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Seattle Seahawks Instant Reaction: Skid hits 4 with loss to 49ers

Dec 10, 2023, 4:43 PM | Updated: 5:26 pm

Seattle Seahawks 49ers Christian McCaffrey Madden 25...

Christian McCaffrey of the 49ers runs against the Seattle Seahawks. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ woes continued Sunday with a 28-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers that saw them play without starting quarterback Geno Smith and lose star wide receiver DK Metcalf to an ejection late in the fourth quarter.

Niners 28, Seahawks 16: Big Plays | Recap | Box score

Yeah, there’s a lot to react to. Luckily, that’s what we do here.

The voices of Seattle Sports share their instant reactions to the loss below. Read what they have to say and then tune in all day Monday for even more analysis on Brock and Salk (6-10 a.m.), Bump and Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Wyman and Bob (2-7 p.m.), including The Pete Carroll Show at 9:30 a.m. with the Seattle Seahawks head coach.

Stacy Rost – Bump and Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

The Seahawks just lost four games in a row for the first time ever under Pete Carroll.

With Carroll, they’ve seen an unprecedented amount of success. The winningest Seattle head coach brought the city its first Lombardi Trophy and took the Seahawks to another Super Bowl. He’s been at the helm of a duo — along with general manager John Schneider — that drafted and developed one of the NFL’s best defenses of the modern era. That’s something to be proud of — and quite frankly, it often buys you some wiggle room and grace when you struggle.

Tempers flare between Seahawks, 49ers; DK among two ejected

But he’s got a problem. Twice swept by division opponents this year, Carroll and the Seahawks are facing a challenge they’ve rarely dealt with over the last 13 years: how can you sustain a winning culture when you’re losing?

That’s a coaching challenge Carroll will need to figure out as the season progresses. I apologize for not having an answer for him here.

Beyond that, these games against San Francisco (and next week’s game against Philadelphia) have made it clear there’s still a gap in play calling and personnel. It wasn’t the sole reason the Seahawks lost to the Niners on Sunday, but development and improvement in the trenches will be a key for the Seahawks moving forward as they try to close the gap between them and the best teams in the conference.

Yes, there have been injuries to skill positions and questions with a secondary that’s allowing too many explosives, but the brand of football that breeds success in the NFC demands discipline and a physicality up front that Seattle can’t match consistently right now.

What are you watching for over the next few weeks? Development from those younger players. One offseason can’t turn a bad team into a Super Bowl roster, so Seattle needs to squeeze as much talent and development as possible from its 2022 and ‘23 classes.

Bob Stelton – Wyman and Bob (2-7 p.m.)

Where do you even start with this one? Looking at the score, this was a more competitive game than the first meeting.

Drew Lock gets the start for the injured Geno Smith, and overall he played pretty well. He made some beautiful throws on the day and showed off his arm and athleticism. He also threw two picks. His hand was hit from behind on the second pick so not his fault. The first was just a bad pass being forced into a crowd around DK Metcalf.

Bottom line, he played much better than I’m guessing most thought he would – especially with extremely short notice, not getting the first team reps and having to face that 49ers defense on the road.

What’s to make of Drew Lock playing solid in first Seahawks start?

The bigger problem once again, was the defense. They gave up 527 total yards of offense to the Niners, and it seemed like every player in the secondary took turns getting burned. Brock Purdy lit them up for 368 yards and two touchdowns to one interception.

Throw in some awful tackling – again! – and that leads to 173 rushing yards on the day.

Then throw in a fight at the end of the game involving DK Metcalf, who was ejected, and it feels like the good that did happen in this game was washed away by the same ole, same ole.

Brock Huard – Brock and Salk (6-10 a.m.)

Michael Bumpus – Bump and Stacy

Dave Wyman – Wyman and Bob; Seahawks Radio Network color commentator

Mike Lefko – Wyman and Bob

The offense looked better than it did on Thanksgiving against the 49ers, and the defense improved from the Cowboys game, but we’re at the point of the season where better isn’t enough if it doesn’t lead to wins.

This week, the Seahawks stressed the importance of limiting explosive plays from the 49ers’ offense, but they immediately gave up a 72-yard run to Christian McCaffrey to start the game, then allowed a 54-yard TD pass to Deebo Samuel, a 45-yard pass to Brandon Aiyuk, and a 44-yard TD pass to George Kittle. Losing standout rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon on the third drive of the game is tough, but it just felt like a lack of connectivity binding the back half of the defense together led to too many breakdowns in coverage.

An admirable job by Drew Lock stepping in with just a couple of days to prepare, and you can certainly see the impact that having both Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet healthy has on this offense. There were a couple of decisions that undid a lot of the momentum early in the game and you wonder if the Seahawks are second-guessing the decision to not go for it on fourth-and-2 from the 49ers’ 46-yard line with just over five minutes left in the first half. With how tough the 49ers’ offense is to stop, it felt like a risk they had to take. It was similarly surprising to see DK Metcalf not get another target until the fourth quarter after he was so effective on the first drive.

The season is not lost, but it is certainly on the brink in what is now uncharted territory for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. There is understandable frustration in the midst of a four-game losing streak, and unfortunately there might not be any immediate answers with the Eagles up next.

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