This weekend marks the 10-year anniversary of when Pete Carroll was hired by the Seahawks — the official announcement was made Jan. 11, 2010. Seattle has won exactly 100 regular-season games in those 10 seasons, and another 10 in the postseason. So what better way to honor it all than with a list of the 10 best games/players/moments of the Carroll era?
Here we go…
Game of the decade
Super Bowl win over Denver. What it lacked in drama it made up for in everything else. But for drama, we’d pick the 2013 NFC title game win over the 49ers, followed closely by the win the following year over the Packers. Or maybe the other way around. Let’s just call it a tie.
Regular-season game of the decade
Plenty to choose from. But while a few others may have been more important, Seattle’s 41-38 win over Houston in 2017 sure was fun to watch. It featured five lead changes in the final 17:24, a patented Russell Wilson fourth-quarter comeback to hold off Deshaun Watson with the winning touchdown scored with 21 seconds to go, and 988 yards of offense.
Play of the decade
Either The Tip, the Beastquake run or Jermaine Kearse’s catch against the Packers. If forced to choose, we’ll go with The Tip since who knows what happens if that doesn’t happen. But for sheer stupendousness, Beastquake is hard to top.
Single-game performance of the decade
Wilson in the 2017 win over Houston. Wilson’s 452 yards are a team record, made more amazing by the fact that this was a game when Seattle DID NOT establish the run to set up the pass. Seattle had just 33 yards rushing, tied for the third fewest in the Carroll era.
Player of the decade
It’s impossible to not go with Wilson, with whom Seattle has averaged almost 12 wins per season — 11.875, to be exact, when including the postseason.
Defensive player of the decade
Bobby Wagner? Earl Thomas? Richard Sherman? Kam Chancellor? Michael Bennett? That Seattle once had all five starting at once may someday flummox football historians. Cases can be made for any and all during their heydays. But Wagner gets the nod in part due to longevity. But also consider that Seattle’s winning percentage is even better when Wagner has played than Wilson — including playoffs, Seattle is 95-46-1 since 2012. Seattle is 5-4 in the nine games Wagner has missed in that time.
Unsung player of the decade
Linebacker K.J. Wright’s true worth has become apparent the last few years as he has remained as one of the last ones standing on the Legion of Boom-era defense, along with Wagner. Wright is tied with Wilson for most games played under Carroll as a position player — 128 in the regular season.
Move of the decade
The drafting of Wilson is the obvious choice. But we’ll pick another — the trade for Lynch in 2010 — because it spoke to an early sign of what would become characteristic of the Carroll/John Schneider era of identifying a problem and then displaying a persistence and aggressiveness to address it. To hear Carroll tell it, the Seahawks spent months talking to the Bills in 2010 about Lynch before finally getting Buffalo to say yes. Not all such aggressive moves paid off (Percy Harvin?). But the acquisition of Lynch gave Seattle not only an early shift in attitude in the Carroll era but also a player whose talent allowed Carroll to define his style.
Stat of the decade
Seattle is 65-1 when leading by four or more points at halftime since Carroll became coach, including playoffs. Think about that. Sure, the Seahawks have induced a lot of heartburn over the years with a steady stream of see-saw games. But what the Seahawks have basically never done is blow a game in the second half that they had control of in the first half. The only loss under Carroll in a game that Seattle had a lead of four or more points by at the half came late in the 2011 season at home against a 49ers team that would finish 13-3. Seattle led 10-3 at the half before losing 19-17. But since then, Seattle has won every game in which it had a lead of four or more at the half.
Quote of the decade
“I’m just ‘bout that action, boss’’ followed closely by “Thank you for asking,’’ “I’m only here so I don’t get fined.’’ And, “Always Compete.’’
It’s impossible to argue the Seahawks haven’t always pretty much done just that the last 10 years.