When the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl with an 18-1 record in 1985, they seemed on the verge of a dynasty.
It turned out they were one and done. The 1985 Bears are remembered as one of the best teams in NFL history, but there still is the feeling they could have done much more.
They went 14-2 in 1986 and 11-4 in the 1987 strike season, but their quarterback Jim McMahon was injured in the playoffs both years and they lost to the Washington Redskins.
In 1988, they went 12-4 but lost the NFC title game to San Francisco — and that was their last hurrah.
Age and poor drafting caught up with the Bears, and they went 6-10 in 1989 and never won another title. Their window was closed.
They had a five-year regular season run from 1984 to 1988 of 10-6, 15-1, 14-2, 11-4 and 12-4 and only have one Lombardi Trophy to show for it.
Now you have to wonder if the Seattle Seahawks are about to suffer a similar fate and see their window close with just one Lombardi.
They were a yard away from back-to-back Super Bowl wins against New England after the 2014 season. If they had gotten that yard, they would have gone into the 2015 season trying to become the first team to win three Super Bowls in a row.
But you know what happened. Instead of running Marshawn Lynch, they had Russell Wilson throw the ill-fated pass that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler.
The Seahawks haven’t been the same since. They went 10-6 and 10-5-1 the last two years and haven’t gotten back to the NFC title game, much less the Super Bowl. They lost in the divisional rounds to Carolina, 31-24, in 2015 and Atlanta, 36-20, last year.
And now the window is probably getting closer to closing after a 34-31 loss to Atlanta that dropped them to 6-4 and in danger of missing the playoffs. It will be tougher to rebound with two key members of their secondary, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, injured.
And it was another controversial decision by coach Pete Carroll that contributed to their defeat. He called for a fake field goal with seven seconds left in the first half and the Seahawks at the Atlanta 17.
It didn’t work, and the Seahawks ended up losing by three points. That doesn’t definitely mean it was the difference because the game might have played out differently if they had kicked the field goal. But they certainly could have used their three points.
In a head-scratching quote, Carroll said after the game it would have been a great play if it had worked. But it didn’t.
From the one-yard line to the fake field goal may be the two bookend decisions that closed the Seahawks window if Seattle turns out to be one and done in this era. With the Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams still on their schedule, they have a tough road to the playoffs, although they beat the Rams in their first meeting.
If they fail to make the playoffs and their window keeps closing, they can only think of what might have been.