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Seahawks 38 Chiefs 31: Winners and Losers from an exhilarating, playoff-clinching victory

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Kansas City Chiefs v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

On the six-year anniversary of their 42-13 Sunday Night Football thumping of the San Francisco 49ers to a clinch a playoff berth back then, the Seattle Seahawks turned in a terrific 38-31 SNF win over the Kansas City Chiefs to get themselves back into the postseason after missing out in 2017. Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson got off to relatively slow starts, but delivered the exciting quarterback duel that was advertised. In the end, the Seahawks offense made the biggest plays they needed to make to hold off KC, and we can all celebrate a glorious win against the likely favorite to win the AFC.

Let’s get to Winners and Losers right now!

Winners

Doug Baldwin

Healthy-ish Doug changes the Seahawks offense so damn much. He’s my biggest winner especially since you can see he wasn’t at 100%. Seven catches for 126 yards, a touchdown, and for all intents and purposes a game-sealing diving one-handed catch on a 2nd and 19... after being held! It has been so enjoyable watching Dougie play from day one, and he will go down as one of Seattle’s greatest ever receivers.

Tyler Lockett

Four catches for 99 yards puts him on the cusp of 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career. He need 101 against the Arizona Cardinals. His final 45 yards from this game came on an astonishing long throw by Wilson into tight coverage. Lockett’s contract-extension raised some eyebrows at the start of the season... I think Tyler has proven himself out there.

Russell Wilson

Seattle’s notorious slow starting and low-volume passing attack might forever deny Russell Wilson a legitimate shot at winning a league MVP award, but he’s our damn MVP and I don’t give a shit what the league thinks. 18/29 for 271 yards and three touchdowns, no turnovers, 57 yards rushing, clutch throw after clutch throw, it was a dazzling second-half performance in particular. He now has 68 touchdown passes to just 17 INTs since 2017. That’s a 4:1 TD-INT ratio!

Ed Dickson

Believe it or not, that 3rd and 15 catch was Seattle’s first 3rd and 15 conversion all season, and that led to the Baldwin score. He had a touchdown of his own in the 4th quarter on a diving catch in the back of the end zone, which was also impressive.

Chris Carson

A well-earned 1,000 yard season for Carson, who rushed for 116 and two more scores. He has established himself as one of the best RBs in the NFL. Yes, Carson lacks breakaway speed and an ability to get 40-50 yard runs, but he does everything else so well. The hype from 2017 training camp is more than realized as we near the end of the 2018 season.

Dion Jordan

I didn’t think I’d be putting him on here at all, to be honest! He had the only sack of Patrick Mahomes and a critical forced fumble on Damien Williams on what proved to be Kansas City’s only offensive possession with a lead. Jordan has had a quiet year but he had very important contributions.

Delano Hill and Akeem King

Hill had a fumble recovery late in the 1st half as the Chiefs tried to score in the one-minute offense, while the seldom-used King was slotted as an extra DB and played tremendously. Both guys helped hold Travis Kelce to just 5 catches for 54 yards, which is extremely impressive. I’ve been very critical of Hill but he fared well, as did King.

Brian Schottenheimer

I detest running it on 2nd and 10 as much as any other Seahawks fan, but I wanted Seattle to be aggressive in the final quarter, and they were really damn aggressive. They threw it on 2nd and 12 as well as 2nd and 19 on their final scoring drive. The 2nd half in particular was an adjustment to go away from effectively playing for 3rd and manageable, and it unleashed the best of Russell Wilson. Kudos to Schotty for his gameplan and the late-game playcalls that showcased this offense at its finest. Also praise for the Nick Vannett touchdown design, which was either an RPO or a well-worked play-action that had the Chiefs fooled completely.

Pete Carroll

He may be questionable with the challenge flag. He may be careless with timeouts. He may run a little too much for your liking, or not go for it on 4th and inches enough when the analytics says go for it. Pete Carroll is the best coach in Seahawks history, and this team went from 4-5 into a playoff spot clinched with a week to spare. They have had a winning record in seven straight seasons, to go along with two NFC Championships and a Super Bowl win. These are the types of wins that other Seahawks coaches before him simply could not consistently replicate.

Losers

Brian Schneider

Special teams is a trashfire. Another missed kick by Sebastian Janikowski, terrible kick coverage that gave the Chiefs the final three points of the contest, it’s just not a good unit. I’ll always be thankful for the 2010-2013 years, but it’s time for this Brian to go. Imagine how much worse the DVOA would look if not for Michael Dickson, and even he had a couple of clunkers on Sunday.

Sebastian Janikowski

Officially, Janikowski missed only one field goal. Unofficially, he missed two field goals but got roughed on the second miss, which left him limping the rest of the game. Janikowski is 20/25 on field goals this season, and 80% is close to the bottom of the pile for qualified kickers. Hopefully he’s alright, but the missed kicks as of late are a concern.

Run defense

I’d like to thank the Chiefs for only calling four rushing plays the entire 2nd half, and had five rushes total after halftime. Damien Williams was gashing the Seahawks defense and got 103 yards on 13 carries, but his 1st half was 11 carries for 91 yards. Outside of that, even though they gave up 31, it never felt like the Seahawks defense was playing poorly overall.

Final Notes

  • I wasn’t paying close enough attention but it felt like outside of a false start, Ethan Pocic had an okay game. He was shifted to left guard when JR Sweezy got hurt, and it looks like he stayed there for the 2nd half. DJ Fluker went to right guard and came away seemingly unscathed, which is a relief. George Fant had two penalties, one a needless hold, but nothing egregiously bad for him. The o-line fared much better in pass protection in the 2nd half than in the 1st half.
  • Shaquill Griffin’s lack of awareness hurt him on that Damarcus Robinson touchdown. He looked like he could’ve made a play on the ball or pushed Robinson out of bounds, but did neither. Apart from that, Mahomes didn’t pick on him that much at all. Same for Tre Flowers.
  • Seahawks two-minute drills are still lousy, but that didn’t matter in this game.
  • JD McKissic got a single pitch play and went for 6 yards. I’d love to see him involved in the offense more, especially as a receiver.
  • The Seahawks are going to the playoffs and you better believe Enemy Reaction is coming your way on Christmas Eve. Go ‘Hawks!