Written By: Peter Vandeventer | @PeteVandeventer
The NFL regular season is officially over, and it all came down to Sunday Night.
The Seahawks hosted the 49ers in a divisional matchup for the title. And after halftime, it lived up to the hype.
The Seahawks got a late start to the game and at halftime, were down 13-0. But the 2nd half got the scoring going as Seattle and San Francisco traded a few TDs until it was 26-21.
Down a score, Seattle got the ball with a little over 2 minutes left in the game and drove down the field.
With 0:23 seconds left on the clock, Seattle hurried up to the LOS on the 1-yard line to spike the ball. After doing so, the headlines were set as Marshawn started to jog onto the field and looked to get a goalline carry to steal a win from the 49ers.
But sadly, that didn't get to happen. Due to a delay of game penalty, the Seahawks were pushed out of position.
The last two plays of the game (and regular season) ended up being the most controversial and close call of the season. Jacob Hollister ran his route and initiated contact with Fred Warner, an action that didn’t hinder Warner whatsoever, He then proceeded to turn to go for the ball and then be pulled down before the ball got there.
The play seemed to be pass interference, but without a TO and it being under 2:00, it was up to the booth to review. Relying on the booth was our mistake as they refused to stop the clock to look at it.
On 4th down, the Seahawks had one last shot. Russ took the snap and passed to Jacob Hollister who did all he could to get the ball over the goal line but looked to be a few inches too short. A sad way to end the game but it happened, SF won 26-21.
Fant sure did a spectacular job Sunday Night against Nick Bosa. After filling in for Duane Brown, Fant put up a game that really could build momentum for the offensive line while Brown is hurt. Fant had great hands all game and neutralized Bosa for most of the game as he limited him to three QB hits, but no sacks.
In the run game, Fant did well in a similar role as Brown where he was used as a puller and used his athletism to set edges around the corner. It will be interesting to see how Seattle will use Homer now that there is some security that blockers can get to the outside for him.
Metcalf put in work on Sunday as he caught six passes for 81 yards. The only issue with Metcalf’s game right now is that it took 12 targets to get to that mark. There is still room to improve for Metcalf in the catching department but he proved Sunday that Seattle might have a pair of #1 options for Russ.
It got a little hard to find specific players that were bright spots from the game, even though it came down to the last few seconds of regulation. But Dickson deserves credit, as he averaged 50 yards per punt which is 10 yards above his seasonal average.
During the first half, Dickson saved the Seahawks from even more embarrassment and was debatably the most consistent Seahawks player on Sunday.
Homer was quite the surprise on Sunday, he showed a whole new level of burst and didn't shy away from anyone. Many expected Marshawn to get a lot of the load but Seattle had planned for Travis Homer to be the man most of the night.
Homer produced on the ground and in the air as he got the ball a total of 15 times (ten carries and five catches) and had 92 scrimmage yards. Seattle hit their stride when they found a way to get Homer the ball in space and let him loose much like Penny and Prosise were when on the field.
That game, despite all the playoff implications, had no real barring on the Seahawks. Before the first snap, the Seahawks knew that they either had a home game against the Vikings or a road game against the Eagles. And though home games feel better, Seattle does have seven wins on the road this season and will be playing an injured Eagles team.
It was a win-win game for Seattle and had nothing to lose. Yes, the divisional title would’ve been nice and it sucks that the 49ers beat us, but we are now set up to face them again. If Seattle beats Philly, they then get to travel to San Francisco for a rematch in the divisional round.
But now that I’m done trying to coupe with a loss that really shouldn’t have happened, its time to talk about THIS game.
It’s crazy how poor the Seahawks defense got at times. Without Quandre Diggs in the backend of the secondary, the Seahawks look flat, slow, and poorly prepared for anything that was thrown at them. Seahawks decided to rock with Hill over Blair because Pete has expressed his obsession with veteran play and not playmakers.
Outside of the secondary, the Seahawks front seven looked especially poor this week as they got gashed on outside zones, end around, counters, and really anything that got our defenders looking east to west and not downhill.
But the defense can’t be completely blamed because the offense was shut out in the 1st half which was only the 3rd time in Russ’ career where that happened. The offense just took too long to get going and was stagnant for most of the game. But in the 2nd half, the run game got going and we saw both Homer and Lynch breaking long runs which provided a spark.
Once again this week, the Seahawks had a game management blunder that cost them points. But this time it cost them an easy shot at insanity. Marshawn Lynch was moments away from creating another seismic eruption in Seattle if the Seahawks didn’t take a delay of game penalty AFTER spiking the ball. The team had time to get their personnel set but instead ran into some issues that cost Marshawn another goalline carry. If the Seahawks can clean up coaching mistakes and let them play on the field decide the outcome, then this team can make a deep playoff push.
I’m not going to go in-depth about the no-call PI because obsessing over it at this point might do more bad than good for this team. The week is over and now we prepare for what’s next.
Up next is the playoffs where Seattle travels to Philadelphia and NFC East champs on Sunday night. Hopefully, both teams get a few healthy players back and put together a great wildcard matchup.