Sacred as it was, the winning formula that was years in the making for coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks began leaking away during the Super Bowl last season. It has flowed onto the floor and swirled down the drain ever since. A comeback victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12 showed Seattle can still beat a good team regardless, but now Carroll has a team like so many others -- one that more often than not lives and dies with its quarterback.
Russell Wilson isn't going to throw five touchdowns with no picks every week. He did it Sunday for an offense that is coming to life right on cue. But for a Seattle team that dominated on its terms for the better part of three seasons, hanging on for dear life while Ben Roethlisberger passes for 456 yards is no way to spend a Sunday. These sorts of seismic shifts can become inevitable when an organization invests many millions in its quarterback at the expense of its roster, but shouldn't there be some lag time?
This overnight transformation lends credence to what a personnel director said during a conversation last offseason. He thought Seattle would struggle all season without ever recapturing the formula that made the Seahawks so tough to beat. I wasn't necessarily buying his theory at the time, and it's one that could easily be pushed aside after Wilson carried Seattle to a 39-30 victory over the Steelers at CenturyLink Field. But it's worth a look now that the Seahawks' winning formula has changed beyond recognition.