PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. — So what now as the Seahawks (3-8) play out the season with little hope at making the postseason?
It’ll be an unfamiliar feeling for sure.
Sadly, much of Monday night’s 17-15 loss to the WFT was all too familiar — an inept offense, a defense that played its heart out but was just pliable enough to let a not-great offense move enough to win it.
While the last drive made it dramatic, it shouldn’t be lost that until then the Seahawks had been completely dominated.
Give them some kudos for hanging in there — both for the fourth-down stop that kept hope alive and the most unlikely drive in recent team history that gave the Seahawks an actual shot.
But for most of the game’s 60 minutes, this was just a ill-designed team playing poorly.
On to some early grades.
Russell Wilson looked like his old self when he went 8 for 11 for 145 yards in the first half with a touchdown and a passer rating of 145.1, a performance that seemed to prove what Wilson said after the game that “my finger feels good. … My finger is not an issue.”
The first-half success was largely the result of two big plays to Tyler Lockett — completions of 55 and 39 yards.
But in what was his third game back since finger surgery, everything fell apart in the second half until the final drive as Seattle had five straight three-and-outs at one point from the second quarter to the end of the third.
Wilson admirably took much of the blame afterward saying he “missed a couple throws.” But to avoid the season becoming a complete disaster he has to start figuring out how to eliminate those.
Alex Collins had a few decent moments early but killed the Seahawks’ momentum with a fumble after a 13-yard reception late in the second quarter. He did not play on the first series of the third quarter, which probably wasn’t a coincidence.
With Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer out, DeeJay Dallas was the primary third-down back and rotated in with Collins.
In a play call worth questioning, Dallas was stopped for no gain on a pitch out on third-and-1 at the Seattle 36 early in the second quarter.
The Seahawks running backs finished with just 17 yards on 10 carries.
It’s time to officially wonder what is going on with DK Metcalf, who had just one reception, and that on the final drive. Metcalf had no targets until the 4:25 mark of the third quarter and now has just eight catches for 70 yards in the past three games. Both Pete Carroll and Wilson later said there were plays called for Metcalf but the ball just didn’t go his way. Still.
Tyler Lockett had nice moments early and finished with 96 yards, and Freddie Swain had the big catch late. Rookie Dee Eskridge got his most significant action of the season but looked like a rookie still finding his way.
But the Seahawks have to get much more out of Metcalf to feel good about this unit.
In what was one of the few offensive highlights, Gerald Everett continued what has been a good recent stretch with his early touchdown and team-high five catches for 37 yards.
And Will Dissly also had two catches for 19 yards.
But the lack of ability to get much done in the running game on the edge also falls back on the tight ends and their blocking.
Carroll said later he thought the pass blocking was pretty good, and a sack Wilson took on the final drive was the kind he has to avoid.
But it seems hard to feel too good about the line given the overall performance of the offense and the nonexistent running game — 34 yards on 12 carries.
Once again, pretty good on runs between the tackles, and on running in general as the WFT had 152 yards but needed 43 carries to get those and was held to 3.5 per attempt. And there was the nice moments of the three straight stops on runs of third-and-two or third-and-one that kept Seattle alive in the second half.
But once again, not enough of a pass rush, even if at times it felt effective, as the Seahawks had just one sack, that from Darrell Taylor, and just two quarterback hits (and also got a critical roughing penalty against Rasheem Green).
Al Woods continued his quietly steady season by helping contain WFT’s up-the-middle run game much of the night, and Poona Ford and Bryan Mone also continued their strong play. But the struggling Carlos Dunlap got called for offsides and otherwise did not have a stat.
Overall, a passing grade, though the Seahawks again got victimized at times by passes to running backs
Jordyn Brooks made a good play on a run by Antonio Gibson for no gain when WFT had a second-and-goal at the 5 in the first quarter. WFT had to settle for a field goal and made a nice play on a pass to Gibson in the second quarter as the Seahawks.
Brooks and Bobby Wagner also combined to stop Gibson for 1 yard on a third-and-2 play midway through the third quarter that led to a stopped drive.
Benson Mayowa missed out on a sack in the second quarter when he lunged at Heinicke, who escaped for a 3-yard gain.
A few nice plays such as the Jamal Adams pick and his play on the goal line on fourth down on the final drive.
But some rough moments, too. Sidney Jones got called for interference on a throw to tight end Logan Thomas in the second quarter, but the call seemed like an iffy one. But Jones might have gotten away with one later in the series on a third-down throw to Terry McLaurin that went incomplete.
Michael Dickson had another good day of punting — a 50-yard average on eight kicks, three downed inside the 20 — and Jason Myers almost pulled off the onside kick at the end of the game. But that it was a simple alignment error that negated the play kills the grade some.
Eskridge took over the kickoff duties in the second half, but Seattle needs to get more out of all of its return games.