some tears,” Adams said. “There’s a lot of emotions right now, you know what I mean? Just frustrated. Just trying to find that win.”
“I haven’t been in this situation before like this, but what I do know is, I know there’s only one way to respond,” Wilson said.
Seattle can go down fighting, but it is nearly impossible for the Seahawks to crawl out of the hole they have dug for themselves in the standings. FiveThirtyEight gives them a 1 percent chance of making the playoffs. It’s time for Seattle to figure out who among the current core of this roster and who within the organization will stick around for the rebuild.