What a crazy year. While the season may have come to a bitter ending, there were many great moments during the Seattle Seahawks’ 2015-16 campaign. I thought that rather lament on how it ended, why not focus on the positives?
Coming off arguably the most heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl history, Pete Carroll did a masterful job at keeping his players focused and confident during some extremely tough circumstances. Kam Chancellor, one of the true leaders on this team, holding out – something that I still think affects the locker room today. Stumbling to a 2-4 record to begin the year. But our Seahawks, as they do time and time again, silenced the critics once again on their way to a fourth straight playoff appearance.
They may have come back to Seattle without a second Lombardi Trophy in three seasons, but the 2015-16 Seahawks were a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Let us visit some of the top moments of the year (bear with me if the videos don’t play on this screen…you should be able to click to view them on YouTube).
One of the biggest headlines of the offseason, Jimmy Graham came to Seattle to give quarterback Russell Wilson a legitimate red zone target. Unfortunately, for Graham and the Seahawks, the superstar tight end was injured late in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but not before showing us a glimpse of his potential.
Off to a rocky 0-2 start, Seattle hosted the Chicago Bears for their first home game of the season. But the home team was struggling to put points on the board until All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman ripped off a huge 64-yard gain on a fake punt return. This gave the Seahawks good field position for the first time in the game.
This play would likely be higher on my list if it wasn’t for the guy who made it. Cary Williams was one of the worst signings in the franchise’s history, but he did make a handful of good plays before being cut late in early December. One of those came in the first game of the season, and likely should’ve been a game-winner.
After a shocking loss on the road to the Cincinnati Bengals in the week prior, Seattle returned to CenturyLink Field to host the undefeated (and Super Bowl bound…) Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks roared out to a 20-7 lead, highlighted by this flea-flicker pass to Ricardo Lockette. The scoreline would not hold, though, as Cam Newton and the Panthers would rally in the fourth quarter for a 27-23 win.
It sure didn’t take long for rookie wide receiver Tyler Lockett to make his presence felt. After taking a couple of returns back for touchdowns in the preseason, Lockett began his Pro Bowl season with a touchdown on the first punt return of his career. Seattle has had trouble drafting wide receivers since Carroll took over, but it seems they really found a gem in the speedster out of Kansas State.
Lockett wasn’t the only Seahawks rookie to burst onto the scene this year. Thomas Rawls may have gone undrafted, but he sure made the most of his opportunity. With Marshawn Lynch on the mend, the kid was thrust into the starting lineup early in the season. Before his injury in Baltimore, Rawls was leading the league in yards per rush, mostly because of runs like the one above. Ladies and gentlemen, we may have found a successor to Beast Mode.
Even though Sherman’s fake punt led to Seattle’s first points of the day, the Seahawks were only up 6-0 at halftime against a Jimmy Clausen-led Bears squad. That was short-lived, however, as Lockett took the opening kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown. Something tells me that won’t be his last.
Everyone should remember this one, as it just happened a couple of weeks ago. In my opinion, this play is the epitome of the Seahawks season. A nightmarish beginning. A scramble. A magical run. A bit short of the goal. A great play (season) nonetheless.
The Seahawks-Steelers game was possibly the best game in the NFL in 2015. The game was largely a back and forth battle, with Seattle leading 32-30 late in the fourth quarter. Facing a crucial 3rd and 10 and trying to run the clock out, Wilson connected with Doug Baldwin on a completion over the middle of the field. 80 yards later, the Seahawks clinched a win that put them back in the thick of the playoff race.
After a 1-2 start, the Seahawks hosted the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football. It was a sloppy and low-scoring affair, with Seattle leading the entire game. However, Calvin Johnson and Detroit’s offense were driving down the field late in the fourth quarter. The Lions appeared ready to take the lead for the first time when Johnson caught a pass and ran for the goal line. But before he could cross the plane, Bam Bam Chancellor knocked the ball free. The result was one of the most controversial plays of the year, but one that gave the Seahawks a much-needed win.