A more competitive 7-9

In their second season under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks finished with the same 7-9 record they posted during his first season as coach.

At least that was the view at first glance.

Look a little closer and it’s apparent that the Seahawks were more competitive and simply better in Year 2 P.C. than they were in Year 1 P.C.

Case in point – or points, in this case: In 2010, the Seahawks lost nine games by an average of 21 points and in 2011, the average margin of defeat was 9.8. And all nine losses in 2010 were by double digits, compared to four in 2011, and only one in the final 10 games. Also in 2010, they lost six road games by an average margin of 20.2 points and in 2011, it was five road losses by an average of 11.2 points.

Need more proof: The Seahawks upset the playoff-bound New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens, and also had two-point losses to the NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers and playoff-bound Atlanta Falcons. In 2010, they defeated one playoff-bound team – the Chicago Bears.

No matter how you stack it, that’s progress. And so was the Seahawks going 5-3 in the second half of the season, compared to 3-5 in 2010.

“We know we’ve got a better team this season,” said free safety Earl Thomas, a first-round draft choice in 2010 who in 2011 became the first Seahawk voted to the Pro Bowl since 2008 in only his second NFL season. “We’re young, but this experience we got this season and all the plays we made, we can build on that going into next season.”

The strengths of the 2011 Seahawks were their ability to run the football, and stop the opposition from running it. Marshawn Lynch, who was obtained in an October trade with the Buffalo Bills in 2010, found his legs in 2011, posting career-highs in rushing yards (1,204) and touchdowns (13).

“It’s very encouraging,” Lynch said. “Just to know that if we call a run play, we know we can run it and get success out of it. You’ve got to be pleased with that, being a running back, knowing that they’re going to get the job done.

“And they’re young and are going to get better.”

That’s what the running game did in its first season under assistant head coach/line coach Tom Cable. After the Seahawks averaged 77.7 rushing yards in the first seven games, they averaged 134.9 over the final nine to finish 21st in the league – up from 31 in 2010 – as Lynch had 941 of his yards and 10 of his TDs during that productive stretch.

The defense, meanwhile, finished ninth in the league in average yards allowed. It was the Seahawks’ first Top 10 finish since 1997 and only the sixth in franchise history. The Seahawks also forced 31 turnovers, and the only teams with more advanced to the postseason.

There were plenty of individuals who contributed to the team’s improvement in addition to Lynch and Thomas, who had 92 tackles:Jon Ryan broke his team records for punting average (46.6) and net average (39.3), erased the mark for longest punt that had stood since 1995 with a 77-yarder and also tied the club record for punts inside the 20 with a league-high 34 Red Bryant blocked a club-record four kicks Heath Farwell had a league-high 21 coverage tackles on special teams despite not joining the team until Week 7 Tarvaris Jackson, in his first season with the team, passed for 3,091 yards despite playing most of the season with a damaged pectoral in his throwing shoulder Doug Baldwin, a rookie free agent, led the team in receptions (51) and receiving yards (788) the cornerback tandem of first-year starters Brandon Browner and rookie Richard Sherman combined for 10 interceptions strong safety Kam Chancellor had 94 tackles and four interceptions Leo end Chris Clemons produced 11 sacks for the second consecutive season and Leon Washington averaged 25.2 yards on kickoff returns and 11.3 on punt returns.

And the Seahawks displayed – and at times flaunted – their improvement in a season when the 136-day lockout erased the offseason and Carroll and general manager John Schneider continued to scramble the roster with 231 transactions after making 284 in their first season together.

“I always liken it to the ‘Three Little Pigs.’ You can build it with straw or sticks,” Schneider said after the team started 2-6. “Or you can work your tail off and know that you’re doing the right thing and kind of do it the old-fashioned way and have a big, strong, sturdy foundation. Then you can weather all the storms.”

And Carroll could sense that the Seahawks had built a base for the good things to come.

“We’re at the foundation of building this program, and it’s taken us a couple of years to do that,” Carroll said. “We know the formula. We know the style.”

And now, we all know what was to come.

Year in Review
Record
7-9 (third in NFC West)
Owner
Paul Allen
Coach
Pete Carroll
Captains
QB Tarvaris Jackson (offense), CB Marcus Trufant (defense) and FB Michael Robinson and RB Leon Washington (special teams)
MVP
Seahawks.com selected RB Marshawn Lynch
Man of the Year
TE John Carlson
Largent Award
DE Red Bryant
Leading Passer
Jackson (271 of 450 for 3,091 yards, with 14 TDs and 13 interceptions)
Leading Rusher
Lynch (1,204 yards, 12 TDs)
Leading Receiver
Doug Baldwin (51 receptions for 788 yards and four TDs)
Leading Tackler(s)
MLB David Hawthorne (115)
Special Teams Tackles
LB Heath Farwell (21)
Interception Leader(s)
CB Brandon Browner (6)
Sack Leader
DE Chris Clemons (11)
Leading Scorer(s)
K Steve Hauschka (109)
Pro Bowl Selection(s)
FS Earl Thomas, starter; SS Kam Chancellor, Browner, Lynch and Robinson played in the game as alternates

2011

2011: A more competitive 7-9

In their second season under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks finished with the same 7-9 record they posted during his first season as coach.

2011 Games
Field Renamed CenturyLink Field
June 23, 2011

Qwest Field renamed CenturyLink Field.

Browner Sets Club Record
October 09, 2011

CB Brandon Browner set a club record at the New York Giants with a 94-yard interception return for a TD with 1:08 remaining in the game.

Coaching Changes
January 18, 2011

Hired former Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. Hired Todd Wash to coach the defensive line. Promoted Kris Richard to defensive backs coach. Promoted Rocky Seto to assistant defensive backs coach. Relieved offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates of his duties.

Hawthorne Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week
December 01, 2011

David Hawthorne was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance versus the Philadelphia Eagles on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football. He returned an interception 77 yards for a score. It was one of four interceptions in the game by Seattle’s defense

Draft James Carpenter
April 28, 2011

Selected T James Carpenter 25th overall in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Key Date
January 20, 2011

Hired Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator.

Free Agency Signing
July 29, 2011

Free Agency opened and the Seahawks signed, among others, G Robert Gallery, WR Sidney Rice, QB Tarvaris Jackson and FB Michael Robinson.

Player Lockout
March 12, 2011

The NFL Owners instituted a lockout of the players.

Clemons Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week
November 20, 2011

Chris Clemons was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after setting a career high with 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles at St. Louis

Hauschka Ties Club Record
November 13, 2011

Steven Hauschka tied a club record connecting on five field goal attempts in a 22-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens

Baldwin Named NFL Special Teams Player of the Week
December 12, 2011

Doug Baldwin was awarded the NFL Special Teams Player of the Week versus the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field. Not only did he lead team with seven catches for 93 yards and TD, he took a reverse handoff on the opening kickoff and returned it 37 yards. He also downed the Seahawks first punt of the game at the Rams’ own 6-yard line. After that drive ended in a punt, he blocked the attempt which resulted in a 17-yard return by Michael Robinson for touchdown.

Browner Sets Another Club Record
December 18, 2011

Brandon Browner set a club record at Chicago with at least one interception in four consecutive games, including a second touchdown return of the season from 42 yards which also set a club record for most interception return yards in a season with 220. Red Bryant returned an interception 20 yards for his first career touchdown in a 38-14 Seahawks victory.

Bryant Sets Club Record
October 23, 2011

Red Bryant blocked two field goal attempts at Cleveland setting a club record for most in a single game

Lockout Ends
July 25, 2011

NFL and the NFL Players Association agree to a 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement ending the 136-day lockout.

Key Date
October 13, 2011

Traded LB Aaron Curry to the Oakland Raiders for draft choices in 2012 and 2013.

I always liken it to the ‘Three Little Pigs.’ You can build it with straw or sticks. Or you can work your tail off and know that you’re doing the right thing and kind of do it the old-fashioned way and have a big, strong, sturdy foundation. Then you can weather all the storms.
General Manager John Schneider
It’s very encouraging. Just to know that if we call a run play, we know we can run it and get success out of it. You’ve got to be pleased with that, being a running back, knowing that they’re going to get the job done. And they’re young and are going to get better.
RB Marshawn Lynch
We’re at the foundation of building this program, and it’s taken us a couple of years to do that. We know the formula. We know the style.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
We know we’ve got a better team this season. We’re young, but this experience we got this season and all the plays we made, we can build on that going into next season.
FS Earl Thomas
2011 Season Schedule
Click on any game
to see full statistics.
DateOpponentScoreW:L
9/11 AT San Francisco 17-33 L
9/18 AT Pittsburgh 0-24 L
9/25 Arizona 13-10 W
10/2 Atlanta 28-30 L
10/9 AT New York Giants 36-25 W
10/23 AT Cleveland 3-6 L
10/30 Cincinnati 12-34 L
11/6 AT Dallas 13-23 L
11/13 Baltimore 22-17 W
11/20 AT St. Louis 24-7 W
11/27 Washington 17-23 L
12/1 Philadelphia 31-14 W
12/12 St. Louis 30-13 W
12/18 AT Chicago 38-14 W
12/24 San Francisco 17-19 L
1/1 AT Arizona 20-23 L
2011 Record
79
2011 Offense
PosPlayerStarts
C Max Unger 15
G Paul Fanaika 0
G Paul McQuistan 4
G Paul McQuistan 3
G Robert Gallery 12
G Lemuel Jeanpierre 4
OT Jarriel King 0
OT Breno Giacomini 8
OT Mike Gibson 0
OT Allen Barbre 0
TE Zach Miller 15
TE Cameron Morrah 0
TE Anthony McCoy 0
WR Golden Tate 0
WR Deon Butler 0
WR Doug Baldwin 0
WR Ben Obomanu 7
WR Ricardo Lockette 0
QB Josh Portis 0
QB Charlie Whitehurst 0
QB Tarvaris Jackson 15
FB Michael Robinson 5
RB Marshawn Lynch 15
RB Leon Washington 0
RB Justin Forsett 0
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2011 Defense
PosPlayerStarts
DE Raheem Brock 0
DE Red Bryant 16
DE Chris Clemons 16
DE Lazarius Levingston 0
DE Anthony Hargrove 0
DT Brandon Mebane 16
DT Clinton McDonald 0
DT Alan Branch 15
LB Heath Farwell 0
LB Malcolm Smith 0
LB Mike Morgan 0
LB Adrian Moten 0
MLB David Hawthorne 14
OLB Leroy Hill 16
OLB K.J. Wright 14
CB Brandon Browner 16
CB Richard Sherman (R) 10
DB Chris Maragos 0
DB Byron Maxwell 0
DB Roy Lewis 0
DB Kennard Cox 0
DB Phillip Adams 0
DB Jeron Johnson 0
FS Earl Thomas 16
SS Kam Chancellor 15
SS Atari Bigby 0
+ View All-Time Roster
2011 Special Teams
PosPlayerStarts
K Steven Hauschka 16
LS Clint Gresham 16
P Jon Ryan 16
+ View All-Time Roster
2011: On the Rise

VIDEO: 2011: On the Rise

On this Day in Seahawks History