Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 30-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Lumen Field:
As bad as Seattle’s offense has been in recent weeks, Sunday’s first quarter may have been the Seahawks’ worst of the season. And at times Seattle’s offensive line appeared completely overwhelmed. But give credit to quarterback Russell Wilson, who finally started to look like his normal self after struggling in his first three games back from injury, as he engineered a classic drive in the final two minutes of the first half and dropped in a beauty to Tyler Lockett for what proved to be the game-winning TD in the third quarter. The Seahawks had unbelievable field position all game long and didn’t capitalize as much as they should have. Tight end Gerald Everett’s horrendous day alone (three turnovers, two at the goal line) docks the offense two grades.
It wasn’t a perfect performance by the defense, as there were too many missed tackles, and Seattle should have known tight end George Kittle was the only player who needed to be stopped. But the Seahawks stopped the run, came up with two interceptions (by linebacker Bobby Wagner and safety Quandre Diggs) and defensive end Carlos Dunlap had the safety that tied the score at 23-23 in the third quarter. The defense did allow the 49ers to drive 95 yards at the end of the game for a chance at the tying touchdown. But the Seahawks produced a clutch goal-line stand, with Dunlap coming up big again by batting down the fourth-down pass that clinched the victory.
What more could the Seahawks ask from their special teams? They came up with the first-quarter fake punt that resulted in Travis Homer’s 73-yard touchdown run. They forced and recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half. And punter Michael Dickson was at his best, meaning Seattle — granted, with big help from the defense — dominated the field-position game. It’s hard to even put any fault on Jason Myers’ missed field goal in the first quarter, since it was from 56 yards out.
There were moments in the first half when the Seahawks looked like a disorganized mess — a delay-of-game penalty following a timeout, two timeouts on defense in the span of three plays. But credit the coaches for taking more chances, including the decision on the fake punt, as well as going for it twice on fourth down. The concerted effort to get receiver DK Metcalf involved early was a good decision, and Seattle did a better job on Kittle for most of the second half. Pete Carroll even was successful on his one challenge attempt.
This was an absolute bonkers game, with so many twists and turns that by the end everyone watching turned into a French braid. Let’s be honest, Seattle benefited greatly from San Francisco mistakes, injuries and bonehead plays. But one of the criticisms of the Seahawks has been that not only were they bad, they were boring. There was nothing boring about this one, and while it would have been nice to see a performance like this in game that was consequential for Seattle, it at least provided a ray of sunshine in what’s been a dreary season.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer