Say you want about the Seahawks, but even when they lose, they don’t do so quietly.
Despite trailing by 18 points in the third quarter, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks clawed their way back into the game with three straight touchdown drives to open the second half. But the margin for error, at that point, was gone. So much so that a dropped catch by Malik Turner, a sack on third down (forcing Seattle to punt on 4th and 11) and a few blades of grass between a yellow line and the nose of a football, decided Seattle’s fate.
The Seahawks had nine possessions in the game, and just four in the second half. For reference, the Chiefs had the ball 13 times in their 51-31 drubbing of Houston earlier in the day. They scored on three of those four possessions, and outscored the Packers 20-7 down the stretch. But alas.
And just like that, the Seahawks’ season is over. Seattle enters the offseason with plenty of holes to fill, especially on defense. But there’s plenty of reason for optimism. Seattle has an arsenal of draft capital (six picks, including a first-rounder and two second-rounders) and more than $60 million in cap space. What they do with those picks and that wad of cash will be the big question to monitor, but it would seem the Seahawks are well positioned to improve as they head into 2020.
Let’s take a look at what national media members are saying about Seattle’s playoff loss and what their offseason might hold.
First and foremost, people were #mad online about the spot of the ball on the third-down play to Jimmy Graham that ended the game. On TV, it looked as though Graham was just shy of the yellow line, but as always, that line isn’t official. Packers wide receiver Davante Adams made sure to remind everyone of that on Instagram.
While the Seahawks were losers, Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin were winners with the moment of the day for Seattle, combining forces to take down Aaron Rodgers on a key third down in the fourth quarter.
The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman included the moment as a win of the weekend in the NFL.
When (Shaquem) dragged down Rodgers on Sunday, it was his first career sack. He has only one hand, but it doesn’t seem to matter—especially when his brother is flying in a few steps behind him.
Another win was Marshawn Lynch’s postgame interview. It remains unclear if we’ve seen the last of Beast Mode (again), but if this is is his final interview as an NFL player, it sure was a good one to go out on.
And speaking of chickens, Packers linebackers Preston and Za’Darius Smith talked about how challenging it is to tackle Wilson after the game. “He’s a great quarterback. He knows how to scramble. It definitely was a cardio test, our endurance got tested tonight … It was like chasing a chicken in a field with no fence. Go YouTube it.”
The Ringer’s Danny Kelly looks at what went right, and wrong, for the Seahawks in 2019. And asks if Pete Carroll will ever modernize his approach.
While Carroll deserves plenty of credit for the team’s unexpected run to the postseason, he again struggled throughout the season with basic game management. Carroll fell short when it came to clock management and in-game decision-making, often in key moments, particularly in the team’s Week 17 loss to San Francisco, when Seattle took a critical delay-of-game penalty after failing to substitute correctly. On a more macro level, Carroll was often far too reticent to Let Russ Cook (as Seahawks Twitter puts it), steadfastly leaning on the ground game and taking the ball out of Wilson’s hands. Too often, Carroll seemed to be coaching as if he had a game-manager quarterback and an all-world defense when he had just the opposite.
Speaking of Carroll, his decision to punt on fourth down late in the fourth quarter was also widely questioned. CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr detailed the decision and the coach’s explanation for it.
There was a reason why Carroll decided to punt: He didn’t like the odds of Seattle getting a first down, even with Russell Wilson at quarterback.
“We were thinking about going for it in that sequence but not at fourth-and-11,” Carroll said in his postgame press conference. “We thought our odds were so low. We had all the clock, we had the time, we had all the opportunities to stop them to get the ball back.
Nate Scott of For The Win outlined his reasoning for why Carroll’s decision to punt didn’t make sense.
It was a risk-averse decision from Carroll when the Seahawks didn’t have time to avoid risks. Fourth-and-11 is a nightmare, and Carroll was almost certainly reeling after Wilson took a six-yard sack on third down. But still, the Seahawks’ backs were against the wall.
… Going for it is tough, and it’s easy to focus on the bad outcomes, as Carroll almost certainly did. But you have to see both sides. If the Seahawks convert (again, not easy to do), but if they convert, they’ve now got the ball near midfield with timeouts and plenty of time on the clock to go and get that needed touchdown.
Brady Henderson of ESPN.com says the Seahawks need to upgrade on defense after loss to Packers.
The Seahawks finished with six hits on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (compared to Green Bay’s 10 on Wilson). One of Seattle’s two sacks was only a sack in the technical sense, as it came on a Rodgers scramble and slide just shy of the line of scrimmage. …. The pass rush has to be a priority for the Seahawks this offseason, and it won’t be as simple as drafting someone in April. Stud pass-rushers are hard to find unless you’re picking in the top half of the first round. Seattle will have the No. 27 overall pick.
The Seahawks will have the No. 27 pick in the draft and also hold two second-round picks, thanks to their trade of Frank Clark to Kansas City. Josh Edwards of CBS Sports takes an early look at Seattle’s needs and prospects to watch in the draft.
From a youth and talent perspective, most did not expect the Seahawks to make it far but they provided the critics wrong. At the beginning of the season, no one would have predicted that Marshawn Lynch and Josh Gordon would be on the roster by the end.
Seattle faces a pivotal offseason where difficult decisions must be made on several key veterans. Here’s what you need to know about the Seahawks and the 2020 NFL Draft.