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Winners and Losers from 49ers 28, Seahawks 16

I hope you didn’t expect the Seahawks to win.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, the Seattle Seahawks didn’t get blown out as everyone anticipated! They were never really close to beating the San Francisco 49ers, but the spread was definitely covered. It’s a 28-16 loss that eliminates them from the NFC West, and there’s almost no way they make the playoffs without winning out. Not impossible, but extremely unlikely based on the way the team looks.

This is one of those games that the Seahawks played above expectations, the 49ers might have played a little below their high standards, and you could still see the gulf in quality. Let’s get to Winners and Losers.


Winners

Tyler Lockett

Lockett had one of his better games of the season, catching all six of his targets for 89 yards. Seattle’s only 3rd down conversions were courtesy of Lockett. His 24-yard catch on 1st and 20 marked his first play of more than 20 yards since October.

Colby Parkinson

Seattle’s tight ends hadn’t found the end zone this season until today. Parkinson played the role of George Kittle on this double fake screen and throw over the middle. This burned the Seahawks last season, but Kyle Shanahan got a taste of his own medicine. It’s Parkinson’s first touchdown since Week 17 of last year. I think he’s the only tight end worth keeping entering 2024.

Jason Myers

This is the first time since the Commanders game that he didn’t miss a field goal. Okay, it was only one kick, but he made it.

Leonard Williams

One of the few Seahawks defenders who’s actually been good during their rough spell. He had a sack and four QB hits, and I think he’s been as good as advertised as a pass rusher on the interior. Sadly, the entire unit is bad, which shouldn’t reflect on Williams, but rather the misguided view that the Seahawks had in thinking he was the missing piece for their defense. Williams and Jarran Reed have been bright spots along the defensive line.

Losers

The entire safety group

Automatic

This includes Julian Love, who does get a tip of the cap for the hustle on the forced fumble and the hands on the interception. He also gave up multiple big plays, including a touchdown to George Kittle when he bit on a play-action fake.

Jamal Adams was burned by Deebo Samuel for a 54-yard touchdown when the Seahawks were still in the lead. It was 3rd and 11 and they got ripped up for six. Even if Adams was the most lovable character and expert social media person, I see no reason to bring him back next year. Eat the money and live with it. He is the singular worst trade in franchise history, and he’ll be the player we look at if/when the Pete Carroll/John Schneider partnership comes to an end.

I love Quandre Diggs, still love him as a player, and I think he’s a funny, all-around solid dude. The tackling woes are just too much to deal with. He had one solid hit on George Kittle but after that it was a 49ers feast on him and his safety buddies.

The Seahawks have tied up a shitload of money into these three players and the results are just not good enough. There will have to be serious consideration on the futures of Adams and Diggs in 2024.

Pete Carroll

Other than the poor decisions to punt on 4th and short, this is not something I’m isolating to this game. These last two losses have at least shown the team isn’t quitting. But this defense is an embarrassment. The fact that they forced two turnovers, sacked Brock Purdy three times, forced five punts (a season-high for the 49ers at home), and still got absolutely punked out there is damning of his umpteen rebuilds of a truly awful defense.

The sentimental side of me doesn’t want Pete to go. I only wish I could have his enthusiasm and energy at his age. His success with the Seahawks is undeniable and no other head coach comes close to matching his accomplishments. But I do not see the evidence that he’s going to lead the Seahawks to Super Bowl contender status again.

No, Pete’s not getting fired this year. I don’t think it’s inconceivable that the seat is legitimately warm in 2024. If nothing else, drafting a rookie quarterback (early!) would be one way to reset the clock on himself. Otherwise I don’t see the high ceiling for Carroll-led teams anymore, whether he’s exclusively head coach, exclusively in the front office, or the HC/head honcho of football operations combo.

Maybe the Russell Wilson/Pete Carroll conversation was actually a little simpler: Seattle should’ve moved on from both instead of choose one over the other.

“What if the alternative is worse?” is a valid question. “What if the Seahawks can do better?” is also valid, especially when Seattle has one NFC West title in seven years and is batting below .500 since the “Let Russ Cook” campaign crashed out in November 2020.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

JSN had 4 catches for only 25 yards, and I’m pretty sure one of those will go down as a drop. Even if it wasn’t a drop, his throttling down mid-route is another instance of the rookie not being on the same page with his QB. The personal foul penalty is, I’m pretty sure, the first flag of any sort of his career, and it wasn’t a good one to take if only for punting position. There will be better days, but this wasn’t one of them.

Evan Brown

I can’t be the only one to notice how many of Brown’s snaps are going wayward. They’re not resulting in turnovers, but there were several high or off-center shotgun snaps that Lock had to receive, and it’s been happening several times in recent weeks. The promising start to the season for the starting center has steadily fallen off into just being fine.

DK Metcalf’s wallet

I know some of you will be pissed with DK’s latest flag and ejection. Normally, I would be. I’m not really that bothered for some reason with this one. The tackle he had on Fred Warner was legal, and then Warner shoved him in the back nowhere near the interception return after Fred lateraled the ball to Dre Greenlaw. That wasn’t an unprovoked penalty on Metcalf, so it’s a “whatever” moment for me. The game was over, Metcalf wasn’t getting back on the field, hit the showers early. DK has an on-field temper that has been problematic before, but this doesn’t rise to the standard of something I find wholly objectionable.

DK will, however, get fined yet again. The Seahawks are nothing if not suckers for NFL fines.

I thought Metcalf’s touchdown was excellent, but he was quiet from there. Not really his fault when the subsequent passes to him were picked off or well covered.

Drew Lock

(Note: This is his own section, as he’s neither a winner nor loser)

Solid, if not admirable. More positives than negatives given the circumstances. His final stat-line was 22/31 for 269 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Lock had his arm hit on the second pick, but he had three near-picks and one really awful interception nullified by a Nick Bosa penalty. The illegal forward pass while he was way past the line of scrimmage was his worst play by far, if only for how many yards he had in front of him to run and get out of bounds.

Lock was generally accurate, making some good, sharp throws off of play-action. The DK touchdown was a fantastic throw that showcases his arm at his best. He looks comfortable running the offense, which is why Seattle brought him back for a second year. The reckless decisions where he’s instantly throwing into double and triple coverage is just who he’s always been, and I don’t think that magically changes.

Considering the one day with first-team reps and the quality of that 49ers defense, that’s probably as well as Lock could’ve played. If a healthy Geno Smith played better than Lock, Seattle might have been able to pull off an upset.

Start him over Geno? Maybe that will be considered if Seattle is mathematically out of playoff contention. Whether it’s Lock or Smith starting, the Seahawks would be foolish not to draft a quarterback in 2024.

Final Notes

  • Shane Waldron’s gotta stop the 2nd down auto-runs. It killed multiple drives and there was no reason for him to continue to force a square peg into a round hole. I actually thought he called an alright game, but that’s the situational football where he’s just a hindrance to the offense.
  • Zach Charbonnet had some shifty runs into the open field and was shut down from there. Likewise for Ken Walker’s 27-yard catch-and-run, which comprised half of his total yards on 12 touches.
  • Michael Jackson Sr had a couple of good reps in pass defense, filling in well in Tre Brown’s absence. He may be called upon moving forward, pending the health of Tre Brown and Devon Witherspoon.
  • I give the Seahawks a chance against every team they play the rest of the season. The Eagles defense is bad and their offense isn’t as crisp as the 2022 squad, and then the Titans, Steelers, and Cardinals are not good teams. They’re also more than capable of losing out because they have shown almost no ability to put together a complete game on both sides of the ball. I’ve waited for it to happen and it hasn’t happened. This roster has several good players (many of whom are on rookie contracts) on both sides of the ball. For that reason alone, I don’t think you blow everything up. However, they’re a long ways from being a great football team again.