Promising start leads to ‘interesting finish’

Published on December 28, 2010 by     T.C.

Back when people were asking for preseason predictions, I offered the theory that the 2010 Seattle Seahawks looked like a six-win club.

New staff, new front office, tons of new players. This would take some time. Maybe they could eke out seven wins, tops.

Funny how you can be right with an answer and yet so very clueless about how it would happen.

I didn’t see them beating San Francisco to start and then losing to Denver, or losing at St. Louis and winning at Chicago. And that was in just the first five games.

I thought Oakland and Kansas City would be games they could take. They lost those two by a combined 48 points.

I didn’t see them starting 4-2 to inflate everybody’s expectations, or deflating them with a 2-7 death march to the finish, leaving fans to fend off nasty flashbacks to 2009.

I couldn’t believe Matt Hasselbeck would have 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions – and a broken wrist – and still be the guy they chose as their best option at quarterback in the season’s 15th game at Tampa Bay.

Now Hasselbeck has another injury, which coach Pete Carroll said is in his “glute/hip” area. Charlie Whitehurst will get all the practice at quarterback this week, although Hasselbeck is not entirely ruled out for Sunday’s game against St. Louis. Apparently, Hasselbeck has played with his butt in a sling so often recently that he doesn’t need the practice.

When Carroll said on the day he was hired that he was committed to making the Seahawks a strong force in the running game, I didn’t expect they’d reach this point with the absolute worst rushing attack in the NFL (No. 32).

And I certainly wouldn’t have believed that would be the case when they picked up Marshawn Lynch from Buffalo. Or that Lynch at this point would have 30 more carries than reserve Justin Forsett but only 3 more yards.

When I saw how often Carroll imprinted the theme “Always Compete,” I guess I expected that their losses would occur by fewer than an average of 21 points, and that no loss would be decided by more than 15 points.

Always Capitulate.

I never imagined Mike Williams catching as many as 62 passes or John Carlson catching as few as 30.

I wouldn’t have believed they’d get so much out of Chris Clemons (101/2 sacks) or so little out of Golden Tate (20 catches for zero touchdowns).

I thought rookie Earl Thomas might have five interceptions, but not all in the first six games.

I would have thought it was a good season for Josh Wilson to have three interceptions, but not that all of them would be for the Baltimore Ravens. Of course, I didn’t believe they’d trade Wilson and keep Kelly Jennings.

I would have considered it a positive to hear that Deion Branch would have six touchdown catches by now, except that five of them have been for New England.

What’s more unimaginable, that the Rams, 1-15 in 2009, could turn into the NFC West Division front-runners at 7-8, or that the Seahawks have a shot at knocking them off and getting into the postseason with a 7-9 mark if they win this Sunday?

I saw this as a rebuilding season, with it taking time to assimilate and improve. Not one in which they would peak in October.

At his Monday afternoon press conference, Carroll generously labeled this “an interesting finish to the season.”

What do you mean, coach?

This is exactly what I predicted.

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