As part of the AFC-NFL merger in 1970, the NFL began its expansion from 26 to 28 teams in the late 1970s. In 1972 a group of Seattle businessmen called Seattle Professional Football Inc. announced its desire to bring a franchise to the area. But, it wasn’t until June 1974 that the group was awarded the expansion.
John Thomson was hired from the NFL Management Council to be the first GM of the new franchise and hired Jack Patera as its first head coach. As is the case with most expansion teams, the Seahawks struggled early and finished their inaugural season in 1976 at 2-12.
It didn’t take too long for Seattle to have their first winning season in 1978 with Patera winning Coach of the Year. It would be another five years in 1983 before the Seahawks would make their first trip to the playoffs. The Seahawks won their first playoff game in the Wild Card round against the Broncos 31-7. They went on to beat the Dolphins in the divisional round before succumbing to the Raiders 30-14 in the AFC Championship.
While they never had a powerhouse team during the 1980s, the Seahawks would go on to make the playoffs four times between 1983 and 1988. The 1990s would not be so kind and the Seahawks franchise took a nosedive after 1988. Between 1989 and 1998, the Seahawks did not make the playoffs and managed just one winning season in 1990.
The Seahawks didn’t break out as a team until 2005 when they won their first NFC Championship and played in their first Super Bowl. Shaun Alexander ran all over the league and led Seattle to a 13-3 record that year. However, the team fell short of their first title and lost to the Steelers at Super Bowl XL 21-10.
The Seahawks experienced their most successful period once Peter Carroll was brought on as head coach in 2010. After drafting Russell Wilson in 2012, Seattle went 11-5 and for their first winning season in four years. The following season, Wilson led the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl victory since joining the league in 1976. Seattle went 12-4 the following year and went back to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. This time, however, the Patriots eked out a 28-24 win. Despite two more NFC West titles since 2014, the Seahawks have yet to make it to another Super Bowl. After going 7-10 in 2021, Seattle is in rebuild mode
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