The Seahawks won and secured the No. 3 seed. But the way they went about it leaves one with doubts about how far they can go in the playoffs.
The Seahawks won, and that’s what they needed to do to get the No. 3 seed in the NFC. But by most other measures, this wasn’t the convincing win it should have been.
The 49ers have won just two games this season. They had nothing to play for (They already had the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft locked up). And they had fired their general manager and maybe their coach before the game. It was a perfect opportunity for the Seahawks to deliver a classic thumping.
Instead, it was strangely close. The 49ers led 14-3 early in the game, and the Seahawks rallied but it was still pretty close even into the fourth quarter.
The offense looked inconsistent again. Special teams struggled again (another blocked extra point and a sailed snap on a punt led to a safety). Even the defense was just OK, especially against a 49ers offense that has been pretty awful all year.
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One game like that, fine. But this has been a trend. The last four games have all been red flags about the direction this team is headed: a blowout loss at Green Bay, a solid if slightly lethargic win against the Rams, a loss at home against the Cardinals and then this — an unconvincing win against one of the NFL’s worst teams.
The half-full outlook is that most of the NFC is pretty flawed, and so maybe the Seahawks can turn it on, capture some of their old magic, and go on a run. Maybe. But the evidence down the stretch of the season suggests that might be less likely than at any point in the last five seasons.