Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson burst onto the NFL scene as a rookie in 2012, leading the Seahawks to 11 regular season wins and a playoff berth. Wilson was drafted by a 7-9 team who recently had paid top dollar for a potential franchise quarterback in Matt Flynn. It took Wilson just two preseason games to win Seattle’s starting quarterback job, which the third-round pick has retained for the following six seasons.
Wilson led the Seahawks to the playoffs in his first five NFL seasons, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in early 2014, and nearly again the following year. Following Seattle’s second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, Wilson received a four-year, $87.6 million contract extension, including $60 million in guarantees. The Seahawks were building a dynasty, centered around their Pro Bowl quarterback and top-ranked defense.
Unfortunately for Seattle, the team began to slowly unravel after their crushing Super Bowl loss. The Seahawks opened the 2015 season losing their first two games, and four of their first six matchups. However, Wilson caught fire over the latter half of the season, helping Seattle accumulate 10 wins and another trip to the playoffs. The Seahawks’ playoff run was short-lived, as the team advanced past the Wild Card round thanks to a botched field goal attempt by Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh, before losing to the Carolina Panthers the following week.
Seattle continued to experience personnel turnover during the 2016 offseason, including the loss of two of Wilson’s starting offensive linemen, and the team’s top running back during the Wilson era, Marshawn Lynch. Still, the Seahawks were able to manage another 10-win season, but they were no match for the offensive powerhouse Atlanta Falcons, who knocked Seattle out of the playoffs in the Divisional round.
While the Seahawks were slowly unraveling during the 2015 and 2016 NFL seasons, Seattle started to truly fall apart in 2017:
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