Sunday’s stunning collapse and subsequent 25-24 loss to the Chicago Bears means this is now the 10th time in Seahawks history they have lost 10 games in a season.
Of those 10 seasons, this has to be the most surprising and disappointing, a team fully in “win-now” mode with a Hall-of-Fame quarterback and proven veterans at a number of key positions coming off a 12-win season a year ago.
There will be more time than anyone expected to dissect it later.
But Sunday’s game encapsulated so many of the issues — a failure to convert on third down (3 of 10 as well as 0 of 1 on fourth down), losing the time of possession battle (38:25 to 21:35), simply not making the right play at the right time (Seattle had three penalties in the first three quarters, then had four in the fourth, and another that was offsetting).
And you can’t blame the short turnaround much for this one since the Bears had to play Monday night and make the long trip amid reports the team will soon fire coach Matt Nagy.
This is just a failing performance all the way around.
On to some rough grades.
This was a confounding performance by Russell Wilson — he had two great plays and throws on his TDs of 41 to DK Metcalf and 24 to Gerald Everett and at halftime seemed on his way to a bounce-back performance, if more efficient than spectacular. But the second half was a slog — 5 of 11 for 49 yards and taking a really bad sack before Jason Myers’ missed field goal, and a bad overthrow of Metcalf early in the third quarter when Seattle seemed on the verge of putting away the game. Just another weird game in a really weird season.
Rashaad Penny might never have been able to do enough to win over those skeptical of his selection at No. 27 in 2018. But the Seahawks might not even be in this one without him as he had 135 yards on 17 carries and three runs of 25 yards or longer. DeeJay Dallas took most of the third-down snaps and was serviceable enough.
Another strange game for DK Metcalf, who had four targets in the first 17 minutes of the game then only one the rest of the way — and none after the 11:09 mark of the third quarter (the Wilson overthrow). He at least got his first touchdown since Oct. 31 but had just two catches for 41 yards. Tyler Lockett returned after missing a week of practice due to COVID-19 and maybe that had something to do with being held to three catches for 30 yards. And Seattle needs to get more out of Freddie Swain and Dee Eskridge, who had a combined three catches for 19 yards, including one of 13 by Eskridge on a jet sweep that was officially a pass.
Gerald Everett had the kind of game the Seahawks envisioned all season with four receptions for a team-high 68 yards, including a 24-yard TD in the third quarter. Everett also had two key third-down conversions on the Seattle scoring drive that made it 14-7 in the first half. The rest, though, wasn’t too good as Colby Parkinson was called for a hold late in the game that helped force Seattle’s punt before the Bears’ final drive.
It wasn’t too bad early as the Seahawks played one of their more efficient and balanced halves in the first half. But other than Penny ripping off two long runs there was not much offense in the second half, and Seattle really needed to just ball-control-it on either of the two drives in the fourth quarter before Chicago took the lead. But it couldn’t do it. Holding penalties on Ethan Pocic and Damien Lewis on the final drive were killers.
There were some real good moments here with Carlos Dunlap and Rasheem Green each getting two sacks, and the interior line playing well against the run early. Dunlap almost had another on the apparent fumble that was overturned. But it seemed too hit-or-miss as Nick Foles also had the time to complete 14 of 20 passes for 179 yards in the second half and 7 of 11 for 99 in the third quarter. One of the real killer plays was the 30-yard completion and then the roughing penalty on Darrell Taylor on Chicago’s first play of its final drive to go from its own 20 to the Seattle 35 all at once.
The stats don’t look bad — Bobby Wagner had 12 tackles and along the way broke his own team record for tackles in a season of 167 in 2016. He now has 170. And Jordyn Brooks chipped in with 10 and had a few nice plays. Brooks had one of the key plays of the game early on, staying right with David Montgomery on a fourth-and-goal from the 4 and making the tackle at the 2-yard line to stop the Bears on downs. Brooks also hustled to break up a pass about 20 yards down field in the second quarter. But the overall impact wasn’t there at the end when it needed to be.
Here’s another spot where it seemed pretty good early — and if just a play or two had been made at the end would have seemed OK for the game. But letting Foles go 4 for 5 for 69 yards on that last drive is hard to ignore. John Reid got his first start as a Seahawk, and the second of his career, at right cornerback with D.J. Reed and Bless Austin each on the COVID-19 list. While he had a few good plays, the Bears also picked on him late. Sidney Jones played pretty well on the left side. Nickel corner Ugo Amadi had some tough plays with a 26-yard defensive pass interference early on (admittedly, a call that could have gone either way), and then a missed tackle on Bears tight end Cole Kmet in the third quarter.
A tough day here. The Seahawks allowed their longest punt return of the year in the second quarter, 28 yards by Dazz Newsome, to set up Chicago’s first touchdown. And then Jason Myers missed the 39-yard field goal with 7:23 left that could have just about clinched it by putting Seattle back up by 10. Myers is now 13 for 19 on the season after going 24 for 24 last year and carrying a streak of 37 straight into the third game of this season. In a bright spot, Dallas had one of Seattle’s best kickoff returns this season at a key time — a 39-yarder after the Bears had cut the lead to 17-14 in the third quarter.