Editor’s note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today’s team: The Seattle Seahawks with Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest.
It's been just over five years since the Seattle Seahawks attempted a slant pass at the one-yard line instead of simply handing it off to Marshawn Lynch.
We're referring to the Seahawks' loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, but you knew that already. Malcolm Butler's stunning interception to seal the Patriots' victory still hurts Seattle to this day, as it prevented the Seahawks from earning their second straight Super Bowl title.
The sting from that kind of loss can cause a team to fall apart, but the Seahawks have remained one of the better teams in the NFL despite that crushing defeat. In the latest edition of Patriots Opposing Views, Phil Perry asks NBC Sports Northwest insider Joe Fann whether Seattle has fully recovered from Butler's infamous INT.
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"I think they have, and I think they've honestly done it fairly admirably," Fann said. "You look at how just crushing loss is, the fashion in which you lose where you're on the doorstep, who's at running back. It's really a foregone conclusion the Seahawks are going to win their second straight Super Bowl and become a dynasty that can potentially rival what has been built in New England.
"It really did fall apart and they were forced to rebuild. And there were some big personalities, a lot of which didn't handle that well ... There are a lot of teams that don't recover from that, and the fact the Seahawks have made the playoffs every year bur one since Russell Wilson's been in the league is really tremendous. And really the rebuilding process is just more of a retooling and getting back to where they are contenders.
"They were a drive away from beating the Packers and going to the NFC Championship Game just last season. So while some of the faces or many of the faces are now different, the core is still there, the culture is still there, and to me it's been very impressive how they've been able to keep the ship afloat."
It's hard to argue with that assessment. The Seahawks, despite not making it to the Super Bowl since that horrific loss, have managed to be perennial contenders even after losing key players from those 2013 and 2014 teams. Having Russell Wilson under center certainly has helped their cause.
Although it'll have stiff competition in the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, Seattle should be a common pick to win the NFC West in 2020 and make another run at the Lombardi Trophy.