The Seattle Seahawks, to use a highly technical term, “defecated on the mattress” in their own stadium, losing 17-14 to an extremely beaten up Washington team that would’ve been toast with another loss. I genuinely was concerned about this game about three weeks ago, back when Washington was healthier, but felt fairly confident when they lost most of their o-line and some key offensive weapons. Unfortunately, I also didn’t know until a few days ago that it would rain, and the Seahawks offense just falls apart almost every time this occurs. They need a retractable roof at CenturyLink Field.
In all seriousness, this loss sucked, it sucked even worse because it happened on my birthday, which makes writing up Winners and Losers that much more unpleasant for me.
If he doesn’t get a Defensive Player of the Year vote then we shall riot. Wagz was responsible for literally 100% of Seattle’s point total for about 49 minutes of game time, and was all over the place in coverage and in run support. His 10 solo tackles led all defenders, and it’s a damn shame his greatness was wasted.
The ageless Freeney recorded two sacks, bringing his total to 2.5 in just two games with his new team. His second sack was nearly a strip-sack and a go-ahead touchdown, but Kirk Cousins was just down before the ball came out. He’s been a great addition to the pass rush.
A fumble recovery and a half-sack (split with Jarran Reed, whose presence as an interior rusher has been a welcome surprise) for the rookie. Frankly speaking, he’s the only rookie who definitively balled out for the Seahawks on Sunday. Everyone else made at least one glaring mistake.
Just another ho-hum day for Doug Baldwin. He led the team with 7 catches, 108 yards, and what should’ve been the game-winning touchdown if not for the defense’s collapse. He is on pace for another 1,000 yard season, and has an outside shot of 100 receptions, which would be a first in Seahawks history.
I’ve been bagging on Rawls in recent weeks, and while his stat line of 9 carries for 39 yards (plus 2 catches for 31 yards) isn’t earth-shattering, it’s sure a hell of a lot better than anything else he’s done this season. I’m still a little annoyed that he’s not good at falling forward for extra yardage, and that’s where Chris Carson is sorely missed.
Worst player of the game. It wasn’t even close. Three field goals, three misses, all wide left. Walsh had been a reasonably steady performer throughout the season, but this was disastrous. His second miss led to Washington’s first touchdown, so that’s a ten-point swing right there. It might have been a bad day at the office, but Seattle’s special teams is painstakingly mediocre and Walsh’s woes didn’t help at all.
The entire offensive line
Every starting offensive lineman was penalized at least once, and Oday Aboushi easily had his worst game as a Seahawk. Ethan Pocic got put flat on his ass on what was virtually the game-deciding sack on the final drive. Germain Ifedi was terrible and (possibly because of Russell Wilson’s stupidly deep dropback) gave up pressure on a one-man rush for the Hail Mary throw. Interior pressure was being allowed instantly time and time again, without adjustment being made. Absolutely maddening stuff.
Russell Wilson is bad at them and the Seahawks are rotten at executing. It’s even worse than Wilson’s habit of throwing those bubble screens backwards. End of story. Let’s move on.
Justin Coleman and Shaquill Griffin
Look, I’ve praised both for being demonstrably better at their respective positions than Jeremy Lane, hence they’ve both overtaken him on the depth chart, but they fell apart on the final drive. Coleman was beaten in the slot by Brian Quick, who is evidently still in the league, and then Griffin got badly beaten by Josh Doctson on what was effectively the game-deciding throw. Even worse is that Griffin didn’t touch Doctson, and it would’ve been a touchdown if not for Bradley McDougald (although I’d have preferred that play was called a TD to save some extra seconds). Griffin has had some ugly rookie moments these last two weeks.
NFL on FOX
By pure coincidence, the Seahawks are 1-3 on FOX and 4-0 on any other network. Three of their next four games are on NBC or ESPN. I think we know what the problem is. Anyway, Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis are normally a fine commentary pairing, but they constantly dressed up an ugly game like we were watching something utterly amazing. It was not. If you were a neutral, I don’t know how you can convince yourself that one team failing to break 150 yards of offense for most of the game and another team shooting for 150 yards in penalties is good football.
Pathetic time management
I’ve never been high on Seattle’s clock management abilities, but it felt like they had made improvements this season. The second half of Sunday’s game was dreadful. Their first timeout should’ve either been called sooner after Seattle’s defensive stop on Wasington’s penultimate drive, or not been called at all. Instead, they let 25 seconds go off the clock before Washington punted. The second timeout was called to avoid a delay-of-game on a two-point conversion after Doug Baldwin’s touchdown. I’d rather take the delay-of-game penalty, and Seattle sure could’ve used that timeout. It wasn’t all on the coaching staff, as JD McKissic destroyed any hope of Seattle running another play before the two-minute warning by valuing extra yards over getting out of bounds.
Here’s the thing that concerns me - Seattle has played some really undisciplined and sloppy football in a lot of the games they’ve played this season. The dropped passes against San Francisco, scoring only 3 points off of five turnovers against the Rams, the dropped passes and penalties against the Giants, and now that trashfire on Sunday against Washington. Pete Carroll is one of the best head coaches in the NFL, but this does not look like a well-coached team. I hesitated to put Darrell Bevell individually on the “Losers” list, but I saw no need to abandon the run when there was actually meaningful production being yielded from the running backs. My thoughts on Tom Cable and Kris Richard remain unchanged, and my opinion of special teams coach Brian Schneider has soured, but he may be a victim of a downturn in talent.
You could argue that Seattle was an unlucky play or two from beating Washington, but you can just as easily say they were a dropped touchdown away from losing to the Rams, or the mere existence of Brian Hoyer away from losing to the currently winless 49ers. They have had only four offensive possessions all season in which they were up by double digits, which is really troubling when you look at the strength of schedule.
Seattle is by no means a terrible team and in fact they’re is still in good position to make the playoffs, but they entered Sunday’s showdown with Washington in tremendous position. The #1 seed is surely a lost cause at this point. Seattle is not a favorite to win the NFC West anymore, and the room for error is dwindling. All will be well if the Seahawks win their remaining November games, but this year’s team has not earned the right to be trusted to sweep Arizona, Atlanta, and San Francisco.
I have no idea if he’s a winner or a loser or both
Wilson’s 4th quarter was superb. I think he went 10-16 for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s MVP type numbers when his team needed him to step up. He was 13-30 for 140 yards and 2 INTs (and could’ve easily been 4 or 5) in the previous 45 minutes. Those are Charlie Frye numbers. I do not understand why he’s so often bad in bad weather. Not only was Wilson off-target, but he made a lot of uncharacteristically risky decisions with the ball. Seattle never trailed by more than 8 but Wilson played the game like they were down by 20. I suppose I credit Wilson for bringing the Seahawks back and almost pulling off another amazing win, but he was very much one of the major reasons they were stuck on two points in the first place.