Instant reaction: Seahawks struggle, beaten by Niners

December 16th, 2018 | Written by Rob Staton

After four straight wins all but secured a place in the playoffs, the Seahawks enjoyed a week of media hype.

They’re the team you don’t want to meet in the post-season

Seattle will be a tough out when, all being well, they do finally qualify for the playoffs. This game, however, was a disappointing let down.

Is it a wake-up call? Perhaps. That would take away credit from the 49ers though. San Francisco were inspired, well coached and had a plan on offense and defense to limit Seattle.

They also had some help. The Seahawks were sloppy. They struggled to cover the tight ends early, missed an extra point and then immediately gave up a kick-return touchdown. They gave up 14 penalties for 148 yards (apparently a franchise record) — including three 15-yard penalties in one single drive.

And with two opportunities to win the game on offense (at the end of regulation and start of overtime) — holding flags snatched away any chance to get the job done.

It never felt like Seattle deserved to win. San Francisco did — playing the cleaner game, making more plays and feeling in greater control throughout.

It might not be the worst result if it focuses a few minds. A four game winning streak created talk of a finish reminiscent of 2012 or 2014. The reality is this is a very different group. It started the year looking like a seven, eight or nine win team. The chances are it will end that way — with a tough game against the Chiefs next week followed by a home closer against Arizona.

The Seahawks are not a tier one team alongside the Saints, Rams, Chiefs and Chargers. Today showed they have a ways to go — even if in totality this has been a positive year.

It’s fair to wonder if this loss takes the gloss off the feel good factor. It won’t extinguish it completely but losing to Richard Sherman’s 49ers, a division rival, ending a 10-game streak against San Francisco and possibly finishing the year an unexciting 9-7 is a difficult one to take. More so because the Niners prevented the Seahawks from qualifying for the playoffs today.

Momentum can be regained quickly if they beat Kansas City next week. They still get two more shots to secure their post-season berth and a winning season. They won’t want to limp over the line in week 17 against the Cardinals, however.

A few specific thoughts on the game and the future…

— Seattle’s offensive line has been a big positive this season. That wasn’t quite the case today. They provided some nice runs for Chris Carson who had another excellent day. Yet overall there were too many costly penalties and it never quite felt like they had the better of San Francisco’s bevvy of first round picks on the D-line.

— The Seahawks won the turnover battle (+1), comfortably handled time of possession (+7:34 mins) had a 34-yard advantage, were just under 50% on third downs (9-19) and ran for 168 yards. It goes to show how much they had to bust to lose this game. That’s what happens when you miss an extra point, give up a special teams touchdown and set a franchise record for penalty yardage.

— The Seahawks still need an influx of talent on defense. They clearly have some very good players. Jarran Reed has taken a big step forward, Frank Clark will be re-signed one way or another and Bobby Wagner is the best middle linebacker in football. Bradley McDougald has had a terrific year. They also have a young group that’ll hopefully develop with time. They need more, however. In the past they were able to call on great depth in the pass rush (Bennett, Avril, Clark or Clemons) and an elite secondary. They have neither at the moment. It’ll be easier to solve the D-line issue in the upcoming off-season with both the 2019 draft class and free agency looking deep for defensive linemen.

— Kyle Shanahan called an excellent game and didn’t put Nick Mullens in a difficult environment. As much as this was a disappointing performance for the Seahawks, it was also a reminder that the Niners have an excellent Head Coach who will be a problem in the division if his best players can stay healthy.

— People will pick out individuals and point the finger. For me this was a collective disappointment with only a few bright spots (Chris Carson, Doug Baldwin, Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Michael Dickson). No one individual lost this game for Seattle. They simply weren’t anywhere near their best and didn’t deserve to win.

The Seahawks will likely make the post-season. If nothing else the Cardinals game provides a free-hit against the Chiefs. That’s not to say it’s a gimme in week 17 (especially against that particular opponent in Seattle). It’s one they will expect to win and win handsomely, however.

Today reminds us of the reset nature of this 2018 team. It’s been a lot of fun. There’s been some great moments mixed in with some bitterly disappointing games too. They can make some noise in the playoffs but it might be a flute solo instead of an orchestra.

They’re generally trending in the right direction but there’s a lot more work to do.

You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.

Become a Patron!

96 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks struggle, beaten by Niners”

  1. red says:

    Special teams has been a problem for this teams since 2015. Win the coin flip and fumble start at the 12 all pressure is on the offense to make a first down or two. We put SF start at the 40.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well, we also need to acknowledge that special teams includes Michael Dickson who has been a revelation. Sea Bass has had a few iffy moments this year and they gave up the TD today — but I wouldn’t say ST has necessarily been a problem.

      • D Hanlon says:

        What about the block in the back on the punt before overtime

      • red says:

        I agree about Dickson but countless penalties in the punt return game IE Turner today. I feel as if 20-25% of our returns are block in back or holding. I do agree we are better this year on teams ST DVOA of 8 coming into today so we are probably outside top 10 next week.

      • hawkdawg says:

        How many extra points has Janikowski missed this year? And that “effort” of his on the return, right after he missed the extra point, was shameful.

        Dickson was superb. Great pick.

    • line_hawk says:

      And Jason Myers is having a probowl season for the Jets. Awful decision to go with 40 year old kicker. His lack of effort on the kickoff return was pathetic.

      • McZ says:

        In preseason, they were on par. I wanted them to retain Myers. This years draft class features a deep range of kickers.

  2. HawksBill says:

    Linebackers, lineckers, linebackers. I have been calling for the Hawks to spend draft resources on quality linebackers. Colitro is a special team guy, not a starter. the league is TE centric over the middle. I hope they address this in 2019.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not many teams produce at linebacker when they lose two players like KJ Wright and Mychal Kendricks, in fairness.

      • HawksBill says:

        I agree, but since Wagner they have not really invested in this position.

        • Doug says:

          I agree that the Seahawks need to draft a quality prospect to replace KJ. KJ’s future is uncertain as is Kendricks now, both due to injury. The depth behind them is not great. I think the need here is at least as great as another EDGE. Depending on where pick #1 actually falls it would not surprise me to see the first player selected by the Seahawks be a LB.

          • HawksBill says:

            Since 2012 when they picked Wagner, they have only drafted only 2 LB’s: Kevin Pierre-Louis and Shaquem Griffin. Jacob Martin seems to be an edge/DE not a LB.

  3. Tony says:

    Disappointing yes.

    But let’s not just ignore the NFL problem today. Refs will always have the potential to change any outcome of a game. And they have been progressively worse the last few years. It is ruining the game.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Any time you let the officials be the difference, there’s a chance they will take the opportunity.

      Yes, there were some lousy DPI calls today against Seattle. They also penalised the Niners 15-yards when one of their players tossed the ball to the ref and it accidentally hit Quinton Jefferson in the chest as he walked by.

      This game came down to three things for me — the missed extra point immediately followed up with a return touchdown (huge points swing), the holding penalties killing any chance to get a game winning drive going at the end of Q4 & OT, plus the general fact that the Seahawks played totally within themselves and San Francisco elevated their performance.

      The refs made some bad calls — but that’s not where I’d focus my frustration over the loss.

      • Tony says:

        I’m not completely blaming loss on refs. But it is infuriating when they take games into there own hands. The loss was mostly due to lousy play, sloppiness and horrible field conditions. It shouldn’t have been this close of a game. The refs just ended us on some really clutch calls. So, disappointing best describes it.

        I will also say timing on calls is everything. Hill and griffins dpi calls wouldn’t be as big of a problem if they happened in 1st quarter. Yes it’s bad, but to call those in closing minutes on crucial downs. That’s just bad. Those calls to decide a game better be obvious.

      • D. Hanlon says:

        14-148, 5 first downs from penalties and we still held them to 3 for 10 on third down to say you can overcome some bad officiating is giving this officiating a free pass, how did the 49s elevate thair performance both holding calls on the final two drives were great plays by the Seahawks a big time run by Davis and then an amazing catch by Mckissic. Tony is right officiating is ruining these games. A perfect example was last week’s game and I’m talking in Seahawks favor, Wagner’s block fieldgull and the PI call on the Lockette pass was uncatchable.

        • Rob Staton says:

          The hold on the Davis play was legit. They don’t show a replay of the McKissic one.

          We didn’t play a clean game. Thus, the refs were allowed to be a difference maker.

      • RRSquid says:

        I don’t believe the ball toss was an accident. They showed a slow motion reply after the penalty and the 49ers player looked over and then had a (very) slight grin/smirk/look before he tossed the ball.

  4. cha says:

    I blame SeaBass. Make that PAT and/or try to make a tackle and they win.

    I’m kidding.

    I think.

  5. Uncle Bob says:

    You’re so correct Rob in stating it would be wrong to single out any one player or play as the cause for the loss. It’s a rare thing when the play by play guy gives a genuinely insightful commentary. Today he was spot on when he noted that it felt like “the Niners wanted to win more than the Seahawks did”. This is a young team that has been over achieving for a few weeks. We’ve enjoyed that. Today was a reality check, they’re growing, getting better…………….but prime time isn’t likely their place………………..yet.

  6. Burt says:

    Rob,

    What are your overall thoughts on the safety situation? Less about Earl and McDougald, more curious about safeties available in the later rounds with good upside, possible free agent targets and where you think guys like Thompson, Hill and Luani are in their development.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s too early to say with any confidence who will be available later on. The combine will shed some light on the position overall. They need some speed I think but might be hard to find in this class. I think the DB’s would look a lot better if the pass rush was more of a consistent threat.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Mo Alexander (concussion issues) college team mate of Bobby Wagner there is substance to Carroll praise of Alexander. Luani, Hill, Alexander, and Chancelor all big hitters and good tacklers. I think our secondary is loaded.

  7. Forty20 says:

    This was one of the games where the officials had a huge impact on the outcome but simultaneously the Seahawks should have risen above the handicap. The tacky holding penalties were immensely frustrating. Most were legit calls but some featured pretty clean blocking with hands inside the pads.

    The DPI call on Griffin was infuriating because he played that about as perfectly as you can ask any cornerback to and it obviously decided the result in overtime but all three phases had their issues today to contribute to putting the Seahawks in that sudden death situation.

    Schotty, in conjunction with Solari, has done an outstanding job revitalising our running game but it sure does feel like our passing concepts are feast or famine. I love the explosive passing plays out of play-action but it doesn’t feel like our passing game has been played with a good rhythm since Wilson’s arm carried us over Caronlina.

    It wasn’t all tragedy today though, Jarran Reed and Poona Ford looked sensational. Ford’s first step quickness and penetration against the run was ridiculous. I don’t know if he was keyed onto the snap count for the 49ers but that was almost preternatural.

    Reed is deservedly getting love from the entire the fanbase this season and I wonder how far back do you have to go into recent franchise history to see where his 8.5 sacks rates for an interior linesman. He has already eclipsed the best showings of Jordan Hill and Brandon Mebane. A double digit sack season is within grasp now with two games left.

    • 12th chuck says:

      I am a firm believer that the officiating is a way the nfl can tweak the game a bit. I don’t think they want a wildcard spot decided with more games left to play. I find it hard that the Seahawks broke their own record for penalty yards today, when it has been a non issue all year. this was by far the worst called game this year. Or are kickers are trying to keep us out of the playoffs 2 years in a row? 🙂

  8. Jujus says:

    Silver lining. With this win the niners wont have the number 1 draft pick and wont get bosa

  9. Hawk Eye says:

    cannot keep beating the same team and expect it to last, had to end eventually
    both teams had chances to win, Hawks did not take advantage.
    Overall, they did not play well enough, just were a little flat all game

    better to have a wake up call now, focus on the last 2 games
    and keep 49’rs out of 1st pick in the draft.

    Hawks need some upgrading on defense, they give up too many yards
    although we may have our pass rushing DT already
    Reed is going to get paid a lot of money soon

    Flowers looks better than Griffin
    Hill looks much improved over last year

    if you told me after game 2 we would be in the 5th playoff spot and top 10 D and O, I would have taken it in a heartbeat

  10. neil says:

    The lack of discipline of years past is alive and well. I heard a couple of commentators say ” Well the Seahawks were looking ahead to next week.” I don’t buy it! You have a good chance to punch your ticket to the 5 seed, and you throw the game away? Richard Sherman was probably right, this is a mediocre team. Really hard to see them going on the road and doing any damage in the playoffs. As far as Calitro goes, he led the team with 10 tackles. The Hawks traditionally have never been able to cover tight ends. I am not sure why that is. The Chief’s have 10 days to get healthy and game plan for the Hawks, yet the opening line is just 2.5. I am amazed it is not 8 or more. I would like to see the Hawks win but the smart money will be on the Chiefs.

    • Whit21 says:

      Kam Chancellor locked down Jimmy Graham and a few other TEs pretty well in a few games. But overall PC defense doesn’t defend TE’s consistently. Its mostly the hard hits they put on WR and TE that makes up the difference. Seattle doesnt really have that hard hitting saftey right now. Mcdougald and thompson might try to hit hard, but fact is they are undersized for the most part.

      This felt like a lot of losses in the PC era. You’re not going to play perfect every week. Having the third option at RG killed numerous drives with holding. the PI on Shaq in OT was pretty garbage call. Untimely TO’s or penalties are usually the reason games end up closer than they should be in Seattle losses. This game is no different.

    • HawksBill says:

      Calitro’s 10 tackles can be misleading, a tackle after a 15yard gain is not really a good stat. He was guilty a few times of looking in the backfield and not picking up TE’s in time.
      Watch the Celeck route. The Hawks cannot count on K.J. and Kendriks returning next year.

      • McZ says:

        The Celek route was the reiteration of a series of plays, where the Niners created mismatches at will. Calitro was not fast enough to fill holes opened by Griffin. He is also not experienced.

        Kittle is also a damn good TE, so you can expect him to make palys against our second string.

        Bottom line, yes, if KJ and Kendricks remain unavailable, we need an upgrade. Ben Burr-Kirven will be a R4-5 prospect. He has the motor we require from our players. If we need a FA with secondary DE role, Anthony Barr becomes available.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I would like to see an analysis about whether Burr-Kirven can play safety. He is tough, a great tackler, and agile over short distances. I just think he is a little undersized for linebacker, but that isn’t a total rejection of him at that position, it’s just something he would have to work through.

      • FresnoHawk says:

        We can count on KJ & Kendrick’s to return next year. Where are they going to go?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Maybe not mediocre but if they finish 9-7 they’ll be slightly above average and in the post-season because other teams like Minnesota and Green Bay made life very difficult for themselves. They have work to do. Steps forward but work to do.

  11. DC says:

    We might not have to face both Bosa AND Williams in the division next season. That’s the good news .

    • FresnoHawk says:

      1st round draft picks havn’t stopped Carroll success in the past why would it in the future? Other teams draft better college players than we do but they spend too much time sitting on the bench due to injuries. Besides when we do have injuries we have Schneider to bail us out.

  12. FresnoHawk says:

    Not a big deal Hawks played crappy against a team we know we can beat. Muggy raining players slipping, all sorts of penalties it’s good experience if we play in Chicago. CB Blitz killed us if we don’t do that we might have won. I thought SF had a good game plan but in many instances they messed it up like we did. Both Defensive lines played great, Hawks Run game dominated, while SF attacked our rookie players which we needed them to do to get ready for the playoffs. I thought Ford & Jefferson won roster spots today. Luani got a nice hit. We have a young team that needs experience. A win against KC and it will be forgotten.

  13. Ishmael says:

    I don’t think refs are any worse than before, they’re just under significantly more scrutiny and the fans are generally more clued in. Some dumb DPI gets called in 1950 and who the hell even knows? Today there’s eight slo-mo angles, cuts to three ‘experts’ in the booth, and 10,000 reaction tweets within seconds.

    That was just a really stupid loss. Sloppy and half-hearted. Too many guys trying to take shortcuts and getting burned for it. Seabass refusing to even pretend to tackle on that return was beyond pathetic, goes against everything Carroll stands for – I don’t care how old he is, you have to at least try. And Kyle Shanahan over the last five years or whatever has consistently called great games against the Hawks. He’s done exactly this stuff to better Hawks teams than this, have to give credit where it’s due.

    Michael Dickson is probably the best player on the team. Fantastic draft pick

  14. cha says:

    Goff is off
    Hawks fans can scoff
    He needs to check his coiffe

  15. Seahawcrates says:

    I sure hope they add some pass rush in the draft/free-agency. Clark and Reed and two more in a rotation will reduce the word of the secondary. When Seattle was able to pickup pressure (inconsistently) in the second half the secondary made some plays.
    Pass rush is what this team needs and hopefully the secondary grows and directly benefits.

  16. Pran says:

    Win against cards and we shall be in play offs. We may win one or none as Russ was not able to step up this season except a game or two like panthers. Losing this is better to improve our draft position and impact 9ers.

  17. AlaskaHawk says:

    The number of penalties was disappointing and stopped several drives. 14 penalties for 148 yards. Even if some were ticky tacky – there was just so many of them!

    Both teams seemed very equal to me , and the score reflected it. At the end of the game it was the 49ers who wanted it more. My hats off to Mullen for taking all those hits and still ready to play.

    I thought our front defensive four showed a lot of improvement. The stunts and stuff, Poona Ford having a great game, Reed , Clark and Jefferson all playing well. It makes me think their are greater needs on the defense, but you can’t fight the draft board.

    So with McDougal out, I’m thinking the Seahawks will pick some combination of DE, LB and safety/corner. Pretty safe guess right?

    Some unfortunate injuries to McDougal and Flukker. Darn shame, just have to hope the backups can play.

    Offensively, okay but the penalties killed to many drives. Carson and Baldwin were the heroes.

  18. Barry Vt says:

    I’m not blaming him because there are as you already stated Rob, Many factors why we lost. But Wilson has been off his game for two weeks in a row now. He has been uncharacteristically off on the deeper throws especially.

    I will take away one upbeat point of this game and something I expect to see more of was Poona Ford’s play. He played with the quickness we all have known he has and made some great plays. Was ecstatic when we got him and glad to see it off to a good start.

  19. JamesP says:

    Bright spots were few and far between but I thought Poona Ford looked awesome tonight. He’s got better and better the last 3 or so weeks and the 49ers game was a big step up. I absolutely don’t think we should rest on our laurels at DT and I would certainly support a high pick at that position – but I genuinely think Ford could be an every down starter next to Reed.

  20. C-Dog says:

    I thought the refs definitely impacted the game, but holding calls are holding calls. Can’t do run run pass and get off schedule. Just can’t do it.

    RW did some nice things, but had a few off moments that killed drives. Bobby Wagner blew his coverage and picked up another facemask. Those are your two highest paid stars that you’re presumably building around.

    I felt going into this game Seattle was due a bit of a let down after such an intense emotional victory over the Vikings on Monday night, and this matchup actually had me a bit nervous. The 49ers had momentum beating the Broncos, and if you can just put yourself in their position losing ten straight to Seattle, they REALLY wanted this win. Not saying Seattle was napping, but this was not a match to get sloppy in, and they were.

    Big pluses in my mind are the DT play of Jarran Reed and Poona Ford. It feels like Reed is ascending to near stardom, and I’m actually starting to think that if the Seattle Seahawks tandem next year is Reed at 3T and Ford at Nose, I might be perfectly fine with that if they add some veteran talent to the rotation. Just kinda stepped away from this game thinking the future might be pretty bight with those two.

    Getting more Edge talent to pair with Frank Clark could be the way to go in FA and or the draft.

    I do think linebacker is an area of concern, as well. Even if they get Kendricks or KJ back, I wonder if they look at these guys with their injury histories and maybe are a little bit more willing to invest a day two pick this time around.

    • millhouse-serbia says:

      If McDougald has serious, long term, knee problem, with level of Thedrick Thompson play, safety is big need for Seahawks imo.

      • Trevor says:

        I have been supporter of TT and still think he can be a quality player but I tend to agree with Safety being a need now. The thing is there are not many options in this class particularly at FS. Last year you had Derwin James, Jesse Bates, Justin Reid and Terrell Edmunds all who are playing well. Who is really a difference maker in this class? Maybe Tapp from Washington but he is a SS. At FS the options are really limited if you are looking for a starter next year. Might be better trying to find someone in Free Agency.

        • C-Dog says:

          I can see Carroll taking a genuine shining on Taylor Rapp, and I would love to see him in a Seattle uniform, but I might also have the minority opinion that Delano Hill stepped in and didn’t have a terrible game replacing Bradley. He had one incredibly ticky tack PI and a great down field pass breakup on the TE in the second half. I still think that there could be a starter there.

          Outside of one of safeties slipping in coverage with bad cleats, I sorta thought they help up better in this match. San Francisco wasn’t hitting many deep shots, am I right?

          I thought the DEs and LBs struggled to contain in the horrendous wet grass turf, and I thought the LBs looked lost in coverage. San Francisco also took advantage of Kittle being doubled up on with passes to the flats. That seems to be LB issues not DB, at least to my eyes.

        • Rob4Q says:

          Jordan Fuller, FS, Ohio State
          Should be available in the mid rounds, 3rd or 4th, and would be a great addition to our safety group. Has the speed and talent to excel in our system and really just needs to learn better technique and angles…something PC can teach all day!

          Delano Hill is getting better, McDougald is a stud, and Luani is actually starting to get a few reps out there too. Tedric Thompson just looks a little lost now as he doesn’t seem to react quickly enough as the play develops. Maybe he just needs more experience, but something needs to click for him…

          • Rob Staton says:

            Fuller is a decent shout to be fair. Hasn’t lived up to expectation at Ohio State but talented and at least ran a 4.51 at SPARQ. Has the potential to crack the 4.4’s.

          • FresnoHawk says:

            If Mo Alexander gets healthy we are set at safety. McDougald & Chancelor demonstrate when Carroll likes a SS everybody will laugh at Carroll and Carroll will laugh at everybody.

  21. UKAlex6674 says:

    No panic here. Let’s just remember we weren’t supposed to be here anyway, and it should have been the 49er’s fighting for a playoff spot against one of the NFL’s worst teams last night.

    One thing that I like from this season so far is that we are keeping games tight like we used to. Remember that run of games not getting beaten by more than 8 points? We have kept every game close this year.

  22. H says:

    Well that sucked. But in the end though this game may not be overly consequential, the 5 seed is still in our own hands. For a team that played with so much fire the last few weeks they seemed to lack that desire in this one. Did they overlook their opponent? Quite possibly, I did the same. I was so relaxed when seabass missed that xp, didn’t think it would matter. The refs were terrible, we shouldn’t have been in a position that allowed them to impact this one but that pi call on Griffin damn near made me throw my laptop.

    We have to respond now, that fire has to return and we need to beat the Cheifs to recapture our momentum to have any hopes of a post season run.

    I hate the 49ers, but i can’t help but like Nick Mullens. That guy is incredibly likeable, and hung in their tough whilst taking some monster hits.

  23. Trevor says:

    Poona Ford is legit and needs to play a bigger roll and more snaps as they head into the post season IMO. The run defense is so much better when he is in the lineup.

    • C-Dog says:

      Agreed. Would love to see more pairing with Poona and Jarran. Poona Ford has been a great story line.

    • Volume12 says:

      This.

      Can’t for the life of me figure out the appeal of Shamar Stephen’s to this team. He’s terrible.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I have been rooting for him all year. Yesterday was his prom, graduating into a full fledged, useful linemen. I see Reed, Jefferson, Ford and Clark as must haves.

    • JohnH says:

      PC said that Poona’s earned himself more playing time in a presser this week. Now if only Naz Jones could figure it out…

  24. charlietheunicorn says:

    We can talk about the refs, the field conditions or playcalling in OT….

    But I think what was missing in the game for the Seahawks was the chemistry between the 2(or3) LBs and SS. It appeared that BWags was having to get guys lined up all the time or explain coverages on the fly in the defensive huddle. I noticed several times he was telling guys to cover the RB or TE out of the backfield…. which I’ve not noticed before.

    So, the mesh point of the SS, and LB (Will and SAM specifically) is where they need to invest some draft capital.

    Overall, the offense actually looked decent. And if you rewatch the TD run by Carson late…. that gets you fired up. I’ve not seen something like that since, dare I say, Lynch was in town. Carson is the man. It actually was a pretty good rushing showing, since the 49ers are pretty stout vs the rush.

    • Rob Staton says:

      If it’s a mere communication issue between the backup LB’s and DB’s… then surely time is a healer, not more inexperience?

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Based on previous drafts, it is a given that the Seahawks will pick up another safety/corner. So it’s just a matter of identifying which round and who would be available. I think we all agree that defensive line would be first pick.

        That isn’t throwing shade at who is currently playing. The positions are just thin right now, I’m actually happy that the level of play was equal to the 49ers. We will know more after the KC game, when the secondary has had a chance to practice together for a week.

  25. Georgia Hawk says:

    This game highlighted the relative extreme lack of depth, all over the field, the Hawks have at the moment. This point in the year is when depth is really tested. OL and Secondary were the most glaring spots for me. Pocic doens’t look anything like an NFL caliber OL right now. I don’t know if that is rust, poor preparation, lack of improvement, or what…he just looked flat out bad. Its not like SF DL is stacked with All-Pros like LAR either. Fluker needs to get healthy for the Hawks to have a legitimate chance of making any noise in the playoffs. LB and S also looked awful as far as depth. The Defense should not look completely lost without McDougald on the field. I don’t think anybody was expecting a miracle season out of Calitro either, but that was another rough outing. Kendricks getting hurt was absolutely deflating in my mind in terms of this team’s realistic ceiling this year.

    This off season should be all about solidifying the DL and building “quality” depth. Yeah, I know…”No s#!t Sherlock.” I just think the Hawks have managed to skate by without really having a test of depth until yesterday. This game was the exclamation point on it for me.

    Also, I think this game was a sort of balancing game in terms of winning/losing games they had no business to. How many times over the last couple years have the Hawks won a game they had no business even being in? Script got flipped yesterday. Hawks had the advantage in almost every department. A few big plays by SF, horribly timed penalties and a friggin missed XP and you get a result like that. Hawks have been on the other side of that plenty over the last few years.

  26. Largent80 says:

    There are depth problems on defense for sure. Look at SF, they lost a ton of starters and the backups that have come in are playing better than the starters were. Heck, they even lost one during the game and his replacement came in and played well.

    Calitro is a Jag to me, ok vs. the run but always out of position and slow to react vs. the pass. Hill hasn’t had much playing time but looks like a liability to my eyes.

    Reed was a monster yesterday, even while being held. It’s also painfully obvious that we need a DE opposite of Clark.

    DE and LB are two of the biggest needs in my opinion.

  27. McZ says:

    IMO, Ford, Reed and Greene will be heckuva DL trio, when things begin to settle. Add to this Naz Jones and another rookie, I think we are pretty competitive.

    I want Frank Clark to be consistently elite, really bad, actually, but it’s just not there. If we talk about a north of $10m contract, there is a hard decision to make. I feel like Zach Allen could be the answer, maybe D’Andre Walker, maybe Jabari Zuniga. These are also three different pricing tiers, so depth could translate into real day 2 value.

    Then, I don’t think we have to hammer our second string linebackers. Both Mingo and Calitro are not consistent enough to replace either Wright or Kendricks, and maybe they just need time. Griffin may or may not be a long time solution. I think, he would have been a better fit during the continuous mismatches created by Nortons blitz efforts. In general, the position is pretty much high on the list for 2019 draft.

    Also on the list of needs is a intermediate route slot receiver. Our passing attack is predictable, and TE are simply not quick and handy enough, to fill the space between linebackers and secondary. There needs to be a new #4 because frankly Jaron Brown doesn’t cut it.

    Lastly, it must be frustrating to Solari to have Fluker/Simmons and Ifedi fixed on the right side, while the left side starts to become a weakness. I still think, Pocic is fixable, but he clearly is no guard. When we drafted him, I instantly thought “depth at tackle”.

    Finally, if Taylor Rapp happens to be available to the Hawks (ie after one or two downtrades), we should take him. Luanis hit was excellent, he showed a lot of football IQ.

    P.S.
    Btw, kudos to Nick Mullens. Jimmy G will have a hard time getting his job back.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Clark has 12 sacks for the season while essentially acting as a one-man band. The number of game-wrecking DE’s who can be a one-man taker of souls is severely limited. There are good pass rushers, like Clark, and then there are the elite guys like Von Miller and Aaron Donald. I don’t expect Clark to be that. If he’s getting 12 sacks as a starter with two games still to play, he’s definitely worth keeping even at a high salary. He needs help and support. In the past, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were backed up by either Chris Clemons or Clark. At the moment it’s just Clark — just like it used to be Clemons on his own in 2010 & 2011. They need more.

    • C-Dog says:

      Frank Clark is elite, IMO, and worth a big contract. Carroll made it pretty clear that he isn’t going anywhere.

    • Volume12 says:

      Seattle has a TE? Huh.

      • C-Dog says:

        They will next year if they draft Noah Fant.

        • Volume12 says:

          Should’ve taken George Kittle. According to JS they really liked him. So much so they made 6-7 selections before entertaining the idea of drafting him.

          Loved Kittle coming out and like him even more after his post game interview where he was in a rush to make the WWE PPV in San Jose. Sure as sh** he was front row. Legend.

  28. Mac says:

    It sucks we couldn’t get it done, we’re probably in the same tier as the Baltimore Ravens. In a game I felt we did a lot of things right, ran the football, had time of possession in our favor, created a turnover etc. we just didn’t win when we needed to. It isn’t all doom and gloom but I don’t expect us to beat the chiefs. In my opinion the most balanced team in the nfl might just be the chargers but with the way everything is playing out, I want to see Mahomes vs Brees.

    • Volume12 says:

      Should be a shootout with KC. Unless the noise and atmosphere gets to Mahomes.

      Worried about Chris Jones though. Might be the most underrated defender in the game. 14 sacks and 17 TFL.

      • LLLOGOSSS says:

        That’s a a pre-draft question that would get you removed from my board of answered yes, “Do you like the WWE?”

  29. Phil says:

    Niners came to play.
    Hawks came to play around.
    ST = not sharp
    OLine = not sharp
    DBs = not sharp
    Niners looked about as sharp as they could be = Hawks got sliced

    *I detest making wide overarching statements after every single game. Even great teams usually can’t overcome that many ill-timed penalties while also getting hammered in ST. (Not saying the Hawks are great; but they are unequivocally better than these Niners – just not on this day.)

  30. neil says:

    All that said above is probably true, but for me the team with the most emotion and desire won. End of story. Disappointing with the 5 seed on the line. If Washington and the Vikings win out and the Hawks lose out, they are out of the playoffs, right?

  31. Volume12 says:

    Delano Hill was fantastic. I thought so anyways. Took away or at least limited their TEs once he got into the game.

    Almost like Seattle looks at a guys strength in college and uses him in that role. Hill is a perfect example. He was a physical, man cover defender.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Relieved now that Hill is contributing he’s on track to be a starter. Demonstrates Carroll drafts future starters in later rounds which is good news for Jefferson, Green, Ford, and Griffith.

    • Magmatizer says:

      Agreed on Delano Hill! Looked a little rusty for a couple of snaps after McDougald went out (to be fair, the whole defense forgot to cover TEs), but he looked good after getting settled on subsequent drives. I still think the PI he got called for was unfounded.

    • John_s says:

      I thought he’s looked pretty solid the last couple of weeks. Definitely better than what he looked like in preseason.

  32. Hawk Eye says:

    what has happened to David Moore the last 3 or 4 games?
    Doug and Tyler are great, but the team needs more production from the other WR’s and TE’s.
    Not sure if that is Russ, Schotty or the players, but the status quo is not good enough.

    and Russ has not been great the last 2 weeks, definitely not in the MVP conversation anymore.
    We need “top 5 qb Russ”, not “probably top 10 qb Russ”

    not in the top 5 QB conversation this year?
    Brady
    Rodgers
    Goff

    Brady just getting old, father time undefeated, doubt he lasts more than 1 more year.
    Rodgers is off, not anywhere near his standard, does he bounce back
    and teams are figuring out the Rams offense and Goff. That is the problem with showing everything you got in the first 8 weeks. Teams will figure it out and adjust to your scheme. And their O line looks less dominating, Whitworth gets beat more, almost like he is 37 years old or something.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Looking at receiving, Baldwin and Lockett were the only receivers to have significant yardage, Baldwin was the only one to have more than two catches. The running backs Carson and Davis had more catches than the receivers. Unfortunately a lot of what I saw was behind the line of scrimmage and well contained by the 49ers.

      Baldwin 4 for 77 yards
      Davis 8 for 63
      Lockett 2 for 45
      Carson 6 for 29
      Dickson 2 for 14
      Moore 1 for 9

  33. AlaskaHawk says:

    Stats on defensive line:
    name solo tackles sacks
    Clark 5 1
    Reed 3 2
    Jefferson 2 0
    Ford 3 0

    The one play I really remember, Jefferson rushed from inside and was blocked diagonally to the left , and Reed stunted from left end into the hole left by Jefferson and rushed straight upfield to tackle the QB.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      It appeared they really played vanilla defense on the line until the 4th quarter, then afire was lit under them and they really went into attack mode. Clark and Reed both were extremely disruptive. There were a few plays that absolutely could have been sacks, if the QB hadn’t thrown the ball 0.1s later…. they were that close.

      The guy who showed up to me during the game was blog favorite Poona Ford. He was/is a load. Quality depth player.

  34. FresnoHawk says:

    My opinion and I admit I’ve been distracted with other things this year, is that we have enough talent on the roster to be dominate but our younger players need time to develop (Green, Martin, Ford, Jefferson). I see a glaring need at DT & back up QB.

  35. Ishmael says:

    One thing we can all enjoy is Jared Goff’s return to being a complete potato

  36. charlietheunicorn says:

    What were the expectations for the Seahawks this season?

    National pundits thought 4-12, many locals thought 6-10 to 8-8.

    They are on the verge of going 9-7 to 10-6 on a rebuilding season.
    PCJS have done a heck-uv-a-job retolling on the fly and still maintaining a fun product to watch.

    Will they win a SB, hard to tell. But the valuable time grooming and working with a multitude of young players and new coaches (to the staff) have to only bode well for the long term success. If they are not rolling into the Sb this season, the next 1 or 2 years a window reopens. PC should get coach of the year, but that likely goes to Nagy in Chicago.

  37. Bob223 says:

    Lots of folks seem to think the DB needs help. It seems like everyone is forgetting that we have a pretty fair FS already. Yes, I realize that the relationship is fractured, and that he comes with injury concerns now, but the Hawks could franchise Earl and if he stays healthy he would fix a lot of things. Yes, they might need to save the franchise tag for Clark, but with only four picks they need to find good players wherever they can. It’s hard to believe the relationship is irreperably broken, if Earl gets paid he will play. The fans would embrace him with the first pick six. I don’t know anything about these things, maybe I’m lost in the ozone, but it seems like something to consider

    • Rob Staton says:

      Sorry Bob, but there’s absolutely no chance the Seahawks franchise Earl Thomas.

      That ship has well and truly sailed.

      Rightly or wrongly, the Seahawks are moving on. It could be cost, it could be the injuries, it could be about changing up the roster. Who knows? But they made a decision this year that they were ready to progress without Earl. The only thing that prevented it happening was Dallas’ unwillingness to pony up a big trade offer. So now it’ll happen in free agency.

      They won’t franchise him. It would guarantee two things — another dose of tiresome drama and his contract for 2019. It would mean paying him a premium price when they clearly have reservations about committing major money to ET. It’s just not realistic

      He will reach free agency. He’ll probably sign with the Cowboys. Seahawks fans will overreact. But it’s over.