Instant reaction: Injury-hit Seahawks come within an inch

December 29th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

The Seahawks and their staff deserve immense credit.

To put together a patched up team, trail 13-0 at half time in a game that felt more like 30-0 — and take it to a final possession at the very end of the fourth quarter is testament to everything that is right about this franchise.

The Seahawks had no right to make this a close game with their obscene injury list. Seattle’s offense kept scoring to give them a shot. They kept finding answers despite missing so many players. That kept them in it to the end.

If they had one, final answer at the end — it would’ve been another epic, unbelievable night. They were an inch short. So close, so cruel really. The fine margin between victory and defeat has consistently gone in Seattle’s favour this year, just not on this occasion.

Instead it’s a loss. They’ll go to Philadelphia next week while the Niners earn the #1 seed.

But if you can’t take some pride in the way the Seahawks battled and scrapped and made it a game despite everything working against them — your expectations are highly unrealistic.

The game also highlighted, again, Seattle’s greatest weakness moving forward. The defense has struggled all year to create pressure and impact games. If they’re going to take the next step in 2020 they cannot field a D-line as inadequate as this again. Even a modicum of pressure or resistance could’ve been the difference today. It was simply too easy for the 49ers.

It’s not the only issue but it’s the biggest issue. And there has to be some reflection on why they were 4-4 at home in 2019, why they’re 14-10 at home since 2017 and why, despite being so consistent in the last decade, they’ve only won the NFC West three times in Russell Wilson’s eight years with the team.

Back to Philadelphia they go. The hope has to be that the second half, at least, has provided some clarity on how they can score some points with this personnel.

Can they beat the Eagles? Yes. They already have and did it without Clowney and some others. However only the most optimistic fan will anticipate three road wins to make an improbable Super Bowl. And that’s fine. This always felt like a year too early, two years removed from a major restructure.

You also don’t want to be perennially a year away either. They must take the steps this off-season to deliver the leap they need to take — starting with a much improved D-line.

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152 Responses to “Instant reaction: Injury-hit Seahawks come within an inch”

  1. Volume12 says:

    Pete get caught up in the moment?

    That delay of game was just…I’m bewildered. They were just in the huddle chillin’.

    I do think if the booth isn’t gonna reveiw what was a PI on Hollister than maybe they shouldn’t of made it a rule.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t know why people are making a big deal about the delay. One yard line or six yard line. Meh. You’re throwing anyway without any timeouts.

      Just wish they’d had a play in the red zone to get it in. Couldn’t get any closer in the end.

      • The difference is they had beast coming in forcing SF to man up the line giving us better outside coverage scenarios. From the 5 it is totally different, beast back on the bench and they can drop more guys back.

        OR, if your crazy which PC is, they acually run Beast and win it which would have been amazing.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Sure but does anyone really think that a.) they run in that scenario or b.) San Fran would honestly expect them to throw?

          If you run there and don’t make it, you might only get one more (rushed) play. They were never going to run and San Fran knew it.

      • Volume12 says:

        Because they weren’t even lined up. Just sitting in the huddle like they forgot there was a play clock.

        And considering they lost by an inch, I’d say the 5 yard difference came into plsy.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Come on though, it’s not like you add on five yards and it’s a score. Everything changes. Sometimes it’s harder to score that close in, especially when you almost certainly have to pass.

          Clearly Fant’s injury messed things up on the delay.

      • AndrewP says:

        Pete has a great eye for talent, and built an amazing culture… One in which players clearly never give up.

        He makes bad in game decisions, and the inability to recognize a play was not getting called in quickly enough tonight was an example of this.

        All these things can be true.

        It’s OK to admit it.

      • Sea Mode says:

        No way they don’t hand off to Marshawn IMO.

        • Rob Staton says:

          They couldn’t hand off to Marshawn. No timeouts.

          • dcd2 says:

            Ya, if they threw it a couple of times and failed, I could see them running with 3 seconds or whatever. They weren’t (shouldn’t) be throwing on 1st and goal with 12 seconds and no timeouts.

            • Van Gogh says:

              Hawks call timeout on 4th down. Well prepared teams discuss what happens if they don’t score but get a first down inside the 2 with no timeouts left. Unprepared teams get delay of game penalties after making a first down inside the 2 with no time outs left.

        • mishima says:

          Despite having no timeouts, I agree. Seemed Pete was willing to let it come down to 1 play.

        • Awsi Dooger says:

          They were definitely going to hand off to Lynch. They would have been moronic not to do so. Running from the 1 yard line holds greater expectancy than passing. There was still enough time to fail on a run and then run another play, perhaps two plays.

          The real-time win expectancy odds dropped sharply upon the 5 yard penalty.

          Here is a Football Outsiders link that details the expectancy of run versus pass at each marker from the 5 yard line and in:

          https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2013/closer-look-touchdowns-red-zone

          • Rob Staton says:

            No, they definitely weren’t ‘definitely’ going to hand off to Lynch.

            And that link means very little because there were 22 seconds left and zero timeouts. That refers to general red zone play when any option is on the cards for offense and defense.

      • Uncle Bob says:

        Fans have multiple opportunities to gripe in that final set of plays. Why? Because with a minute and change, inside the 12, the Hawks had 8, EIGHT, shots at scoring………………………..and didn’t convert a one. Yeah, each can have an excuse/reason, but for all the heroics of the second half that preceded that sequence, they failed to score in what should have been comparatively easy pickin’s. Hopefully the team won’t look past Philly like too many fans are hoping for a “revenge” game in Clara…..

    • Volume12 says:

      That was a great game though. Shades of the Rams/Titans SB from ’00.

      What a wild ride this regular season has been.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      What a missed opportunity to win the game at the goal line with a Lynch TD. Beyond the 3 seed and home field for the first playoff game, that would’ve buried the past from SB49 for good. For the team, for Carroll, for 12s. It set up so perfectly. You know what I mean?

      But beyond that, what a great team. They never quit, they’re always in it. It’s always exciting.

      • Volume12 says:

        Absolutely. Didn’t seem like Lynch was coming onto the field to be a decoy. Find me a man who loves ‘this is what we’re doing, these are our looks, stop us/beat us if you can’ more than Pete.

        • That 5 yards is everything. I have no idea what would make an educated football person say that. If you are trying to be positive that is great, but I dont see how you could honestly feel that way. Im my mind there was no doubt Lynch was getting the ball.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Why do people think Marshawn was getting the ball with no timeouts?

            Do you realise how long it would’ve taken to get the ball out of the scrum, re-set and get a rushed play off if you don’t score?

            They were throwing there 100%.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              I thought there was enough time to attempt the rush and if unsuccessful get set and down the ball to stop the clock for a final play. Maybe I’m wrong I don’t remember how much time was left when they got the delay of game.

            • Mike says:

              Agree 100% Rob. He was a decoy. Don’y think it was a big play at all

          • Even if you do throw it the throw will be in the end zone and a completed pass is a TD.

            • Rob Staton says:

              But you’re not replicating the exact same scenario. Just because they were on the 6 instead of the 1 doesn’t mean you run the route five yards into the end zone vs to the GL.

              • LLLOGOSSS says:

                Yes, but it also opens up other possibilities. Nothing is easy, but give me an inch to go every time. It’s also likely that if they don’t get it they run Lynch on the last play, and that possibility doesn’t exist from the 6.

                We’ll never know for sure, but it seems like a huge turn of events to go from the 1 to the 6 there.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  I’m fine with people saying — being on the 1 was better and preferable and it’d disappointing to not be there instead of the 6. That’s an argument I can listen to and accept.

                  What I can’t accept is people saying being on the 6 instead of the 1 had a massive impact on Seattle losing that game. Because it didn’t.

            • The ball was at the half yard line. All he needed to do is get up and reach and its a TD. If its from the one or the one and a half its different in my opinion.

    • GerryG says:

      To say it doesn’t matter if it’s from the 1 or 5 with 22 seconds and zero time-outs is very short sighted imo.
      You have to pass on the first attempt, and second, but the run is in play on the final attempt. As long as you don’t lose yardage you preserve the last down that forces the D to defend both. That’s what the delay cost you.

      • DC says:

        You call a pass plays which also give Russ opportunities to scramble in from the 1/2 yard line knowing that if it ain’t there it’s a throw away.

        Not lamenting, it didn’t happen. Just for F sake have your stuff together in that situation when the playoffs start.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I’d say it’s short sighted to think it made any difference.

        You have to pass on ALL the attempts. I don’t know why I keep having to explain this. If you run at the GL in that situation and don’t make it you MIGHT have one more shot to win on a rushed passing play. If you throw three times you will definitely get your three throws.

        • LLLOGOSSS says:

          Two pass plays and a run makes sense at the end to me.

        • James Hill says:

          I think for me it’s just the execution. If you wanted to get a running back in you need to have your shit together. They had all the time Fant took after the pass to the half yard line and a clock stop on first and goal to get ready to run a play and just left everyone in a huddle. That’s piss poor management and on the coaches. If we don’t have an empty set play to run at the one then we need new coaches. Way easier for RW to scramble for a score out of that play as well.

          • Rob Staton says:

            This is all so easy to say from the comfort of a laptop James. You try being the coaches when the clock’s running, you have no timeouts and your left tackle is lying injured 20 yards downfield, trying to run back to the line.

            We can all sit here and say, ‘they should’ve done this’. Those moments are chaotic, unpredictable. You have a million thoughts in your head, the pressure is intense. And mistakes happen sometimes or you just don’t execute.

            Fans have a choice after this game. They can piss and moan about minor issues in order to have a go at the best coach this city has ever had. Or they can appreciate the titanic effort this team showed in the second half to nearly pull off one of the best wins in the Carroll era, if not franchise history. They were an inch away.

            I for one feel nothing but satisfaction, encouragement and pride. Bring on the Eagles.

  2. Sea Mode says:

    Super proud of this team and what they accomplished this season. What a ride it’s been.

      • Saxon says:

        Great job by the coaching staff all year. They won a lot of games with below average talent at several position groups. I love coach Carroll. He keeps us winning but sometimes it feels like we’re going sideways as a franchise.

        Echoing Rob, we need a major talent infusion at OL, TE, DL, DB to compete within a tough division.

        • Justin Mullikin says:

          Absolutely, we are an average team with a superstar qb. Hats off to our team and hopefully we fight hard and see what happens in the playoffs. With that said DL is a MAJOR concern. We need to address this next year. I hope we “double down” some how with either 2 FA or 1 FA and an early draft pick. Go Hawks!

    • Elmer says:

      Absolutely proud of them.

      They found a couple of players to go forward with today Homer, Ursua.

      IMO they need better depth at WR. Give Wilson more variety of targets.

      Is it just me, or did Ifedi suck real bad today? The lines need help on both sides of the ball.

      • Justin Mullikin says:

        To my completely amateur eyes it looked like Fant played better than Ifedi.

      • Kelly Orr says:

        I disagree. This defense is barely even a defense at all out there.
        DL- One good player Clowney
        LBs- Look slow and cannot cover
        CB- Slight above average
        S- With McDougald and Hill we are slow and lack any hitting ability.

        This defense has absolutely not grit and no teeth. That was completely appalling just watching another team run it down our throat and do whatever they want. I think the Defense needs a major talent infusion of bigger, stronger, faster at the DL, LB, and Safety spots(Hopefully Blair and Diggs are our future at the position).

        • Michael P Matherne says:

          As we’ve known all year long, the pass rush is a massive problem. I honestly think our back end looks twice as good (or better) if they had any help up front. I think we should Retain Clowney/Reed, as well as Green/Jefferson assuming they’re cheap and get pushed down the depth chart by some FA acquisitions or worthy draft picks. I’d gladly trade Collier for a bag of balls at this point. I don’t remember ever seeing a Seahawks first selection have less of an impact.

          I agree that the LB corps is a problem, especially in coverage. I love the guys and you still see plenty of good individual plays from them, but the unit as a whole needs to improve. I’m worried about Barton too. I haven’t seen a single play that made me sit up in my chair and go, “this kid can play!”

          I would like our starting safety tandem to be Diggs and Blair next season. That hit Blair put on Samuel to knock the ball out was nice.

          I feel like under PC we’ve usually been able to count on being one of the better tackling teams in the league, and I don’t understand why we are so bad at this most fundamental element this season. I would not mind one bit if we looked into replacing Ken Norton as DC.

  3. Pran says:

    1st and 2nd half polar opposites on offense. Defense could have given up another 20 points if not for offense taking control of the clock in 2nd half… that’s how piss poor they played.
    Regardless Offense finally seem to find the path forward.. hope it helps them in playoffs.

  4. I wasnt a fan of going for it on 4th late in the 2q. You are sending a rb whos been out of the game for 2yrs over a practice squad TE who is trying to block Joey Bosa. You have no points on the board, take the 3pts and go to halftime without the donut on the board.

    Ironic really as PC has gotten flack all year for not going for it on 4th downs and the one time he SHOULDNT have gone for it, he does.

    How did the refs miss that PI on the 2nd to last play? Even the announcer said they shoulda reviewed it based on NFL rules. What happened there?

    All in all, great 2nd half effort, I had us losing this game by 2tds. It was fun in the end, thats what having Russell Wilson means!

  5. BobbyK says:

    Amazing the DL is so inept and the best two players are not under contract for next year either.

    I’m proud of this team and its grit, but disappointed Marshawn was near the goal line again and circumstances led to another heartbroken loss.

    If any team can go on the road and win 3 – strangely, it’s this weird team. I mean weird in a good, complimentary way, too.

  6. Trevor says:

    Nice write up and summary of the situation.

    Would love to go round #3 with SF in two weeks if we have Brown and Diggs back.

    • Michael P Matherne says:

      That is the most likely scenario, right? If we win and the Saints win we’re going for round 3?

  7. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    FWIW I think SEA will win in PHI next week. Especially if tonight’s second half offense shows up for the entire game.

    It’s not crazy to think they can beat SF in Santa Clarita the following week. They did it once already this season. And they almost did it tonight.

    But even if they do go to the NFC Championship, I don’t see them beating either GB or NO on the road to get to the SB.

    • Forrest says:

      I actually think GB is winnable…likely, no, but most definitely winnable; that team is a glass cannon, too finesse. NO…nah, probably not. Agree that Philly and SF are both winnable though.

    • Kelly says:

      We struggled mightily last time we were in Philly. Russell was completely shutdown with Jenkins spying him and coming on delayed blitzes.

  8. Trevor says:

    Rob agree completely about the DL. It really is too bad with all the DL talent in last years draft that the Hawks went against thier norm and selected Collier who did not have a great athletic profile. It really does seem like a missed opportunity.

    • Kelly Orr says:

      That was a complete miss so far. Hopefully he develops into the Michael Bennett comp he was given. Zero contribution from a pick that high is disastrous for teams making gains. I was really excited about him but he’s basically getting a red shirt this year.

      • 12th chuck says:

        2 years in a row, high draft picks = zero production hurts. I get how collier missed time in training camp slowed his progress,but that was 4 months ago.

  9. Justin Mullikin says:

    Super proud of this team and being a Seahawks fan. I just wanna say, if you come here to post about firing Pete GTF out of here. I cannot believe how entitled Seahawks fans are getting. I want SDB to be a safe haven for intelligent discussions as Rob has given us. Sorry for the rant. Go Hawks.

    • Trevor says:

      Who was saying fire Pete? I have never heard that on heat and it just seems silly to talk such nonsense. Pete is not going anywhere nor should he.

      • Justin Mullikin says:

        (looks shamefully) I visited the NO NO social media sites and other Seahawks fan sites. The comments are absurd.

      • SoCal12 says:

        You’d be surprised how many armchair GMs on twitter and field gulls think we’d be better off firing Pete and digging around for McVay’s third cousin or something so that Russell will ‘finally’ ascend to godhood and forge a Lombardi from Pete’s ashes. Definitely going to be using the game delay as some kind of rallying cry for the next few weeks which is going to be insufferable.

        • Justin Mullikin says:

          Yeah I never knew Seahawks fans to be entitled, but over there —————————————->
          It’s bad.

          • Bankhawk says:

            Why I don’t do Twitter (Never have, Never will). Went to Field Gulls first (I don’t find them TOO bad, generally-but I’m selective about it) and mostly steer clear of Hawkblogger. AND-I save this one as my Go-To source-my antidote to negativity. The fresh-air site!

  10. paul difuria says:

    The legacy of the Pete/Russ era will be their “always compete” spirit. Fun being a fan when you know the team will always believe in itself and fight to the final play. Hats off to this scrappy team.

    Still scratching my head about that delay of game…..

  11. SoCal12 says:

    That Marshawn TD was a thing of beauty. He’s definitely not 100% the beast we had before, but man is it still fun to watch him run. Honestly the game result is what it is and was expected. What I’m really bummed about is the missed opportunity for that game winning Lynch touchdown. That would’ve been a perfect bookend to the decade and to miss it by seconds and inches. Man that’s a bitter pill.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      Lynch looked better than I thought he would. He still had explosive burst and had wiggle. His power looked a little bit lower, but he still put up 36 yards and 1 TD.. after sitting on the couch for 14 months… very impressive. If they can make a run in the playoffs, he will get better and better.

      • 12th chuck says:

        Lynch had a good game for sure, and hope it continues for the remainder, and lets face it, Homer had a great game. If Lynch can keep having an impact, that would be a great way to finish his tenure here in Seattle

  12. Pran says:

    Delay of game and PI non call are just taking points for few days. Fact is they couldn’t punch in with so many opportunities and leagues highest paid player under center. That’s on Schotty.

  13. neil says:

    If they sleep walk through the first half next week ( what is that all about anyway?) It will not end well. Very tough to beat a team twice in one year when the second game is on their turf. The stat I saw is the Hawks are 1-6 in second meetings over the last two years.

  14. Forrest says:

    Agree with the sentiment 100% Rob. Valiant effort from an injured team…inches short. Credit due for getting to 11-5 on an “off” year though, and credit for making the two 49ers games this year classics in the storied rivalry.

    I’m in the optimistic camp; I think this team could go deep into the playoffs (15% chance at making the Superbowl), but really I think we as fans should all be aiming for next year and beyond. I personally can’t wait for the offseason (juicy draft and free agency for this team), playoffs are an added bonus.

    Well anyway, off to Philly to hopefully pull out some more of that road warrior magic they’ve been using all year. Go Hawks!

  15. charlietheunicorn says:

    This team is so much fun to follow.

    And, now the wait for another 7 days and the LAST wildcard game of next weekend. : /

  16. Will be tough to win 2 games on the east coast vs same team in one year but I do think we can pull it off. Philly really isnt that good and they have a ton of injuries too.

    I live in NYC, may make the hour and a half trip to get pelted with feces by those filthadelfians!

  17. Looks like we are playing on Sunday which we were pretty sure we knew anyways. Both NFC games on Sunday. Wonder who gets the 10am and who gets the 1pm.

  18. LAHawk says:

    Dline needs work for sure, but first half made me think the team so badly needs another reliable receiver. There was no quick passing game to speak of, but I don’t really blame the scheme I blame our thin receiving corps… you can’t rely on moore and Hollister to create plays. Upgrade the pass-catching and d-line units a little bit each and this team could make a jump imo.

    • 12th chuck says:

      maybe the receivers are more focused to do scramble drills too much. With an o-line that struggles to pass block horrendously at times, I would place more blame on them. It wouldn’t hurt to have more weapons on offense while Wilson is still in his prime though.

  19. line_hawk says:

    “why, despite being so consistent in the last decade, they’ve only won the NFC West three times in Russell Wilson’s eight years with the team.”

    Carroll’s conservative style cannot win 12-13 games (even with Wilson) unless he has a top 3 defense. If the defense ain’t that, their ceiling is 9-10 games.

    Given that 12-13 games have been necessary to win the NFC West in the past 8 years, they either
    1) have to expect NFC West craps (won’t happen)
    2) get a killer defense (again, won’t happen overnight)
    3) open up the playbook & win shootouts (again won’t happen after 10 years of Carroll)

    So, realistically, we are down to #2. It might be a pipe dream to get rebuild a great defense or it might come true in a few years. But until then, we will play second fiddle to the other 3 teams in the division.

    • Rob Staton says:

      ‘Carroll’s conservative style’ would’ve had 13 wins but for all these injuries this year.

      Come on people let’s keep this on track.

      • line_hawk says:

        You can’t discuss the injuries and not mention all the luck they have had this year. Literally, they would have lost two games if the other kickers had made chip shots. Lets keep out what could have. They are what their record says 11-5.

    • Michael P Matherne says:

      It’s damn hard to win a division each an every year. Over the last 8 seasons only 5 teams have won more than 3 division titles:

      Patriots (8 of 8)
      The ultimate outlier, and have played in the easiest division in football for ~20 years

      Texans (5 of 8)
      Twice crowned division champs at 9-7, and have 2 total playoff victories to show for it over the span

      Packers (5 of 8)
      First off the Lions have literally never won the NFC North, so… there’s that. Aaron Rodgers started 73/80 games for the Packers in their 5 championship seasons, and all 7 of those missed games came in 2013 when the Pack won the division at 8-7-1. In those same 5 seasons the Vikings and Bears started the following QBs: Christian Ponder (26), Sam Bradford (15), Kirk Cousins (15) Teddy Bridgewater (12), Matt Cassel (9), Josh Freeman (1), Shaun Hill (1), Sean Mannion (1) & Jay Cutler (46), Mitch Trubisky (15), Matt Barkley (6), Brian Hoyer (5), Josh McCown (5), Chase Daniel (1), Jason Campbell (1), Jimmy Clausen (1)

      Broncos (4 of 8)
      Chiefs (4 of 8)
      The Chargers and Raiders each have exactly one double digit win season in the last 8 years. The AFC west just hasn’t been playing with a full deck over this span.

      • Kyle says:

        Great points. All three examples are from weak divisions. Even Holmgren’s record of success the previous decade was mostly due to the NFC West imploding for several years. There haven’t been any gimmes in this division under Carroll, except maybe the year Carson Palmer went out and the Cardinals went into free fall.

  20. Bob Johnston says:

    I’m actually glad we lost, we’re 7-1 on the road and playing the only team that might have more injuries than the Hawks.

    The real key was that the offense finally showed up after being unwatchable for the past few weeks. I think the difference is Russ was running the ball and looked quick to my eye, now if they can just keep that offensive momentum going against Philly things should be okay.

  21. One Bad Mata'afa says:

    Travis Homer…kid showed out tonight. Not the most physical back, but he hits the LOS quickly and serves as a nice outlet as well. Good to see the moment wasn’t too big for him.

    • LLLOGOSSS says:

      +1. Kid showed up. Always found a way to fall forward, too, for a smaller back that was good to see.

    • Stevo says:

      Yes. Homer runs with zero wasted motion. Wastes no time behind the LOS. Exploded through the hole. He is the Anti-Shawn Alexander.

      • LLLOGOSSS says:

        If by that you mean he hasn’t run for 10,000 yards and 100 TD’s, then yes, he’s nothing like Shaun Alexander…

  22. line_hawk says:

    It was great to see the offense get back on track in the second half. If this team had any chance in the playoffs, it had to be due to Wilson and the offense. They have won on the road this year, so lets get that mojo back. Hopefully, Lynch/Homer will settle down in a week or two and Diggs will be back for divisional round vs 49ers. I can easily see them winning in Philly and SF. After that, I am not sure but even reaching there would be a huge win. This team loves being the underdog, let’s goo!

  23. EranUngar says:

    What a fantastic brave team we have….truly blessed…

    As for pointing the finger at the DL, It has been true for most of the season but it is not what I saw in this game, not at all. They applied ample pressure and forced SF into running and quick passes.

    The part of the defense that failed us tonight was just horrendous tackling. Again and again, plays ended 5-8 yards beyond where they should have been. I also felt that LBs were slow…age and being banged up caught up to them.

    The other part was the combo of time management at the end plus the none call when Holister was grabbed (with no TOs to challenge)would have allowed 1-2 extra plays….

    Still, a great game by a never die team. Could not be more proud…

    • Rob Staton says:

      Tackling was indeed poor but the DL doesn’t disrupt games at all. When we beat them in SF there was a ton of pressure on JG. Nothing today after the first drive.

      • EranUngar says:

        In the 2 scoring drives by SF in the 2nd half, they ran 4 passing plays and 8 running plays.

        In the whole 2nd half they had 7 passing plays and were 1-3 in converting 3rd down passing plays. Not exactly the setup for visible QB pressure…

        • Rob Staton says:

          So we’re going to ignore the other drives then?

          They boat raced us throughout.

        • LLLOGOSSS says:

          Surely we gave up some daggers in the passing game, but I agree that they beat us predominantly with clever misdirection and great execution in the run game. Mostert’s last TD was one of the easiest you’ll ever see. I’m not sure what the solution is, people were getting blocked and tricked out of position. Short of getting Kam to de-cleat some guys at the LOS I’m at a loss.

  24. Paul Cook says:

    Just got back from a game party. There was so much great about this game and this team that praise is almost too paltry of a word to memorialize it.

    BUT…we were all absolutely bewildered that they let the play clock run down and took that delay of game penalty. They had the time to run at least two plays, if not three plays from inside the one yard line in 22 seconds (or more if the coaches were on it) had they gotten one play off there, ANY kind of a play, even a QB spike to stop the clock.

    When they got down to the one up they could have…

    1) Spiked the ball and stopped the clock
    2) Called a running play to Lynch and if he gets stopped, still have had time to spike the ball and get at least one more play in, if not two if he doesn’t score
    3) Called some kind of a pass play and if the receiver isn’t open, merely throw it away
    4) etc…

    Instead, we got a delay of game penalty which made it so that the defense didn’t have to respect the run at all.

    Whew! I was totally okay with everything about this game, so happy about so many things I can hardly describe the emotion we all felt in the room. It just hurt and confounded us all that they did what they did, got us that close, and then the coaching staff had a total brain fart, as if they had no idea what they might do if they were in such a situation.

    That’s what hurt about this game.

    Anyway…we go on. I hope we learn from it. I’m more than happy with the joy and satisfaction they have given me as a fan this season.

    Go Hawks!

  25. Mike says:

    Think people are spending so much time on the delay of game they’re not responding to your statement about the d-line being badly in need of help Rob. They need more speed at LB too and Barton does not look to be that guy.

  26. neil says:

    I still can’t figure out where the hell the offense is in the first half of games.

  27. charlietheunicorn says:

    Both of the AFC games should be barn burners.

    Patriots / Titans
    Texans / Bills

    The NFC games might not be as good…. I’m not sure how Vikings beat the Saints, except if they can get the ground game going and control the clock and keep Brees off the field. If the Eagles remain as banged up as they have been, Seahawks have a good shot for a W.

    Saints / Vikings
    Eagles / Seahawks

  28. charlietheunicorn says:

    NFL Wild Card Weekend Opening Lines, via @CaesarsPalace

    Bills vs. Texans (-3)
    Titans vs. Patriots (-5.5)
    Vikings vs. Saints (-7.5)
    Seahawks vs. Eagles (-1)

  29. GerryG says:

    The defense despite its issues, gave them a chance in the first half, making just enough plays to keep the team in it. It’s the offense that completely crapped the bed and dug the 13 pt hole (that could have been much worse). They scored every drive in the second half, sans the last where they were just short, frustrating they couldn’t muster anything in the first.

    On that subject, a pet leave of mine is this teams complete reluctance to get a first down on <1 yard via qb sneak. It’s not even in the playbook. Every other team gets those first downs easily via the sneak, and we don’t even make them honor it. They probably can get a FG in the first half if they just QB sneak on 4th at the end of the half. Their short yardage game blows, so I just don’t get why they don’t put the sneak into the quiver.

    It’s amazing the difference Diggs made to this D, it’s like everyone played better knowing he was back there.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Pete was asked a long time ago about QB sneaks and he said Wilson isn’t very good at it. And it’s right. We’ve seen him try them.

      • Kyle says:

        Plus I don’t think we want to run any sneaks with Joey Hunt at center. He’s a fine backup on the o-line but just too small to get any push.

      • LLLOGOSSS says:

        Would be worth investing some time into getting better at… Unless it’s purely a function of height.

    • neil says:

      No mention of the ineffectiveness of the offense in the first half again. Is it just lethargy by the players or poor game planning by the coaches. Always play better in the second half. Why ? If

  30. GerryG says:

    Also, last weeks loss now doesn’t matter, but I was adamant that the decision to play Jones over Fant at LT was an abysmal call, I’d say that remains accurate as Fant is clearly at minimum a serviceable LT as evidenced by his play tonight. He was pretty good. I’d pay him over Ifedi for next year (limited sample size be damned).

    • DC says:

      “I’d pay him (Fant) over Ifedi…”

      I agree. Fant can play either T spot but he has the athleticism to be a LT. He looked decent out there tonight and considering who we played and who he was covering for I really hope they lock him up long term.

  31. DC says:

    Honestly that was a much better game than it could have been with all of the nicks & dings we’ve got going on. Truly awesome to see Marshawn take the field for us once again. Like a great friend you haven’t seen in years arriving exactly when you need them most. Please let’s have Diggs healthy for the wildcard. That dude makes such a difference for the entire D. Did you see that Hill whiff tackle? lol. He was like 2 full yards behind the guy. Anyway, it’s been a great, strange & crazy regular season. Proud of 11 wins and the fight this team shows. On to Philly!

  32. steele says:

    This game was more proof that it is a gritty team to be proud of, and one that fights no matter what. They had no business almost winning against “the greatest team ever”.

    SF got their playoff wish, but are they have to be thinking, “s—, we almost lost to a badly injured team”. How good are they, really?

    The Hawks will never give up. They can beat the Eagles. One game at a time.

    • EranUngar says:

      Yes, one game at a time…and when we beat the Eagles, I’m sure SF can’t wait to see us again possibly with Diggs and Brown…

  33. My thoughts on this game is we lost this game by 6 inches that’s it really . we played hard they’re was no quit . I sure hope we can improve are pass rush this off season it’s a glaring weakness is it just me or do opponents love to run jet sweep or reverses on the Seahawks and have pretty good succuss.just saying

  34. Belfathawk says:

    What a terrific game with two terrific teams. And the best thing about it is that Evan Hill seems to have left Twitter. It is a better place without his attention seeking narcissism dressed up as fandom. Thanks, as always, for providing perspective from day 1 Rob. Looking forward to the future, including next week!

    • GerryG says:

      I put a lot of effort into making sure nothing from Evan Hill shows up on my feed, even had to block his wife so I can’t see things she writes lol

  35. Henry Taylor says:

    What an incredibly wild ride this season has been, still so proud of what this team has managed in that game and in this season.

    Why hasn’t Seattle won the division more often in this run? Because the west perpetually spits out fresh hungry competitors, oh to be in the AFC east.

    I know, statistically speaking, the odds of winning 3 road games in the playoffs are very low, but idk, not sure I’d count out these boys just yet, however it ends up I know they’ll go down swinging. Happy New Year all.

  36. Belfasthawk says:

    It is lovely to see the even-handedness in the blog and also in the comments section. In stark contrast to some other elements of this fan base who make noise on twitter. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t have a ticket. And we are in. No team in the NFC is perfect so…

  37. drewdawg11 says:

    I was telling some friends last night that some of these guys are making it incredibly easy on the organization this offseason. Reed is showing that he was a one-year wonder. No need to throw huge money at him. Clowney is a guy you try to retain, but not at insane money either and if he wants that, you politely thank him for this season, get that comp third rounder, and go hard after the kid from Jax or to a lesser degree, Dante Fowler. Need a big, space eater in the middle who can help keep Bobby clean. So disappointed in this defensive line. They had a couple of outstanding games against the niners and eagles, then nothing.

    • Trevor says:

      I agree Drew I think the Hawks have to really let the market play out for both these guys. If you can ring them back at a price that works for the Hawks then great but I would certainly not overpay for either. Reed in particular seems more like a solid DT than a game changing pass rusher.

  38. neil says:

    The biggest factor in the game was the 49ers almost doubled our yards per play. That reflects on both offense and defense. Had they scored just a field goal in the first half, all else being equal they could have won the game with a field goal at he end.

  39. cha says:

    Ian Rapoport

    More
    Sources: #Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks is believed to have torn his ACL. He’ll have an MRI to confirm, but a huge loss for Seattle as they march on into the playoffs.
    7:41 AM – 30 Dec 2019

    • Georgia Hawk says:

      The injuries are almost comical at this point. Any playoff win with this ragtag crew should be considered a resounding success of a season. Hell just the fact we made it this far is something.

    • Paul Cook says:

      Ouch. This will truly be a step up time for our young-ins at LB. Maybe some more nickle packages. I don’t know. The best to be said is that it could be worse.

  40. Paul Cook says:

    Someone mentioned this before, but do they really want to add another game to the schedule? The NFL is a brutal game. Got to protect the players from body fatigue.

  41. Trevor says:

    End of regular season Arm Chair GM for off season.

    Hawks have had an incredibly exciting season with the potential to win a game or two on the road in the post season I think but it still a pretty flawed roster with big holes on defense in particular.

    Free Agency (Current Roster)
    -Let CLowney and Reed test the market. If you can bring them back at reasonable contracts then make it happen. If not take the comp picks. Neither player is worth overpaying for IM0. $18 mil /yr for Clowney and $8 mil per year for Reed seems about right.
    -Extend Fant long term and make him your starting RT
    -Let Ifedi walk and hope someone is silly enough to pay him so that you get a comp pick
    -Cut Britt for cap savings (bring him back at a lower # if possible) Saves almost $9 mil
    -Extend Quinton Jefferson he has proven to be a valuable rotational guy
    -Extend Akeem King as a valuable depth player in secondary
    -Bring back restricted free agents Hollister, Turner, Hunt
    -Extend Kendricks (3 yrs / $15 mil)
    -Cut KJ and try to keep him with the organization but I think he lacks the speed to play at an elite level anymore. Saves $6 mil in cap space
    -Cut Ed Dickson saves $3.5 mil cap space

    Free Agency ( Additions)

    The Hawks will have $ to spend for a change in free agency with a ton of dead $ coming off the books as well.

    -Priority #1 Sign Dante Fowler-He is the best speed rusher on the market and still really young. 5 yrs 90 mil seems like it might get it done.

    -Priority #2 Target Jordan Phillips or Vernon Butler as a young athletic penetrating DT 4 yrs /60 mil

    Priority #3 Target a veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn or Everson Griffin. 2 yrs /20 mil

    Priority#4 Add at tough SOB to the DL in David Oneyemata. He is young and athletic. Really good against the run and plays with a real edge. 3 yrs /$15 mil

    Priority #5 Add a veteran OL swing tackle for depth at both OT spots

    This would really solidify DL and focus on other areas in the draft.

    2020 Draft

    Round #1 Jaylon Raegor (WR/TCU) the Hawks need to keep adding play makers for Russ and Raegor has a chance to e special.

    Round #2 Trade Pick for OJ Howard. The Hawks desperately miss Dissly in both the pass and run game. Him coming back and adding and elite talent like Howard would open up a lot for the Hawks offense.

    Rd #2 Mekhi Becton (OT/ Louisville) -A massive and supprisingly athletic RT who is really under related IMO and would be the ideal RT of the future with Fant moving to LT when Brown retires.

    Round #3 Ceaser Ruiz (C /Michigan) Big tough and athletic Centre to solidify that spot on the OL going forward. I know Rob has him rated higher and I agree but he seems to be considered a day #3 guy most places I have seen. Could be a big riser during the Process.

    Rd #4 Leki Fotu (DT/ Utah) massive run stuffing DT the Hawks seem to lack to keep Bobby clean.

    Rd #4 Troy Dye (LB / Oregon ) -Long and Athletic linebacker with good coverage ability. Seems like the ideal replacement for KJ in our scheme

    Rd #5 Lamar Jackson (CB / Nebraska ) Long and athletic CB who seems like a guy Pete would like to work his magic with. Reminds me a it of Tre Flowers.

    Rd #6 Chase Claypool (WR/ND) I would convert him to a pass catching TE where I think he would excel

    Rd #7 Tipa Galia (Edge/Utah St) -Take a flyer on an ultra athletic edge with a troubled pass it legit potential as a speed rusher.

    • Trevor says:

      Just saw the news that Kendricks tore ACL. So I guess I would remove him from the resign list and that may open the door to keeping KJ unless they add someone younger in the draft or free agency.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve not seen Cesar Ruiz graded in day three by anyone and if you come across that — I’d throw out that website completely.

      He is an absolute nailed on top-40 prospect. He could easily go top-25.

      There is no way he will last to round three.

      • Trevor says:

        He likely will not last that long you are right. I actually meant to put in Zach Moss in Rd #3 after the RB injuries but forgot to make the switch.

        I have not seen Ruiz mocked as a first rounder except by you and I agree with your assessment. He should be the first C off the board.

  42. Edgar says:

    It’s pretty hard to be thankful and understanding for an 11-5 injury riddled team after another couple of ‘major’ mistakes once again by the coaching staff in crunch time. It’s like some of us just use the outlying issue of health as an excuse even when the team gets to a spot where victory is in their sights, yet screw up massively to fail.

    (Oh well, there’s always next year) as a longtime Mariner fan this line of thinking is met with disdain.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Or, to look at it another way Edgar, some people just want any reason to be negative.

      Because quite frankly the Seahawks had absolutely no right to have a chance to win that game. And yet there they were.

      Just because you have first and goal in the final 30 seconds doesn’t mean you automatically should win. The other team can make their plays. The Seahawks came up an inch short from an epic win against the odds.

      Pointing that out isn’t making excuses for anyone. It’s simply stating the facts. The Seahawks are absolutely torn to shreds with injuries and were an inch away, still, from beating the #1 seed in the NFC.

      If people can’t understand and appreciate that, you’re trying too hard to be negative about Pete Carroll.

    • Tien says:

      I get so frustrated also by Pete’s chronic inability to manage the clock and timeouts and some of his head scratching play calling.

      But he’s also been the most successful coach we’ve ever had and even though his teams may be undisciplined at times and will make boneheaded plays, they always compete and play hard to the whistle. We’re in the midst of a rebuild and yet were still so close to getting the #1 seed in the NFC, with two games left in the season.

      I’ve pretty much accepted that Pete comes with some irritations along with his winning culture & philosophy and I try not to get too upset about instances where the Hawks make it harder on themselves with no reason.

      I’ve been a fan of the Seahawks since my high school days (Zorn, Kreig, Largent, Curt Warner etc) and this has been the greatest years as a Seahawks fan and I for one hope Pete continues as head coach here for many more years….or at least until he can get us another SB win!:)

  43. Frank says:

    That sucks about Kendricks, but as knee injury aren’t what the used to be he’d be back next playing for someone next year if not us. He still has some jail time coming which would suck to rehab there, and feel for the guy.
    That still leaves the Hawks with a huge problem, Barton is too green to man base efficienctly, and king isn’t inspiring in nickel.

    • Trevor says:

      It is critical they get Diggs bac so they can play more nickel. Kendricks will be missed because Philly and SF both like to run the ball and use multiple TE sets.

  44. Sea Mode says:

    Zack Rosenblatt
    @ZackBlatt

    The #Eagles have now lost Brandon Brooks, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, Malik Jackson, Ronald Darby, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Hassan Ridgeway, Rudy Ford, Jordan Mailata and, most importantly, Joe Ostman, to season-ending injuries this year.

    Dec 30, 2019

  45. Trevor says:

    The Brooks loss is huge and their RB is banged up as well.

    Battle of the MASH units on Sunday. I like our chances.