Add Pete Carroll to Belichick's graveyard of discarded rivals

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The Seahawks’ hopes for a dynasty may have ended with Malcolm Butler’s interception, but they remained on the cusp of Super Bowl contention for years. The Pete Caroll-Russell Wilson-John Schneider triumvirate won 107 games between 2012-2020, including nine playoff victories. Those accomplishments are second only to the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady Patriots, who won 119 games in that span, as well as three Super Bowls.

But now, it’s over for the Seahawks. Following a dreadful loss Monday night to Washington, they’re floundering at 3-8, and big changes seem to be on the horizon. Carroll and Wilson don’t work well together anymore. One of them will probably go.

Meanwhile, the Belichick-Mac Jones Patriots are ascending up the AFC. We’ve spent years talking about how Brady has outlasted all of his peers: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger. But the same can be said for Belichick. Belichick and Carroll are only one year apart. Yet, the latter’s head coaching career in the NFL may soon be over. Belichick looks like he has several seasons left.

We’re well-versed in how Butler’s championship-sealing interception brought the Seahawks to the literal edge of a cliff. We also know Seattle was unable to keep together its Legion of Boom once Wilson inked his first lucrative contract extension. But the Seahawks’ downfall goes beyond that.

Wilson expressed frustration with the Seahawks last offseason about how many times he gets hit, and his lack of input in the offense. The Seahawks acquiesced to both of Wilson’s demands, acquiring guard Gabe Jackson and hiring Sean McVay’s latest wunderkind understudy, Shane Waldron, to be their offensive coordinator. Neither move has panned out. The Seahawks’ offense is a mess, and so is Wilson. The 33-year-old quarterback has completed just 55.67% of his passes for 615 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his three games since prematurely returning from a finger injury. The Seahawks have lost all three contests.

Seattle’s downfall didn’t happen overnight, but rather over the last couple years. Only seven of the Seahawks’ past 72 draft picks are still on the roster, and they’ve missed on every first-round pick since 2013. Belichick was in a drafting slump as well, but rebounded in a big way this year, selecting Mac Jones, Christian Barmore and bruising running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

Carroll’s downfall is a reminder of how even the best head coaches can grow stale. Carroll possessed the magic touch when he arrived in Seattle, picking Wilson, a third-round pick, to start over veteran Matt Flynn in 2012. It was a gutsy move that’s paid huge dividends. But even football geniuses run out of tricks ... except for Belichick.

One could argue Belichick has already built three iterations of the Patriots dynasty: 2001-04; 2007-13; 2014-19. Now he seems to be building his fourth version, and it’s his most impressive yet, since Brady is no longer around.

Come January, Carroll could be packing his bags while Belichick game plans for the Divisional Round. Just add another tombstone to the Belichick graveyard.