clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

12 Thoughts as the Seahawks face a proverbial ‘must win’ game against a familiar foe

A collection of FTR thoughts that weren’t turned into their own articles ...

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The Seattle Seahawks lost a very winnable game on Sunday, and it could come back to haunt them before the season is done.

As could Seattle’s Week 1 loss to the same incredibly annoying team.

It’s a short week though, and if the team doesn’t have time to dwell on the loss then I won’t either . . . at least not too much.


Thought No. 1

Jason Myers was 3-for-4 on his field goal tries on Sunday, making kicks from 54, 43, and 52 yards before missing the final (potentially game-winning) kick from 55 yards out.

As easy as it is to focus on the miss (and the loss), the field goals Myers made were far more significant - at least among the annals of Seahawks history.

Over the course of his career, Myers is 32-of-49 on field goals of 50+ yards.

As of Sunday, exactly half of those made field goals have come in a Seahawks uniform which gives him the franchise record.

Note: Steven Hauschka previously held the record with 15.

Myers also extended his own franchise record by making at least one field goal in his 25th consecutive game.


Thought No. 2

One of the hottest takes after Jason Myers’ 55-yard field goal attempt missed wide right (and short) was that the Los Angeles Rams were back in the playoff hunt.

Technically, that’s true.

The Rams are one of four NFC teams that entered Week 12 with a 4-6 record. Those four teams currently hold position Nos. 8 through 11 in the playoff chase.

The official order, courtesy of tiebreakers:

Here’s the thing though . . .

Per ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), the Rams have the worst playoff chances among that group:

  • Tampa Bay = 56.8%
  • Atlanta = 25.9%
  • Green Bay = 22.4%
  • Los Angeles = 22.2%

Splitting hairs, you say? Especially when the odds for the Bucs and Falcons are inflated by them having a chance at their division title and the difference between Green Bay and L.A. is a mere 0.2% . . .

That’s fair.

Here are some other things to consider:

The 7-Seed

The Minnesota Vikings currently hold the 7th seed with a 6-5 record which puts them 2 games ahead of the Rams in the Win column, and 1-1/2 games up overall.

Also worth noting is the fact that the Vikings have a conference record of 6-2 while the Rams are 3-4.

Their Current Record

The Rams are 2-0 against the Seahawks, but are 2-6 against everyone else.

Obviously that sucks for us, but it also sucks for them.

Upcoming Games

The Rams are currently 0-2 versus the AFC North, and the two games they have left are against that division’s top two teams: vs. the Cleveland Browns (Week 13) and at the Baltimore Ravens (Week 14).

Even if they’re on the cusp of earning a playoff spot late in the season, FTR plays FTN (in Santa Clara) in Week 18.


Thought No. 3

Speaking of playoffs . . . and the Vikings . . .

During the Sunday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings, NBC splashed a graphic on the screen that caught my attention.

Both the Vikings and the Broncos started the season 0-3. Per the graphic, 158 teams have started a season with three straight losses since 1990 and only 4 of them made the playoffs. That’s roughly 2-1/2 percent.

Could the Broncos and/or Vikings join that group?

Per the graphic, Minnesota’s chances (after the loss) are 80% while Denver’s chances (after the win) are 28%.

ESPN’s FPI more or less agrees on the Vikings (78.4%) but the ESPN algorithm isn’t as optimistic on the Broncos (13.4%). I’m not sure where the disconnect on the Broncos is, but it’s a good example of how “your mileage may vary” depending on the source.

For what it’s worth, the 0-3 teams that have made the playoffs since 1990 are:

  • 1992 San Diego Chargers - started 0-4, finished 11-5, made it to the division round
  • 1995 Detroit Lions - finished 10-6, lost in the wildcard round
  • 1998 Buffalo Bills - finished 10-6, lost in the wildcard round
  • 2018 Houston Texans - finished 11-5, lost in the wildcard round

If we want to go back a little further, we can add the 1981 New York Jets (finished 10-5-1, lost in the wildcard round) and 1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (finished 5-4 in a strike-shortened season, lost in the divisional round).


Thought No. 4

As interesting as the Vikings’ and Broncos’ playoff chances are (since one of them is half a game behind us in the standings and the other is led by our former QB), they obviously aren’t the playoff chances we’re most interested in here at Field Gulls.

I’m not one to miss out on an opportunity to drag things out though, so . . .

Let’s talk about the San Francisco 49ers first.

ESPN’s FPI gives the Niners a 99.3% chance of making the playoffs.

To me, that seems high.

Yes, they lead the NFC West right now, and yes, they’re 3 games ahead of the block of the teams that occupy spots 8-11 in the NFC playoff chase, but . . .

A) They had a 3-game losing streak earlier this year; and

B) They are about to embark on their second 3-game losing streak of the season, starting Thanksgiving night at Lumen Field.

Note: The Niners will also lose to the Baltimore Ravens (Week 16) and finish the season with a record of 10-7. You read it here first :)

In parallel with the Niners’ upcoming losing streak, the Seahawks are going to going to go on a winning streak that will make their 56.8% chances of making the playoffs (per ESPN’s FPI) look downright ridiculous.

Am I delirious?

Perhaps.

But we’re all going to be deliriously happy if I’m right.


Thought No. 5

Tyler Alsin has been writing a fun (and sometimes not-so-fun) “Seahawks by the Numbers” series this season.

In the Week 11 installment, the first number Tyler mentioned was 130 - that’s the number of yards the Seahawks were penalized on Sunday.

Per Tyler, those are the most penalty yards that any team has accumulated in a single game this season.

As bad as that sounds, I can one-up it. Or, two-up it, in this case.

In the first half of Sunday’s game, the Rams had fewer yards on offense (94) than the Seahawks had in penalties (96).

Mic. Drop.


Thought No. 6

Here are some other numbers from Sunday’s game that are worth mentioning:

267

That’s the total net yards the Rams had on offense.

In Week 1, they had 426.

Doing the math tells us that’s an improvement (by Seattle’s defense) of 159 yards.

Let’s give it some context though . . .

In Week 1, the Rams had 169 yards at halftime which means they ran up 257 yards in the second half.

Week 1 = 257 in the second half; Week 11 = 267 for the entire game.

Yay, defense!

__________

Here’s where it gets ugly . . .

124 and 143

The first number is how many total yards of offense the Rams had on their first eight possessions on Sunday.

The second number is the total yards of offense L.A. had on their final two possessions (excluding the “possession” they had after Jason Myers’ missed field goal effectively ended the game).

First eight = 15.5 yards per possession; final two = 71.5.

__________

Here’s one more set of numbers for ya . . .

10 and 10

At first glance, those are the same number, but they’re really not.

The first 10 is the number of first downs the Rams earned on their first eight possessions; the second 10 is . . . well, I’m sure you can guess.


Thought No. 7

I may get some pushback given the small sample sizes, but that’s okay because small sample sizes are all I have to work with on this thought.

  • Drew Lock, Week 4: 2 for 6 (33.3%) for 63 yards (long of 51) with no TDs, no INTs, and a passer rating of 73.6
  • Drew Lock, Week 11: 2 of 6 (33.3%) for 3 yards (long of 4) with no TDs, 1 INT and a passer rating of 2.8

After Lock’s Week 4 performance, I said:

“. . . each of his four incompletions made it abundantly clear that Lock’s targeting system needs an upgrade.”

After Week 11, I’m going to take that a step further and say that Lock’s targeting system needs to be completely replaced.

Sure, we can make excuses for Lock’s performance - he came in cold, he didn’t get (m)any reps with the first team during the week, his receivers dropped passes (and/or ran the wrong route).

Admittedly, there’s some truth in those excuses.

They’re still excuses though.


Thought No. 8

In the Comments section of the article I wrote last week about Geno Smith not being “the one”, vilanye noted that the 49ers are spending more on the quarterback position this year than the Seahawks are.

I verified that via OTC, and here is part of my response:

Seattle:

* Geno Smith = $10,100,000
* Drew Lock = $4,000,000
* Brett Rypien (PS) = $185,400
* Total = $14,285,400

San Francisco:

* Trey Lance = $8,361,434
* Sam Darnold = $5,711,765
* Brandon Allen = $1,092,500
* Brock Purdy = $889,253
* Total = $16,054,952

It’s CRAZY that Brock Purdy is the 4th-highest QB cap hit for the Niners this season.


Thought No. 9a

Speaking of Brock Purdy . . .

I mentioned this in the Opening Lines article for this week’s game, but it bears repeating here . . .

Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Brock Purdy completed 21 of 25 passes (84%) for 333 yards (13.3 per attempt, 15.9 per completion) with 3 TDs and no INTs.

That gave him a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

Somewhat surprisingly, this is only the second time a San Francisco quarterback has accomplished that feat.

Purdy joins Joe Montana who notched his perfect passer rating by completing 16 of 19 passes for 270 yard and 3 TDs against the Atlanta Falcons on November 12th, 1989.

__________

Thought No. 9b

Ready to have your mind blown?

Per Pete Carroll, Geno Smith is likely to play against the 49ers despite the injury he suffered against the Rams and the short turnaround this week.

No, that’s not the mind-blowing part . . .

This is:

If Pete is right, the nightcap of the NFL’s Turkey Day Tripleheader will feature not one, but TWO quarterbacks who have a game with a perfect passer rating on their resume.

Brock Purdy’s perfect-o was last Sunday.

Geno Smith had a perfect-o of his own in the final game of the 2014 season when he completed 20 of 25 passes for 358 yards and 3 TDs in a 37-24 win over the Miami Dolphins.

__________

Thought No. 9c

The Seahawks have been involved in FOUR games where one of the quarterbacks ended the game with a perfect passer rating.

FOR Seattle:

  • Dave Krieg (aka Mudbone) accomplished the feat on December 24th, 1983 by completing 12 of 13 passes for 200 yards and 3 TDs.
  • Russell Wilson completed 14 of 17 passes for 248 yards and 3 TDs on October 28th, 2018.

Note: 2018 was the year that Russell Wilson had a perfect passer rating over the entire season when targeting Tyler Lockett.

AGAINST Seattle:

  • Ken O’Brien, 11/2/1986, Jets 38, Seahawks 7 - O’Brien threw for 431 yards and 4 TDs while completing 26 of 32 passes.
  • Doug Flutie, 12/24/2000, Bills 42, Seahawks 23 - Flutie, who’s one of my favorite QBs, completed 20 of 25 passes for 366 yards and 3 TDs.

Note: Only 7 QBs have had a perfect passer rating while throwing for over 400 yards. O’Brien’s 431 against the Seahawks is the 2nd-most. No. 1 is Jared Goff’s 465 yards for the Rams against the Vikings in 2018.


Thought No. 10

Heading into Week 11, NFL teams were 0-83 when trailing by double digits in the final four minutes of a game.

(Thank you, Scott Van Pelt, for that stat.)

On Sunday, the Detroit Lions trailed the Chicago Bears by 6 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Bears added a field goal at the 14:12 mark, pushing their lead to 9.

Detroit answered with a 3-and-out.

The Bears took over on their own 9-yard line with 13 minutes left in the game, spent 14 plays chewing up nearly 9 minutes of clock, and settled for a field goal to push their lead to 12 with 4:15 left in the game.

The Lions still trailed by 12 at the all-important 4-minute mark.

Detroit scored a touchdown with 2:59 left in game, used two of their timeouts while forcing a 3-and-out by Chicago, and got the ball back, down 5, with 2:33 to play.

Yeah, I think we all know that I wouldn’t be writing about this if Detroit hadn’t won the game . . .

The Lions went 73 yards in 11 plays, scored a touchdown to take the lead, completed the 2-point conversion to push their lead to 3, then added a safety on the first play of Chicago’s final possession for good measure.

What I’m personally curious about, but also just a tad too lazy to find out, is how many teams have won a game when they threw three interceptions, lost a fumble, and ended the day minus-3 on turnovers.

Oh, and the Lions also lost the Time of Possession battle by more than a 2:1 margin (40:24 vs. 19:36).

Crazy, crazy game!


Thought No. 11

With seven games still to be played, it’s way too early to dig through all of the If-Then scenarios involving the Seahawks making the playoffs, or even just the If-Then scenarios involving the NFC West title.

But . . .

Looking at it from a very limited, “high level” view could be useful.

Completely ignoring the “other” five games that the Seahawks and 49ers play, there are three possible outcomes to the head-to-head series that takes place this week (in Seattle) and two weeks from now (in Santa Clara).

  1. Seattle wins both games (yay!)
  2. Seattle loses both games (boo hiss!)
  3. Seattle and San Francisco split the season series (meh!)

Technically, there are outcomes that involve ties (either one or two), but we are not, not, NOT even going to think about those.

Still ignoring the “other” five games . . .

Outcome No. 1 would give the Seahawks a 1-game lead in the division and, obviously, Seattle would own the head-to-head tiebreaker which would essentially make it a 2-game lead.

Outcome No. 2 would basically sink Seattle’s division hopes as it would give the 49ers a 3-game lead plus the tiebreaker (yuck!).

Outcome No. 3 is basically a push - San Francisco would retain their 1-game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker would be eliminated.

I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist (or a Passtronaut) to know which outcome the 12s are rooting for.


Thought No. 12

As depressing as it would be if the Seahawks were to get swept by the Niners, I personally believe that the playoffs would still be extremely attainable.

Obviously, it would be easier if we at least split the season series, but . . .

Of the teams currently on the outside of the NFC playoff chase looking in, only the Rams hold a tiebreaker over the Seahawks.

Technically, the Arizona Cardinals could still earn a playoff spot, but their 2-9 record puts them 4-1/2 games behind Seattle so we won’t waste time with the divisional tiebreakers since they’re unlikely to matter.

That means that conference record is likely to be the tiebreaker that would determine wildcard seeding if Seattle is involved, and that is something that currently bodes well for the Seahawks.

Somewhat surprisingly, it would (likely) still bode well even if the Seahawks were to be swept by the Niners.

Again, I’m not going to dig into the vast array of If-Then scenarios.

But . . .

Here are the conference records for the relevant teams:

  • No. 6: Seattle: 5-2
  • No. 8: Green Bay: 3-3
  • No. 10: Atlanta: 3-4
  • No. 11: Tampa Bay: 3-4

Note: Even if we were to consider the Washington Commanders (No. 12), New York Giants (No. 13), and Chicago Bears (No. 14) as potential wildcard teams, Seattle owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over two of the three and has a 3-game lead over the Bears in the conference tiebreaker.


Bonus Thought

Thursday’s game against the 49ers will be the first Thanksgiving game hosted by the Seahawks, but it’s their fifth Thanksgiving game overall.

The first three times Seattle played on Thanksgiving were against the Cowboys in Dallas: Seattle got spanked in 1980, won by 17 in 1986, and got pounded (again) in 2008.

And then there was 2014 . . .

Seattle played on Thanksgiving NIGHT . . . versus the 49ers.

I think most of us know how that game ended.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Is it too much to ask for a similar result this year, only this time with a bit of HOME cooking?

Go Hawks!