Instant Reaction: Seahawks’ season ends despite win in Arizona

Jan 7, 2024, 4:47 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm

Seattle Seahawks Tyler Lockett...

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett catches a two-point conversion against Arizona on Jan. 7, 2024. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

(Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks are 9-8, having pulled off yet another comeback to beat the Arizona Cardinals in a must-win season finale 21-20 on Sunday. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just must-win. The Seahawks needed help, too, and they didn’t get it, so their season is over.

Seahawks 21, Cardinals 20: Seattle misses playoffs | Recap | Stats

The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears just moments before the Seahawks pulled off their comeback in the desert, officially eliminating Seattle from NFC postseason contention.

There’s a lot to unpack, which is what the voices of Seattle Sports are here to do. Read their instant reactions below, and be sure to tune in all day Monday for plenty more analysis on Seattle Sports 710 AM, and the Seattle Sports app beginning at 6 a.m., including The Pete Carroll Show at 9:30 a.m. with the head coach.

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

In the end, it didn’t matter – except that it mattered a whole lot. The Packers took care of their business and made the final result in Arizona moot, but that stopped neither the Seahawks’ failure to shore up their problems on defense nor the fight in this team to finish even when the playoffs were no longer on the line.

Once again, they gave up more than 200 yards on the ground and looked very much like the paper soft defense we’ve seen throughout the second half of this season. They tackled poorly, played carelessly and made it clear that this defense will need further changes in the offseason.

On the other hand, they refused to quit. Even once the result was unimportant in the standings, they played hard to the final whistle, showed that they cared about their pride, and Geno Smith won his fifth game this year in the final two minutes with a surgical drive down the field.

You can choose which narrative to follow: the overwhelmed defense that couldn’t stop much of anyone and benefited from two missed field goals in the final five minutes, or the band of brothers that refused to give in even when they played for nothing more than dignity. Both are true and both will influence the direction of the upcoming offseason.

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

Click the link here to read Stacy’s column from right after Sunday’s game.

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

The Seahawks’ season has come to an end. This incredibly frustrating, uneven season ended before the Hawks game did when the Packers beat the Bears.

Once again, the Hawks put themselves in a position to rely on another team for help, but unlike last season, they couldn’t get what the needed from the Bears.

There are a ton of questions that will need to be answered in the offseason in regards to coaching, players, scheme, etc., and every question about those things is fair.

This defense has been on a steady decline since 2017 regardless of the coordinator or the personnel. The offense is far from their biggest problem, but it’s not good enough to account for what the defense doesn’t do. And fixing whatever they identify as the problem with this defense should be their first priority.

The bottom line is that this team didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs. They had their destiny in their own hands with two games left play in the season, and they fell flat against the Steelers on their home field. It’s hard to get too upset that the Bears didn’t find a way to beat the Packers to get to the Seahawks to a spot they couldn’t get to themselves.

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

Mike Lefko – Wyman and Bob

Well… it’s a win. Unfortunately, all the exciting parts happened after the Seahawks had already been eliminated from the playoffs.

It’s one thing to not make the playoffs as a bad team, and it’s another when a team that should have been better doesn’t end up making it, especially with the lingering weight of losing control of your own playoff destiny the week before.

The Seahawks won in Arizona like they have in what feels like countless other times this season, but this was a game that felt like it reaffirmed many of the flaws that ultimately kept this team out of the playoffs.

Perhaps “unfilled potential” encapsulates this Seahawks season. A team that added weapons on both sides of the ball struggled to find consistency and ends up in a worse position than the year before.

The last time the Seahawks missed the playoffs (2021), it led to one of the most stunning offseason moves in franchise history. There are a lot of hard decisions that have to be made about key pieces on this team and how they factor into an uncertain future. After the way this season ended, it will be fascinating to see what happens over these next few months.

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Instant Reaction: Seahawks’ season ends despite win in Arizona