STACY ROST

Takeaways: Penalties story of the day, but 3 performances stand out in Seahawks’ loss

Dec 16, 2018, 6:12 PM | Updated: Dec 17, 2018, 1:20 pm
Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks, Chris Carson...
Seahawks RB Chris Carson pushes forward for a physical 1-yard TD run (AP).
(AP)

The Seahawks entered Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a chance to clinch a playoff spot. Instead of punching their ticket to a wild card, Seattle leaves Santa Clara with the loss and a few big injury concerns.

Seahawks lose to 49ers | O’Neil on officiating | 710 reaction | Photos

Head coach Pete Carroll might disagree here about silver linings, but there were a few from Seattle’s 26-23 overtime loss to San Francisco, including standout performances from Doug Baldwin, Chris Carson and Jarran Reed.

But the best news for a Seahawks team desperately looking to return to the postseason is their odds with the loss today. Despite falling to 8-6, the Seahawks still have odds of well over 90 percent to make the playoffs. A single win will do it, but with just two games remaining, including a Sunday night contest against the 11-3 Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle is entering crunch time to close out December.

Here are a few quick takeaways from Week 15:

Big performances from Baldwin, Carson and Reed

Doug Baldwin has been in and out of games this year with injuries to his hip, groin, and both knees. But after being sidelined last week, the veteran receiver announced his return with a two-touchdown performance Sunday.

Baldwin finished the day with 77 yards and two scores on four receptions. Quarterback Russell Wilson found Baldwin in the end zone in the first quarter for a 5-yard touchdown, the first score of the game for either team, and the pair connected again on a 35-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Baldwin was particularly impressive on this play, reaching out to extend the ball over the plane as he was being brought down just outside the end zone.

Running back Chris Carson was another standout on offense. The second-year pro finished with 119 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries (5.4 yards per carry), which marks his fourth time this season rushing for 100 yards or more. Carson’s fourth-quarter touchdown didn’t just tie the game, but also emphasized the kind of rushing attack Carroll has favored with his offense. Facing fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Carson bulldozed his way forward to turn what looked like a stop by the 49ers into a score for Seattle.

On the other side of the ball, third-year defensive tackle Jarran Reed furthered his case for a contract extension. Reed, who entered Sunday’s game with a career-high 6.5 sacks, registered two more by day’s end.

Penalties loom large

Penalties were the story of the day for Carroll.

“We ran the football, we converted on third down, we held them on third down, time of possession, so many things, we were plus in the turnover ratio… but (penalties) really kind of spelled it today,” Carroll said.

The Seahawks outperformed the 49ers on third down efficiency (47 percent compared to 30 percent), net yardage (385 to 381) and turnovers. However, Seattle was also penalized 14 times for 148 yards.

“(Those are) some huge lessons for our team,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to make sure we can’t hurt ourselves. When that happens it’s hard to overcome, and we didn’t today.”

There were a few questionable calls on both sides, but a number of Seattle’s penalties came at inopportune times. This included two offensive holding calls on right guard Ethan Pocic: one to wipe out a 19-yard run by Mike Davis late in the fourth quarter, and another to negate a critical third-down conversion in overtime.

Injury questions linger for McDougald and Simmons

Safety Bradley McDougald and right guard Jordan Simmons were both forced out of the game by injuries.

McDougald left the game in the second quarter after his knee “flared up” – that’s how Carroll described it – and was unable to return. The injury is related to the same patellar tendonitis issue that has lingered for McDougald all season (the veteran strong safety was listed as “questionable” heading into the game).

Simmons exited the game with knee soreness. Carroll later clarified this as a first-degree sprain, and said the team will know more about his status next week. Pocic came in to replace Simmons, who was starting in place of an injured D.J. Fluker (hamstring).

Next week’s availability for both players remains unclear.

Jake & Stacy Show

Stacy Rost

Seahawks Rams Russell Wilson...
Stacy Rost

Rost: What are Seahawks missing that the 4 NFL teams still alive have?

With the NFL's conference championship matchups set, Stacy Rost puts the focus on one strength those teams all share that the Seahawks need to improve for 2022.
7 hours ago
Seahawks Sean Desai...
Stacy Rost

Rost: What you need to know about Seahawks DC candidates Whitt and Desai

Just who are the two newest names linked to the Seahawks' defensive coordinator vacancy? Stacy Rost breaks down the need-to-know information.
4 days ago
Seahawks Carlos Dunlap...
Stacy Rost

Rost: The 2 missing pieces Seahawks need to find this offseason

Stacy Rost of 710 ESPN Seattle's Jake and Stacy looks at the two big Seahawks priorities this offseason -- besides a new defensive coordinator.
7 days ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
Stacy Rost

Rost: Seahawks offseason — 3 key numbers to know

Stacy Rost breaks down two important statistics coming out of the Seahawks' 7-10 campaign and one big thing to keep in mind this offseason.
13 days ago
Seahawks Rashaad Penny...
Stacy Rost

Rost: Seahawks had a lot to prove in season finale — and they did

All eyes were on how Russell Wilson, Rashaad Penny and the Seahawks would end the season Sunday. They ended it by proving a lot.
16 days ago
Seahawks Quandre Diggs D.J. Reed...
Stacy Rost

Rost: 3 Seahawks who should be re-signed, and 3 who might be on the way out

The Seahawks could be in for a busy offseason. Stacy Rost looks at pending free agents Seattle needs to prioritize and veterans who may not be in Seattle in 2022.
20 days ago
Takeaways: Penalties story of the day, but 3 performances stand out in Seahawks’ loss