Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 33-30 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Lumen Field:
On the surface this looks like a good day at the office for Seattle’s offense. The Seahawks scored 30 points, quarterback Russell Wilson put up another set of immaculate numbers, and there were no turnovers. But the way the Seahawks ended the game was abysmal. Seattle went three-and-out on each of its final three full drives — not including the inconsequential one at the end of regulation — and just one first down on either of the first two could have won the game for the Seahawks. Seattle’s last offensive play, which was inches away from being a sack for a game-ending safety, epitomized the direction the Seahawks’ offense went over the course of the game.
It was all going so well for one half, as the Seahawks held the Titans to field goals, kept running back Derrick Henry bottled up, and came up with a turnover that was quickly converted into a touchdown. But it fell apart in the second half, when Tennessee had its way with Seattle’s defense to the tune of 345 yards, and the Seahawks were bowled over by Henry and company on Tennessee’s game-tying touchdown drive at the end of regulation. The blitz was mostly ineffective, and Bobby Wagner (20 tackles) is being asked to do too much. At least Tennessee’s game-winning drive in overtime can’t be put on the defense, since it was the offense that set the Titans up at Seattle’s 39.
It was an uncharacteristically rough day for Seattle’s special teams. The kickoff coverage was excellent all game long. Beyond that, however, it was sloppy. Kicker Jason Myers increased his streak of consecutive made field goals to 36, but he missed an extra point — curiously, he’s missed seven extra points since he last missed a field goal — and that proved decisive in a game that went to overtime. Punter Michael Dickson didn’t have a bad day, but he’s set his bar so high that this performance counts as a disappointment. And Seattle may need to find a new kickoff returner as DeeJay Dallas isn’t cutting it.
This one is ripe for second-guessing, from punting on fourth-and-3 in Titans territory in the third quarter, to the call for a deep pass on third-and-three in the fourth. The management of the final 65 seconds of the first half was spot on, and the deployment of five defensive linemen helped slow Henry in the first half. But Seattle took way too many undisciplined penalties, as Tennessee got a whopping six first downs via flag. The tight ends were nowhere to be seen after being a huge factor in Week 1. And ultimately, the fault is on the coaches for not devising a way to protect a 14-point fourth-quarter lead.
This was as bad a loss as Seattle has suffered in recent memory, and it happened to come in the Seahawks’ first game in front of a home crowd since 2019. Seattle had won 12 straight home openers, so that streak is over. The optimism generated from new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s first game in charge is certain to diminish. And with every other NFC West team winning Sunday to improve to 2-0, the Seahawks find themselves in a hole in the divisional race just two games into the season.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer