Well that sucked.
The Seattle Seahawks damaged their playoff hopes with a 40-34 overtime loss to a Las Vegas Raiders team that has had their season crater due to close game defeats, but have now won close games in consecutive weeks in overtime. Just an unacceptable display by the Seahawks in what was borderline must-win.
Winners and Losers time.
Screw that overturn on the catch in the 4th quarter. Metcalf posted 11 catches on 90 yards on 15 targets and was extremely effective in the quick passing game to offset his near total erasure as an intermediate and long ball threat. There was only one splash play but DK was a quality safety valve.
Goodwin had 46 yards on 3 catches, all of which gained first downs. He also took a jet sweep for 7 yards that set up a touchdown on the next play. Goodwin continues to be a valuable third receiver in ways I didn’t really anticipate.
Speaking of safety valves, Homer converted a 2nd and 23 into a 27-yard gain on a scramble drill with Geno Smith. His next catch was an 18-yard touchdown out in the flat in which he broke multiple tackles to get into the end zone. That should’ve been the game winner if not for, you know...
Seattle’s draft stock
They’re now out of the playoffs as things stand and the Denver Broncos lost again, with no winning streak in sight. The Raiders winning actually moved the Denver pick higher up so amazing 4D chess on display.
The entire defense
That was atrocious. Even with the defensive stops in the form of two turnovers and a turnover on downs, this was an irredeemably bad performance that looks all too much like the early part of this season and much of the early weeks of 2020 and 2021. Josh Jacobs had a historically great game to the tune of 229 rushing yards and 74 yards receiving. Derek Carr was sacked once but rarely pressured otherwise and hit only four times. Davante Adams was actually held in relative check with 7 catches for 74 yards, but the 28-yard grab he had was an insane one-handed catch while being held by Michael Jackson.
For a second game in a row they were destroyed on 3rd down and usually that involved favorable early downs to set up short yardage situations. Perhaps the defensive improvement from the first Cardinals game through the rematch was a mirage. More likely, they just played terrible, heavily injured, and/or one-dimensional offenses.
The coverage busts continue in the secondary and the missed tackles remain a massive problem. Quandre Diggs was on his way to being a winner with his two interceptions but he also gave up a touchdown to Ameer Abdullah and appeared to be the culprit on the tying touchdown late to Foster Moreau.
This defensive line can’t generate pressure and they are getting killed in their gap assignments. Darrell Taylor is playing at a level that should get him healthy scratched and I’m not joking. Boye Mafe can set a nice edge but he’s not getting pressures. Poona Ford being the best pass rusher today is not a good thing and Ford was horrendous against the run.
Cody Barton and Jordyn Brooks made some quality run stuffs but they are hardly consistent in shedding blocks. Teams get to the second level too easily against this group and Clint Hurtt’s gotta figure something out. Truthfully, it ain’t this year and not with the lack of upper-end talent on the roster.
When they play Kansas City on Christmas Eve they might genuinely give up 50 before halftime.
I don’t know how healthy Abe Lucas was given his illness but Maxx Crosby is one of the few guys who can take his lunch money and that’s what happened. Rough outing for the rookie but it’s crazy that it took until the end of November for such a thing to materialize.
The run blocking was poor and Geno was hit 10 times. Austin Blythe was worked over far too often against the run. Adjusting for opponent this might have been the worst performance by the offensive line this season.
I’m very concerned about their ability to run block in recent weeks. Their run block win rate (for whatever that’s worth) is in the bottom-half of the NFL and not getting any better, and I don’t think the Seahawks can afford to have a completely one-dimensional offense. We’ve seen this three times over four games and it is bothersome.
Kenneth Walker III
Walker did have two touchdowns but he had just 14 carries for 26 yards and had a brutal -13 yard run when it was better to just take a 4 or 5-yard loss. The fumbled exchange between him and Geno I’ve yet to see who should get the blame, but it’s not lost on me that there have been several mix-ups involving Walker either not lining up properly or having some miscommunication. I also think he needs to stop chopping his feet in space when it’s better to just run downhill when you have a running lane.
Very quietly, Walker’s success rate is almost the absolute worst in the NFL, so he is very much a boom or bust running back playing behind an OL that doesn’t run-block well. Seems a bad combo!
Maybe that Metcalf catch being overturned was the right call. I don’t think it was. That was a five-minute review and I don’t see indisputable video evidence that Metcalf didn’t have control while inbounds. Geno didn’t help DK by throwing a bad pass but I thought he caught it.
That the officials ruled Josh Jacobs’ forward progress was stopped on what was going to be a forced fumble by Coby Bryant and clear recovery by Bruce Irvin was mindblowing to me. If that’s forward progress being halted then they should’ve negated a shitload of Marshawn Lynch’s best runs. Jacobs’ shin might have been down when the ball came out but it looked like a fumble and that Pete Carroll couldn’t challenge it is ridiculous.
Those were two big calls that went against Seattle on a day when the actual penalties against them were kept to a minimum.
Coach has gotten his praise and deservedly so for the way this team started. They are now in a rut and have looked unprepared defensively in back to back weeks and continue to make backbreaking mistakes on offense. That falls on Pete and this staff because Seattle plays too many games with such fine margins for this to keep happening regardless of which team he trots out.
They’re at 50-50 according to the New York Times which can be attributed to the Commanders and Giants having not played each other yet. Those odds feel lower given Seattle’s struggles and daunting games against the 49ers, Chiefs, and even the New York Jets under Mike White. I’m very pessimistic about this team’s postseason odds because at this point, not a single one of their remaining games is a no-brainer win. Not even this zombified version of the Los Angeles Rams.
- It might be time to worry about some aspects of Geno Smith’s decision-making. The interception probably wasn’t on him given Lockett and Metcalf ran into each other, but he should’ve had an end zone INT on back-to-back plays in the opening quarter throwing to a very un-open DK. I love Smith’s ability to consistently bounce back from negative plays involving him, but at some point these near-interceptions are going to pile up into actual picks. Can’t say either attempt at a game-winning drive in the final two minutes or overtime was impressive, especially not the inaccurate throw to Tyler Lockett right before the controversial no-catch by DK. Smith played well overall and made some outstanding throws, but there were some critical moments where he came up short.
- Lockett had just 3 catches on 7 targets but did add to his touchdown tally. It looks inefficient on the surface but I think this was more down to bad throws by Smith more than anything.
- Josh Jones is in for one play and instantly gets dropped on the winning touchdown. There is no way Pete Carroll can let Jones play, let alone start if Ryan Neal has to miss time.
- Baffled by Shane Waldron’s playcalling. There was one sequence in the 2nd half where they unleashed a preposterous “quick throw, run to nowhere, screen” sequence that predictably flopped. There was a screen to Kenneth Walker that was stymied. That 2nd and 5 run with Walker in overtime was absurd when I think there was a strong case to not play him at all. It wasn’t a net negative day given the success through the air but the offense also made live hard for themselves too often when trying to get the running game going. What happened to the play-action boots?
- Tariq Woolen was scarcely targeted but he might have had a role in a coverage bust touchdown in the first half. Davante Adams had all of his catches on people not named Woolen, particularly Michael Jackson.
- Next week is a must win and for my money it’s the season. If they can’t beat a banged up Rams team, it’s clear the crash is hard and they won’t be able to recover. They’re failing hard at fundamentals and the elevated in-season expectations quite possibly won’t be met.