There are two types of consistency that the Seahawks display.
The first is consistently taking years off their fans’ lives.
Sunday’s 20-15 win over the Washington Football Team (WFT) was another exercise in anxiety — a game that likely raised blood pressure throughout the greater Seattle area.
A 17-point lead in the fourth quarter had dwindled down to five. WFT had a first-and-10 on Seattle’s 23 with a chance to take the lead in the final minute. Then came back-to-back sacks — the first from L.J. Collier and the second from Carlos Dunlap — and after an incomplete pass on fourth-and-24 … a collective sigh of relief that could be heard from across the country.
This is what these Seahawks do. They’re on an endless crusade against comfort.
Whether it’s stopping New England’s Cam Newton on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in Week 2, intercepting Dallas’ Dak Prescott in the final minute in Week 3, hitting DK Metcalf for a winning touchdown pass on fourth down vs. the Vikings in Week 5, or holding on by a pinkie Sunday, the drama rarely ceases.
Last year, 10 of the Seahawks’ 11 regular-season wins came by one score. This year, seven of their 10 have come by one score. But Sunday’s one-score victory highlighted the other area where the Seahawks are mind-blowingly consistent: They make the playoffs.
Just about every time.
“It’s a really big deal,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll when asked about getting back to the postseason. “Being in the playoffs with games to go, that’s a beautiful thing. We’re playing for everything, which is great.”
The Seahawks (10-4) have now clinched a playoff spot for the eighth time in the past nine years. Only the Patriots, who have made the last 11 postseasons but will miss out on it this season, have been able to match that level of regularity.
The feat is particularly impressive given the constant roster turnover, as only quarterback Russell Wilson and linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright remain from that playoff appearance in 2012.
So where does the credit go? Well, you gotta start with Wilson. The signal caller is the only QB to have a winning record in each of his nine seasons, and over that time, he has been one of just four quarterbacks to post a career passer rating above 100.
Sunday wasn’t his most spectacular day, as he went 18 for 27 passing with 121 yards, one touchdown and an interception. But he also managed 52 rushing yards on six carries and took no sacks against one of the best pass-rushing teams in the league.
After the game, Wilson was asked what it felt like to get back to the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years.
“It’s a blessing. I don’t know what happened that one year we didn’t,” he said with a chuckle. “To be back in the playoffs, it’s great. It gives us a chance to try and do what we want to do and that’s win a Super Bowl.”
As for his teammates?
“It’s exciting in that locker room,” Wilson added. “Guys are going crazy in there.”
Credit must also go to Carroll and general manager John Schneider. Those two have consistently reloaded a roster that has seen the departures of stars such as Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and well, we can go on for a while. But they’ve managed to draft standouts such as running back Chris Carson and receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. And they’ve managed to trade for All-Pros such as left tackle Duane Brown, defensive end Carlos Dunlap and, of course, safety Jamal Adams.
Adams, who set the season sack record for a defensive back last week — and added one Sunday to make it 9½ for the season — spent his first three seasons with the Jets. During that time, New York never posted a winning record.
So perhaps it’s not surprising that when a reporter began to ask Adams about finally making the playoffs, he cut him off and screamed …
“Hell yeah! That’s a hell of a feeling. Sorry, I’m not used to this, guys. Forgive me, I know you guys are used to Seattle and always going to the playoffs. I’m not used to this,” he said. “I’m used to sending my cars home by this time, and hey, I’m already packing up learning where I’m going next. Where’s the vacation? When am I seeing family? Sorry to cut you off.”
No apologies necessary. The playoffs are a big deal. Or in the Seahawks’ case — just part of the routine.