Let’s take a trip down memory lane with this Seattle Seahawks defense.
Through the first two months of the season, the Seahawks were led by Russell Wilson and the high-powered offense while the defense struggled to find its identity.
At one point, the defense was about to set an NFL record with the most yards allowed per game.
The role reversed midway through the season with the addition of Carlos Dunlap from the Cincinnati Bengals and the defense holding an ‘accountability’ meeting to set the standard for each other.
Since then, Seattle's defense entered Sunday having given up 13.7 points per game.
Now after Sunday's 26-23 regular-season finale at State Farm Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks defense continued to show that they have improved significantly since the beginning of the season.
Both teams were sluggish in the first half of the game, but the defense continued to look strong throughout, forcing the 49ers to punt in their first four possessions and holding them to just a field goal before halftime.
After the half, the Seahawks were able to close the game out by recovering a Benson Mayowa strip-sack, which was the third sack of the game for the defense.
“I think we finished very strong,” said Dunlap after the game. “Obviously we want to put a complete game together, with teams like that we want to foot our foot on their neck…
The addition of Jamal Adams and Dunlap on the defense has really brought a different surge to that side of the ball as whole.
Adams brings a new voice to the team that has been missing since Richard Sherman departed from the team, while Dunlap creates space for other defenders such as Jarran Reed.
This team might not look like the ‘Legion of Boom,’ but they are slowly creating a new identity for themselves.
After the game, Bobby Wagner talked how he feels that this defense has the potential to be championship-caliber defense. Since, you know, he has a little bit of experience in that department.
“I definitely feel like we have the ingredients,” Wagner said about the defense. “The biggest thing is it to do it consistently and do it at a high level for the whole game. I think that is something we are working on ands something we are improving on. Where we were at in the beginning of the season to where we are now is night and day, but we have to keep it up.”
The Seahawks came out with the win, but left the game a little banged up. Adams left midway through the fourth quarter because of a shoulder injury, while Reed was sidelined due to an abdominal injury.
The Seahawks will be taking on the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday at Lumen Field in Seattle, and head coach Pete Carroll said he is optimistic Adams will suit up for that game.
Its crazy to think how far this defense has come since the start of the season. Fans, including myself, did not know what to think of how this whole year was going to turn out.
Luckily in the game of the football, there is a little thing called practice and film, and the ability to adjust things on the fly when necessary.
The biggest test now for the defense is how they will fare in the postseason, which we will finally see unfold this coming Saturday vs. the Rams.