With their 20-15 win over the Washington Football Team, the Seahawks became the only team to join the playoff field on Sunday.
And yet, for better or worse, the conversation around the team and the game largely focused on two things: The very pretty cameras that were used near the end zone, and the Seahawks taking control of the NFC West after the previously winless Jets (somehow) (actually) beat the Rams.
While Seattle’s defense looked pretty good for the sixth straight game, it might not be a bad idea to avert attention away from the fact that Russell Wilson threw for just 121 yards and the Seahawks had to make a late-game defensive stand to escape this one.
For now, a division-deciding matchup against the Rams awaits. And the playoffs loom shortly after that, either way. Here’s what the national media had to say about Seattle’s Week 15 win over Washington.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote that “winning a game on defense was a good step for the Seahawks.”
A very scrappy Football Team had gotten itself in position to upend the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon—and had a first-and-10 from the Seattle 23 with 1:18 left, having driven all the way from its own 14 to get there, facing a 20–15 deficit. From there … (the Seahawks forced two sacks and two incompletions). … Obviously, we haven’t seen a ton of this sort of vintage Seattle defense at all this year, and that’s why I think this is a development that shouldn’t be shoved under the rug. An excited Pete Carroll said postgame that, “They answered the finishing challenge. They cranked it. We didn’t have to do anything special, we didn’t pressure, we just cut them loose, and it just all of the sudden took life.” Sure did.
The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman named the “fancy cameras” as one of his winners of Week 15.
Normally my NFL viewing experience is a frantic mix of scanning the TV, my Twitter feed, and the document where I take notes. But for about 10 seconds, I just stared at my television and gaped, because the football was prettier than usual. Apparently the NFL decided to film this relatively unspectacular regular-season game using the most spectacular cameras in league history. So spectacular, in fact, that the camera is named after a monster dinosaur shark. … This camera apparently has an extremely short depth of focus, meaning close-up things are extremely clear and anything more than a few feet away blends together in a blur. (The same premise behind iPhone Portrait mode. I think. I’m a football writer.) They couldn’t shoot an entire football game on the Extremely Pretty Camera, but they did capture celebrations.
CBS Sports’ John Breech gave the Seahawks a B for their winning performance.
The Seahawks didn’t do anything special on offense this week, but they didn’t necessarily have to. Russell Wilson didn’t have his typical explosive performance, as he threw for just 121 yards, one touchdown and an interception, but Seattle was still able to secure a 17-point third quarter. Washington did mount a comeback in the fourth, but Seattle’s defense rose to the occasion and stonewalled Washington near the red zone to win the game. The Seahawks just needed to record a win to keep pace with the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West, and they took care of business on Sunday.
The Washington Post’s Scott Allen wrote that “thanks to Fox’s fancy end zone cameras, Washington’s loss at least looked cool.”
After each of the four touchdowns in Sunday’s game, people watching Fox’s broadcast were treated to up close and insanely clear visuals of players celebrating in the end zone. The unusual and awesome shots, which placed viewers in the middle of the action and looked like something out of a movie, were produced by an 8K handheld Sony DSLR camera attached to a gimbal. Fox calls its device “The Megalodon.” Viewers were impressed, and the footage dressed up what was an ugly game for Washington for much of the afternoon. All fans should be so lucky to watch their favorite team lose in 8K.
One of NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread’s takeaways was how well the Seahawks ran on Washington’s defense.
The Washington defense, which had been on fire over the last month, was cooled a bit by the Seattle running game. The Seahawks notched their two longest runs of the season — a 38-yarder by Russell Wilson that keyed one touchdown drive, and Carlos Hyde’s 50-yard TD run in the third quarter — on the way to a 26-for-181 rushing day. The vaunted Washington defensive line, which had logged 12 sacks over the previous four weeks, had none against Seattle.
ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson wrote that the Seahawks’ performance was a bit of a mixed bag.
The Seahawks are headed back to the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 seasons under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. But how good is the defense they take with them? That group struggled at a historic rate over the first half of the season and has since made a strong turnaround. Still, it was a mixed bag Sunday. The Seahawks will need more of a complete effort next week in a rematch with the Rams that could determine the NFC West champion.