Seahawks Unable to Learn From Past in Another Divisional Round Loss

Nick Lee

The Seahawks were in a familiar spot at halftime of the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday - down big on the road in a hostile environment.

During the Pete Carroll era, which started in 2010, Seattle has played in the Divisional Round of the playoffs an impressive seven times in his 10 seasons. On five of those occasions, the game was played on the road. In each of those five road matchups, they trailed at halftime by more than one touchdown.

In fact, they averaged a deficit of almost 20 points, including deficits by a score of 21-0, 20-0, 31-0, 19-10 and 21-3.

They ended up losing each of these five games, but none of them turned into the blowouts that they looked to be at halftime thanks to the heroics of quarterback Russell Wilson, who has a penchant for pulling off magic tricks to get his team back into the game.

The average score of the first half of those games was 22.4-2.6, in favor of Seattle’s opponent. Each time, to the Seahawks credit, they never quit and nearly completed an unforgettable comeback led by Wilson, outscoring their opponents by an average score of 21.2-9.6 in the second half.

Seattle would still seem confident and calm at halftime, almost with a “hakuna matata” type attitude, assuming their talent would take over and win the game.

“Hakuna matata” means “no worries,” presumably for the rest of your days. At least that’s what the young lion heir-apparent Simba thought when he ran away from his problems to start a new life, away from the pressures of a kingdom and the pains of his past.

In the second half of this year’s divisional game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the Seahawks tried once again to outrun their past flaws and pains of getting into a big first half deficit, and once again, the hyenas caught up to them.

The Seahawks couldn’t run from the past. They also failed to do what Simba eventually accomplished, which is learn from the past and become better for it.

The wise baboon Rafiki gave Simba crucial advice that we, including the Seahawks coaches and players, can learn from.

“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

Seattle tried once again to claw out from a big deficit instead of learning from past playoff failures and getting out to a fast start from the get-go.

This game revealed a concerning lack of willingness to learn from past mistakes. As Simba found out, the way of “Hakuna matata” doesn’t work when you have responsibilities and people counting on you. Life goes on, with or without you.

That attitude might work while you’re on vacation on Waikiki Beach or binge-watching Disney shows over a long weekend, but not when other coaches, players, and an entire city are counting on you to bring another championship to Seattle.

It’s tough to point to one specific person as the main issue. Pete Carroll does sometimes give off the “Hakuna matata” vibe, even amidst turmoil, which at times, can be frustrating. 

Even Wilson himself sometimes gives off that vibe and he's not without blame for the inability to get rolling early, but his situation is the least of Seattle's concerns. Without him, the team wouldn't be close to scratching the surface of playoff contention.

Carroll and his coaching staff need to take a good, long, hard look at why they consistently start off slow, only to come roaring back with Wilson operating like a mighty Lion King. However, in the playoffs, it has repeatedly caught up to them resulting in gut-wrenching losses and left fans and players wondering “what if...?"

The Seahawks need to stop running from their past mistakes of starting out slow and actually do something about it this offseason. The organization needs to turn around and face these issues and fix them, because losses like these sure can leave a Scar that is tough to bounce back from.