The most-successful season in franchise history? Easy, it was 2005. The Seahawks won a best-ever 13 games, including a club record 11 in a row; won the only conference championship in the team’s first 35 seasons; and played in the Super Bowl for the first time.
But the best individual season in franchise history? Just as easy? The obvious choice is what Shaun Alexander did in ’05, when he became the only Seahawk ever voted league MVP while scoring a then-NFL record 28 touchdowns and rushing for a league-leading and club-record 1,880 yards.
But was it really the best single-season effort in the team’s first 35 seasons? Here are 10 others to ponder, in chronological order:
Kenny Easley in 1984 – The Pro Bowl and All-Pro strong safety was voted NFL defensive player of the year, as he intercepted an AFC-leading 10 passes and returned two for touchdowns. He also volunteered to return punts and averaged 12.1 yards.
Steve Largent in 1984 – It was difficult to select a single season for the Hall of Fame wide receiver. He did, after all, lead the team in receiving for 12 consecutive seasons (1976-87). But in ’84, when he was voted All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl, Largent had 74 receptions for 1,164 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. He had seasons with more receptions (79 in 1985; 75 in 1981; and 74 in 1984). He had seasons with more yards (a club-record 1,287 in ’85; 1,237 in 1979; and 1,224 in 1981). But the 12 TD catches in ’84 were a career-high, and the reception and yardage totals in the team’s 12-4 season were close enough. Others also had more receptions (94 by Bobby Engram in 2007; 87 by Darrell Jackson in 2004; and 81 and 80 by Brian Blades in 1994 and 1993). But they didn’t have the yardage and TD totals to match Largent’s ’84 season.
Fredd Young in 1985 – This was the crossroads season in his four-year stay with the club, as Young the linebacker led the team in tackles (the first of three seasons in a row) and Young the coverage man was voted to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player (for the second consecutive season).
Cortez Kennedy in 1992 – On a team that went 2-14, Kennedy was the NFL defensive player of the year. In addition to producing a career-high and team-leading 14 sacks, the Pro Bowl and All-Pro defensive tackle also had a career-high 93 tackles – and many of them had to be seen to be believed.
Eugene Robinson in 1993 – The Pro Bowl and All-Pro free safety led the team in tackles (111) and interceptions (nine). He also did it in 1992 (94 and seven), but not with the totals he put up in ’93.
Joey Galloway in 1998 – In his final full season with the Seahawks, Galloway used his speed and explosiveness to lead the team in receptions (65 for a 16.1-yard average and 10 TDs) and also averaged 10.0 yards returning punts with two more scores.
Ricky Watters in 2000 – While he never came close to rushing for the numbers Alexander compiled in 2005, Watters led the team in rushing (1,242 yards) in 2000 and also shared the lead in receptions (63, the fourth-highest total by a running back in club history). Fullback John L. Williams also led the team in rushing (once) and receiving (three times), but never in the same season.
Josh Brown in 2004 – The clutch-kicking Brown was almost perfect in 2004, when he made each of his 40 PATs and 23 of 25 field-goal attempts, including 16 in a row to tie the then-club record. Olindo Mare in 2009, when he was 28-of-28 and 24-of-26 and also began a consecutive field-goal streak that would reach 30 games in 2010? Brown got the nod on points scored, 109-100.
Walter Jones in 2006 — It’s just so diffucult to find stats that describe just how dominant the All-Pro and Pro Bowl left tackle was. But in ’06, The Sportings News ranked Jones not as the best blocker in the NFL but the best player. Period. Here’s what they had to say: “Walter Jones may not be the most exciting player in the NFL — he’s an offensive tackle, for cryin’ out loud — but he is the most efficient. Instead of making big plays, he prevents them. Over and over and over, with the consistency of a fine timepiece. The Seahawks’ left tackle makes domination so routine, he barely is noticed. But we are not taking Jones for granted. On our list of the 101 best players in the NFL, he’s No. 1.”
Matt Hasselbeck in 2007 – It was the last time he started 16 games, and Hasselbeck made the most of it by setting club records for completions (352) and passing yards (3,966) and also throwing a career-high 28 TD passes. Dave Krieg had a club-record 32 TD passes and 3,671 yards in 1984, but he threw 24 interceptions – compared to 12 for Hasselbeck in ’07.
So whose season was the best season? You make the call.