The Seahawks' win over the 49ers was a good start for Seattle, but they've got a tough road ahead. Here's what the national media are saying.
Because we’ve been shoveling turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pie into our mouths for a whole weekend, let’s keep talking about food, shall we?
If the remainder of the Seahawks’ season is like Thanksgiving dinner, Seattle’s yawner of a win Sunday over the 49ers was the cheese ball appetizer you try not to fill up on while the aromas of the 20-pound bird in the next room monopolize your thoughts.
Seattle took care of business in Santa Clara, and that’s exactly what they needed to do. Despite another slow start, Russell Wilson carried the Hawks in the second half, and the defense played ably against San Francisco’s meager offense to give Seattle a 24-13 win. But cheese and crackers time is over.
With matchups looming against the Eagles (10-1), Jaguars (7-4), Rams (8-3) and Cowboys (5-6) with Ezekiel Elliot returning, it’s time for the main course. It’s a stretch that will make or break Seattle’s playoff hopes, writes columnist Larry Stone.
As things currently stand, the Seahawks are in control of their playoff destiny, but the margin for error is dwindling. The Hawks got virtually zero help on the scoreboard Sunday, as NFC Wild Card contenders Atlanta, Washington, Minnesota and Carolina all won. And the NFC West-leading Rams continued to look formidable in beating the 8-3 Saints.
So while the win in the Bay was a satisfying start for the Seahawks, it’s time for the main course. Hope you’re hungry.
Here’s what the national media are saying about Seattle’s win, and what lies ahead:
Robert Mays of The Ringer breaks down the wild, wild NFC Wild Card race, and says the Seahawks are still a team no one wants to see in the playoffs:
“Unlike the Falcons and Chargers, the Seahawks are trending in the wrong direction. A 24–13 victory over the 49ers lifted Seattle to 7–4, but a rash of injuries means that the ferocious defense we’ve come to know now ceases to exist. With Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor out for the remainder of the year, half of the Legion of Boom is on the shelf. Still, the personnel that remains healthy is full of Pro Bowl–caliber talent. Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett, and Bobby Wagner (who was brilliant again Sunday, notching an interception, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits) present a trio that most teams would gladly take, even if this shorthanded unit is a far cry from the ones that led the NFL in points allowed for four straight years.”
ESPN’s Brady Henderson breaks down what the win over the 49ers means for the Seahawks:
“The Seahawks remain a game behind the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West standings with Los Angeles defeating the New Orleans Saints to improve its record to 8-3. Seattle is still struggling with slow starts on offense and an inability to run the ball. Russell Wilson was picked off on his first attempt Sunday, badly under-throwing Jimmy Graham. He wasn’t sharp early but threw two touchdown passes in the second half. Wilson also ran for a score. Seattle’s only touchdown in the first half came after Wagner’s interception gave the offense a short field. Sunday’s game followed a familiar pattern with Seattle’s offense starting poorly then righting itself in the second half while the defense held strong throughout. It was again enough Sunday. Will it be enough against better opponents?”
Bobby Wagner earned a tip of the cap as Peter King’s defensive player of the week:
“His acrobatic interception early in the second quarter at San Francisco set up the first points of the day, a two-yard Russell Wilson run over the left side of the line, and the Seahawks never trailed. With a depleted secondary, the Seahawks need the front seven to be dominant. Wagner keyed it Sunday with eight tackles (two for losses), two quarterback hits and a pass broken up as Seattle advanced to 7-4.”
John Breech of CBS Sports says the Seahawks are the biggest home underdogs they’ve been since drafting Russell Wilson:
“Although oddsmakers generally love making the Seahawks a big favorite at home, that’s definitely not the case this week. In the early odds for Week 13, the Seahawks have opened as a 6-point underdog to the 10-1 Eagles.
Six points might not sound like a lot, but that’s huge spread for a Seahawks team that has been favored in nearly every home game they’ve played since drafting Russell Wilson in 2012. Including their five home games this season, the Seahawks have been favored in 41 of the 45 home games they’ve played since Wilson’s rookie year. In those 45 home games, the Seahawks have gone 36-9 and have never lost by more than seven points.”
And FiveThirtyEight gives the Seahawks a 61-percent chance of making the playoffs — with only a 44-percent chance to win the NFC West.