Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 17-12 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday at Lumen Field:
Quarterback Russell Wilson seemed flummoxed all game long, hesitating and failing to pull the trigger as he was unable to make anything happen minus his scrambled touchdown pass to Chris Carson in the fourth quarter, which at least gave the Seahawks a chance. He also turned the ball over twice, reviving memories of his turnover woes from earlier in the season. Wilson didn’t get a lot of help as receivers couldn’t hold onto passes. And it’s not surprising that right tackle became an issue once Seattle was forced to go to its fourth stringer. This was the offense that just a week earlier was leading the NFL in scoring?
There was about a seven-minute stretch in the third quarter when Seattle’s defense, out of nowhere, got trucked by New York’s run game, which is how the Giants scored their two touchdowns. Outside that the defense was great, holding New York scoreless in the first half, and although it took a little longer than hoped the defense did get the stop late in the game that give the ball back to the offense with 1 minutes, 48 seconds remaining. However, the defense should have had a good day against a team ranked 30th in the NFL in scoring and having to rely on journeyman back-up quarterback Colt McCoy.
Seattle’s special teams have been strong all year, but the sequence at the end of the first half — Michael Dickson pinning the Giants at the 5-yard line, Ryan Neal blocking a punt for a safety, D.J. Reed coming up with a big return on the ensuing kick — was as good as the Seahawks have had this season. Dickson’s other punts were merely good rather than the other-worldly they’ve been through much of 2020. Kicker Jason Myers didn’t have much to do, but he made both of his kicks.
Where to start? Pete Carroll’s decisions on fourth down are rife for second-guessing, from choosing to punt on fourth-and-sixth from the Giants 37 in the second quarter, to calling an unsuccessful rollout pass on fourth-and-inches in the third quarter — would someone please add the quarterback sneak into the Seahawks’ playbook? The use of a precious timeout while trailing in the fourth quarter when the Giants were kicking a long field goal was ponderous. But the biggest coaching factor in the outcome? It sure seemed the Seahawks’ offense was outcoached by the Giants’ defense.
There’s just no excuse for this loss. Sure, the Giants had won three straight and were tied for first place in the NFC East. But Seattle, a team with Super Bowl aspirations, was at home against a 4-7 opponent that was forced to use its back-up quarterback — a quarterback, mind you, who hadn’t won a game since 2014. Seattle was given the gift of having the league’s easiest schedule to close out the season, but they didn’t take advantage of it Sunday, and with the Los Angeles Rams simultaneously beating the Arizona Cardinals it means the Seahawks have slipped back into wild card playoff position based on the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Rams. That wasn’t the script for Seattle.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer