Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts after losing a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of Saturday’s NFL wild-card playoff football game in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts after losing a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of Saturday’s NFL wild-card playoff football game in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Grading the Seahawks in their 41-23 loss to the 49ers

Seattle is overmatched as its season comes to an end in the first round of the playoffs.

Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 41-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in their NFC wild-card playoff game at Levi’s Stadium:


Considering Seattle was facing the NFL’s No. 1 defense, this wasn’t a bad effort. After starting the game with back-to-back three-and-outs, the Seahawks found some space both for running back Kenneth Walker III and for the receivers underneath, and Seattle began converting third downs (6-for-13 in the game). However, with the result still in doubt in the second half, mistakes crept into Seattle’s game, both in the form of turnovers and penalties. Quarterback Geno Smith had a lot of good moments, but he also fumbled at a critical juncture and threw an interception that effectively ended the contest. Receiver DK Metcalf had a big game (10 catches, 136 yards, two TDs).

Grade: C


In the first half it felt like the Seahawks were holding their own on defense, but that was mostly a product of limiting the 49ers to field goals after San Francisco drove the length of the field. The 49ers racked up a season-high 505 yards (it was the third-most allowed by Seattle), did big-time damage with both the run and the pass, had explosive plays left and right, and scored points on eight of their nine possessions prior to running out the clock at the end of the game. Yes, the 49ers had all their weapons available, but this just wasn’t good enough by the Seahawks.

Grade: D


Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers had his one hiccup last week when he put what would have been the game-winning field goal off the upright. But he bounced back in a big way by drilling a 56-yarder as time expired in the first half to give the Seahawks an unlikely 17-16 halftime lead. Kick returner Godwin Igwebuike has been a revelation since being elevated from the practice squad, and he produced two more good returns. Punter Michael Dickson boomed his punts as usual, though they didn’t pin the opposition inside their own 20 quite as frequently as we’re used to seeing.

Grade: A-


Seattle’s coaches got just about everything right in the first half, from adjusting the offensive play calling to negate San Francisco’s pass rush, to taking full advantage of curious San Francisco coaching decisions/penalties to steal three points as the half expired. The second half was a different story as the 49ers adjusted and the Seahawks had no answers, though how much of that is coaching and how much is San Francisco having better players is up for debate. Someone on the staff needs to explain to guard Damien Lewis how the ineligible-man-downfield rule works.

Grade: B


San Francisco, as the No. 2 seed and a team that had won 10 straight, was a heavy favorite in this one, and the final margin wouldn’t have surprised anyone. But this game was in the balance right up until Smith was stripped with the Seahawks in the red zone late in the third quarter when trailing by six. It was a valiant effort by the Seahawks, who quite frankly are no match for the 49ers personnel-wise, and Seattle just wasn’t able to keep up for an entire 60 minutes. The Seahawks’ season may now be over, but there’s no doubt that this campaign was a success and will generate optimism heading into 2023.

Grade: B-

– Nick Patterson, Herald writer

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