The 2006 Seattle Seahawks: Bouncing Back From the Hangover

Zachary HabnerCorrespondent IMay 21, 2009

SEATTLE - JANUARY 06:  Jordan Babineaux #27 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his teams win over the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter of the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game against the Seattle Seahawks on January 6, 2007 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Seahawks won the game 21-20.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Not many Seahawks fans would say the 2006 Seattle Seahawks are their favorite team ever.   There are several other teams they could choose:  1976 (the inaugural season), 1983 (AFC Championship season), and the obvious 2005 season (Super Bowl XL season).

But none of those teams had the expectations the 2006 Seahawks had. 

Coming off a heartbreaking 21-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL, these Seahawks were looking to be the first team to make it back to the postseason after losing the Super Bowl since 1999.

Many experts felt they were the best team in the NFC headed into the offseason.  After a tumultuous offseason in which they dealt with the loss of All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson the Seahawks signed Julian Peterson, Nate Burleson, and extended All-Pro running back Shaun Alexander. 

They appeared to be headed for another NFC West title and possibly another Super Bowl appearance.  Quickly however, the 2006 season would have many Seahawks fans holding their breath.

After a week one bout in the city in which they lost Super Bowl XL, the Seahawks offense looked flat, scoring only nine points.  Josh Brown booted the Seahawks to victory in the closing seconds. 

Weeks two and three saw the return of the offense as they routed the Cardinals 21-10 and the New York Giants 42-30, leading that game 35-3 at halftime.

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Then came the biggest game of the season to this point, the undefeated Seattle Seahawks versus the undefeated Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football.  The Bears defense shredded a Shaun Alexander-less Seahawks offense winning 37-6.

The Seahawks went into week seven with a record of 4-1 after another thrilling victory over the St. Louis Rams.   They were at home playing the Minnesota Vikings when linebacker E.J. Henderson clipped Matt Hasselbeck’s right knee, sending him to the sidelines.  After losing the game 30-13, the Seahawks had also lost their quarterback for five weeks.

After losing a heart breaker to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seahawks still looked pretty dominant in a win over the Oakland Raiders 16-0.  They then got another win over the St. Louis Rams by having Brown nail the game winning 38-yard field goal.

The Seahawks had another heart pounding victory over the Denver Broncos, relying on another last second Brown field goal.

After going 1-3 in the final four games of the season, the Seahawks ended 2006 at 9-7. The Seahawks had a date with the Dallas Cowboys during wild card weekend.

This game is why this team is my favorite Seahawks team.  That weekend was a trying time for me personally, and that game was my only escape.  Back and forth they went, when finally Dallas had a chance to end the Seahawks season.

However, in some stroke of luck the ball managed to slip through the hands of Tony Romo on the attempted 19-yard chip shot field goal.  Game over.  Seahawks win 21-20.  I collapse in my chair in tears, what was once a sure defeat turned into a victory.

Then reality set in after Robbie Gould kicked the Chicago Bears into the NFC Championship game the very next week.  

Even though the game was a hard fought game all the way through, the Seahawks would not be going to the Super Bowl this season.

After the Bears rematch I sat down and looked over this season of disappointment and found a season of optimism.  Looking at how hard the 2006 Seahawks fought all the way through the season without some of their best players really showed the character that team had. 

This team is my favorite team because of that game against the Cowboys.  I felt like nothing could make me feel good that entire weekend until that ball somehow found turf.  

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