The Seattle Seahawks, and most of their fans, thought they would be playing a lot longer in this season’s playoff run. After all, the team itself finished the regular season with a 12-4 record - the best record since the last time they went to the Super Bowl six seasons ago.
Sadly, that dream vanished in front of everyone’s eyes in Saturday’s 30-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card round.
A promising season that had an incredibly hot start from the offense and quarterback Russell Wilson, to an abrupt end that had many players on the team shocked that it was over so much faster than what they were hoping for.
"It's a lot to process," said linebacker Bobby Wagner. "There's a lot going on, it's a long season, there's a lot put into the season. I definitely felt like we had the group to go further than what we did. It feels weird that we're done, I didn't expect that, I didn't think that at all. So I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it."
For Wagner and the defense, the loss on Saturday and how embarrassing it was can obviously sting a little bit. The defense in particular was starting to find its stride while the offense wasn’t playing up to standards as they were at the beginning of the season.
One big reason the defense was playing very well was the addition of defensive end Carlos Dunlap II, who came onto the team in a midseason trade from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dunlap helped surged the defense into becoming one of the more dominant defensives in the league after a rough start. the defense at one point was ranked dead last in the league, and after Dunlap was added the team finished in the Top 10 in defenses.
Obviously, the veteran defensive player did not know how to process Saturday’s loss just like the rest of us.
"I didn't have the mental capacity to think we'd be ending the season this way, this week," Dunlap said. "Not that I overlooked L.A., we knew it'd be a challenge, but I thought we would come and do what it took, and we did not deliver yesterday, so that's why we're here."
Linebacker K.J. Wright, who is the longest-tenured player, wrapped up his tenth season with the Seahawks on Saturday.
Wright hoped this season would end in the Super Bowl, or at least get to the divisional round.
"Out of all the years since we lost to New England, I thought that this year was our best chance of going (to the Super Bowl)," Wright said. "I truly felt like we had all the pieces, we had all the confidence in the world to go back. Twelve-and-four, that's a really good season, it's just unfortunate that yesterday was just one of them days, and we faced a really good opponent. We know that playoff time is going to always be tough, but the way that we fell short, I'm still in shock that we lost in the first round. I'm like, 'OK we at least will go to the NFC Championship, and see what happens then,' but it's very frustrating, it's very disappointing.
The Seahawks certainly had a chance to make it further than what they achieved this year, but a loss is a loss and there is nothing more to say about it at this point.
Players, coaches, and fans are all disappointed in the outcome this season for the Seahawks as everyone should be.
But now it is time to move on from the sulking session we all had over the weekend and look towards the offseason and the adjustments and the additions this team certainly needs to make.