Finishing with 396 total yards and 24 points, especially against a very good defense, would normally deserve a better grade than this, but Seattle’s offense was inconsistent, doing nothing for much of the first half before putting together two late scoring drives. Obviously the play call at the end of the game will be questioned forever, but the fact remains that had the Seahawks made the necessary play to score at the end of the game, or at least not turn the ball over, we’d be having a different discussion. Jermaine Kearse’s drop at the end of the third quarter, when Seattle had momentum, also loomed large — a catch would have put the Seahawks in field goal range with a chance to go up by 13 or 17 points. Instead, Seattle wouldn’t score again.
Yes, this defense is held to a higher standard, because it is better, and as well as Seattle’s defense played at times, intercepting Tom Brady twice, getting pressure and forcing three-and-outs in the third quarter, the fact remains Seattle had a 10-point lead and yielded two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Maybe we’re not talking about those scores if the offense punches it in from the 1-yard line in the final minute, but in the end, New England QB Tom Brady was the hero because the defense, which admittedly missed injured players Jeremy Lane and Cliff Avril, couldn’t get stops when it mattered most.
Special teams: B-
Not really much good or bad from Seattle on this front. Steven Hauschka made his one field-goal attempt, kick coverage was mostly solid, but there weren’t really any chances in the return game for Doug Baldwin or Bryan Walters. Really, neither team did much, good or bad, to decide this game on special teams.
You probably want this grade to be worse, but an entire game can’t be boiled down to one very questionable play call. The fact is the Seahawks played pretty well, but not at their best, against a very good team, and had a chance to win at the end. Had the Seahawks just not shown up or looked completely out of sorts all game, that, more than one bad play call, would deserve a worse grade than this. All that being said, Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell probably never will be able to give an explanation for that last call that satisfies fans. Also, the ugly scene following the interception, which resulted in the ejection of linebacker Bruce Irvin, reflects poorly on the coaching staff no matter how heated the situation.