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Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 26-23 win over 49ers

The Seahawks beat the 49ers 26-23 in Week 17 and are the No. 3 seed in the NFC. (AP)

It took three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but the Seahawks ended the 2020 regular season with a 26-23 win over the San Francisco 49ers to get to 12 wins on the year.

Seahawks beat 49ersQuick Hits | O’Neil: Are Hawks built for playoffs?

Now, Seattle is the NFC’s No. 3 seed for the playoffs and will host the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the playoffs next week.

As we do after every Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of 710 ESPN Seattle’s voices to the win. Keep in mind, this is just a taste of the Seahawks coverage you’ll hear throughout the week on the station beginning at 7 a.m. Monday with Danny and Gallant and The Pete Carroll Show at 9:30.

Let’s look at what 710’s hosts have to say.

Bob Stelton – Wyman and Bob

The third seed it is! The Seahawks will now face the Rams in Seattle next weekend.

The Seahawks’ defense had another solid day. They got pressure, they forced turnovers, and they continued to play well as they have been doing for the past two months. The only downside to their performance would be the injury to Jamal Adams. His reaction after coming out of the medical tent was not good. We’ll see what they say, but he responded as if he had received bad news.

As for the Seahawks’ offense, it was three quarters of dreadful football and an explosive fourth quarter. Living up to Pete Carroll’s mantra of “you can’t win the game in the first, second, or, third quarter.” Although, I would like to see this offense clicking much better than they were in this game as they head into the playoffs.

The upside to this win is the new franchise records set by Tyler Lockett for most receptions in a single season and DK Metcalf with the most receiving yards in a single season.

The Seahawks have arguably the best receiving tandem of all teams in the playoffs. And they’re definitely going to need them. More importantly, they are going to need Russell Wilson to resemble what he looked like in the first half of the season. Not in terms of number of throws or piling up yardage, but his accuracy. It seems as though he’s had a hard time finding a rhythm recently and his accuracy has been less than what we’ve come to expect.

Either way, a 12-win season is a tremendous accomplishment considering the number of injuries they’ve had to deal with and the division in which they play.

Paul Gallant – Danny and Gallant

The Seahawks made some history today.

For the fifth time in team history, the Seattle Seahawks finished a regular season campaign with 12 or more wins. That’s hard to do in the NFL, especially during a season dramatically affected by a pandemic. On top of that, Tyler Lockett broke the franchise record for receptions in a season (100). DK Metcalf raised the bar for receiving yards over a campaign (1,303). And Russell Wilson added two more TD passes to the team’s single season passing touchdowns mark (40).

They also made things a lot closer than they needed to be. And it’s got me wondering what’s up with their deep passing game?

The Seahawks’ offense looked exceptionally sluggish during the first half and well into the second. Their first seven drives ended with four punts, two field goals, and one sack that ended the first half. The biggest problem? Wilson’s just been off when he’s thrown the ball deep. A Fox graphic during the game showed he was 0 for 7 on passes 10-plus yards downfield. Sure, San Francisco’s defense is good. But often, Russ looked simply inaccurate.

That said, Russ had a good day evading San Francisco’s intimidating pass rush – he could have been sacked well over twice – and when he absolutely needed to deliver he did. Seattle closed the game out with three touchdown drives before taking a knee. I liked the finish. But in the playoffs, these scores need to come earlier.

The Seahawks defense didn’t face much of a challenge in C.J. Beathard. Early in the game, it looked like San Francisco would struggle to get any yards. But the 49ers got into a rhythm towards the end of the first half, with four straight scoring drives (three field goals, one TD) to somehow put the Seahawks in a 10-point hole early in the fourth quarter. The unit has clearly improved. But it still has limitations and may have even more depending on the injuries to Jarran Reed and Jamal Adams.

You’ve got to “Win your clunkers” in the NFL. The Seahawks did precisely that, and again have 12 wins! But with no help from the Bears or Panthers, a 26-23 win over an injured team with nothing to play for isn’t very exciting.

Stacy Rost – Jake and Stacy

A week after clinching the NFC West for the first time since 2016, the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers to improve to 12-4 for the first time since 2014.

A second quarter catch by Tyler Lockett gave him the franchise record for most receptions in a single season (95) and another 1,000 yard season, giving Seattle two 1,000-yard receivers for the first time since 1995. DK Metcalf’s 21-yard day was enough to set a new franchise record in receiving yards in a single season. (That accomplishment got Metcalf a nice shoutout by the previous record holder, Hall of Famer Steve Largent.) The offense as a whole set a new franchise record for points scored in a single season.

Despite those impressive accomplishments, there’s plenty of nervous energy around this team heading into the postseason.

For the second consecutive week, the Seahawks’ offense came alive in the fourth quarter (171 net yards and three touchdowns). But that also meant that for the second consecutive week, the Seahawks’ offense was anemic through three quarters. They struggled again on third downs through most of the day and missed on several attempts – whether by overthrows, drops, or poor protection. They’ve struggled against top defenses, but also boast some of the league’s top talent, so the gap between ability and execution has fans feeling frustrated.

And while the turnaround on defense has been impressive, the idea that this team will go only as far as Russell Wilson will take them is still alive and well – and, honestly, pretty fair.

Fan faith is so often placed in the performance of a franchise quarterback. That’s true with Patrick Mahomes, that’s true with Aaron Rodgers, that was true with Tom Brady in New England, and it’s true now with Wilson in Seattle. When Wilson stumbles, or when the offense as a whole doesn’t look electric, optimism about a return to the Super Bowl takes a hit.

Seattle punched their ticket to the postseason and have their chance at a championship – that difficult and impressive first half of the feat is done. Now comes a much more difficult challenge: proving that faith isn’t misplaced.

The Groz – 710 ESPN Seattle host emeritus

Division games are always tough, so it was no picnic for the Seahawks, who came from behind to knock off the 49ers erasing and double-digit second-half deficit while doing it. Unfortunately it was, in the end, a meaningless win as Green Bay and the Saints won, so the Seahawks play next week and for the third straight time, it’s a division opponent in the Los Angeles Rams.

The remarkable thing about the game is when you consider where the Seahawks were at the start of the season and where they are now. They started the year with a high-octane pass-oriented offense that featured four Russell Wilson touchdown passes and a porous defense that gave up over 500 yards to a mediocre Atlanta team. They end the year as a ferocious defensive team with question marks on offense.

Jamal Adams’ health was of immediate concern after the game. If he’s out, it changes everything. But if he’s in, Seattle has as good a shot as anyone in a wide-open NFC. If they can get past the Rams and things go according to form, they’d play the Saints on the road in round two, a far less daunting task with the lack of fans. But first, another game against the Rams, which should be a hard-hitting, nail-biting classic.

When the year began, if I told you the Seahawks would win the division and 12 games you’d take it. The bottom line is it’s a successful regular season because you made the playoffs. But unlike most teams, the Seahawks measure success by what they do in the postseason. They haven’t accomplished anything yet.

Let the new season begin.

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