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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