The defense graded out the best, earning a B after the 26-24 loss to Arizona to wrap up a season with no playoff appearance.
Ultimately, Seattle failed the test of the 2017 season, one in which the Seahawks made a number of go-for-broke moves and instead will not make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
“I thought this was going to be our best team, actually,’’ said quarterback Russell Wilson.
Indeed, the addition of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson before the season had some thinking this defense could rival any of the Legion of Boom era.
And with Wilson healthy again after an injury-filled 2016, and the midseason trade for veteran Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown (not to mention the addition in the offseason of the likes of free agent Eddie Lacy), there was legitimate reason to think the offense could be markedly better.
Instead, a flurry of injuries, some perplexing developments (such as the complete disappearing of Lacy) and what seemed to be just an overall decline in play as the season wore on means that for the first time since 2011 the Seahawks will be watching the playoffs from the sidelines.
A long and undoubtedly busy offseason awaits after a dispiriting 26-24 defeat against Arizona that was a maybe-all-too-fitting ending.
For now, one final time to hand out some grades.
This was an offensive performance like too many others this season — a shockingly slow start followed by a too-little, too-late second-half rally.
Consider that Seattle went the entire season without scoring a touchdown on its opening drive.
In fact, Seattle punted the first five times it had the ball Sunday (if you don’t include Tyler Lockett’s kickoff return for a touchdown) and likely would have on its sixth had time not run out on the half.
Seattle had zero yards in the first quarter and just 24 at half.
But then came a massive flurry, including drives of 80 and 60 yards for touchdowns that got Seattle back in front.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll has long talked about not worrying about slow starts, but after Sunday he seemed to acknowledge it’s not something that can continue.
“I’m so surprised that we played like we did today because we were so ready and we practiced so well,’’ he said.
Wilson finished with a decent stat line (18-for-29 passing for 221 yards) and ended up leading the NFL in touchdown passes with 34 after throwing two more to Doug Baldwin. But he also was once again forced to do too much and at times early seemed to wilt under that pressure, especially in a first half when he seemed particularly quick to leave the pocket.
The single biggest thing Seattle will have to do in the offseason is figure out how to get the running game going. Seattle finished with 101 yards against Arizona — exactly its average for the season — but only 11 in the first half when the Seahawks created what turned out to be too big of a hole.
“We have not been able to find the consistency in our running game that complements the rest of our play,’’ Carroll said.
Seattle’s four rushing touchdowns for the season ties a franchise low.
Baldwin was spectacular (four receptions, 90 yards, two touchdowns) and Jimmy Graham — in what was likely his final game with the Seahawks — had a big fourth-down catch that sparked the comeback. But there also were a few drops and the Seattle receiving corps could be retooled in the offseason as well.
The defense had a slow start before finding its bearings and keeping the Seahawks in the game.
But roughing-the-passer penalties late on Frank Clark and Bobby Wagner also were too indicative of a season when the Seattle defense seemed to take a step back.
The cornerbacks played really well in this one, though, with Shaquill Griffin getting his first career interception and Byron Maxwell doing a really nice job throughout.
The Seahawks also got some really good contributions from defensive linemen Jarran Reed (two quarterback hits), Dion Jordan (one sack and a forced fumble) and Garrison Smith (two tackles, two quarterback hits).
But the defense shared in the slow start by allowing an Arizona team that came into the game 30th in the NFL in rushing offense at 84.7 per game to rush for 77 on 19 carries in the first half.
The good was Lockett’s kickoff return that was all that kept Seattle in it in the first half.
The bad was letting Arizona have a long return on its next possession to set up a field goal as well as a short Jon Ryan punt (32 yards) that helped set up Arizona’s second touchdown (though Ryan bounced back with punts of 60 and 53 yards on his next two).
And then there was the dichotomy of the four field goals by Arizona’s Phil Dawson (his 53-yarder in the third quarter an underrated key to the game) and the big miss late by Blair Walsh, who it figures at this point will be one-and-done as a Seahawk.