Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 26-21 loss to 49ers
The Seahawks came up a play short of beating the San Francisco 49ers, and with their 26-21 loss they finish the regular season at 11-5 and take the NFC’s No. 5 seed into the playoffs.
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of 710 ESPN Seattle’s voices to get an impression of what they’ll be talking about on the air Monday. Here’s what they have to say:
Stacy Rost – Tom, Jake and Stacy
That blatant missed holding call with seconds left in the game was bad, but taking a delay of game at the 1-yard line might be worse. The Seahawks came back with a chance to win it at the end but couldn’t get out of their own way.
That said, I disagree with fans who are calling for Pete Carroll’s head here. This team is 11-5 and came within inches of beating a better, healthier San Francisco 49ers team (which, by the way, tied for the NFC’s best record at 13-3). Seattle also mounted a second-half rally to pull within five points. What looked like a scary injury to wide receiver Tyler Lockett proved (at least for the time being) to not be too bad – Lockett was able to re-enter the game later.
With the loss, Seattle now falls to the fifth seed and will travel to face the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles next week. It’s not a bad matchup; the Eagles are short several offensive weapons and lost to Seattle earlier this year. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be a cakewalk. Seattle is also a less healthy team than it was during the first meeting between these two teams, and there were some pivotal mistakes on both sides of the ball in its final two losses of the season.
The Seahawks may not be able to come up with a dramatic transformation on defense, but if the offense can play consistently – like in the second half of Sunday’s game – they’ll have the upper hand in the Wild Card round.
Jim Moore – Bob, Dave and Moore
If it weren’t for a delay of game penalty, we’d probably be talking about a game-winning 1-yard touchdown leap or run by Marshawn Lynch in his return to the Seahawks.
I don’t know if you thought the delay of game was inexcusable or not. And maybe you think they should have kept one timeout in their back pocket for a situation like they faced with less than 30 seconds to go.
Pete Carroll said the Seahawks didn’t get Lynch on the field in time and “didn’t function” right, causing the penalty. There was also some confusion with left tackle George Fant, who was scrambling to make it to the line of scrimmage after getting hurt on the previous play.
Yet they were just an inch away from winning the game and the NFC West, and I suppose it could be deflating, as Al Michaels suggested on the NBC broadcast. But if I’m the Seahawks (and I’m not into moral victories), I’m drawing on the fact that they played a great second half after being shut out in the first half.
Plus this game proved that the Seahawks can battle through anything, coming as close as they did with so many injuries to key players, fighting and scratching to the end, even after falling behind 26-14 with 5:51 left.
And they can go to Philadelphia with confidence, having already beaten the Eagles there in November, 17-9.
Tom Wassell – Tom, Jake and Stacy
The biggest positive I can take from the game is that Seattle’s offense finally woke up in the second half. Let’s hope it can carry that into Philadelphia. Who knows, maybe that’s a better matchup anyway?
Defensively, it was a terrible performance. The Seahawks couldn’t catch anyone, couldn’t tackle anyone and looked every bit the 27th-ranked squad in the league – until the final defensive series. Shaquill Griffin’s play to keep the 49ers from getting a first down and allow the Seahawks to get the ball back was that one huge play they were looking for. It came late, but they got it.
As for what happened at the end, how can an entire staff of coaches not realize that the play clock is ticking down? The NBC camera showed Pete just staring off into space after Russell had spiked the ball. What was he doing there? No excuse whatsoever for that.
Then the missed pass interference call on Hollister. The back judge was looking directly straight ahead at where he and the 49ers defender were, but no call. Absurd. The Seahawks would have gotten the ball at the goal line and another shot to use Marshawn.
These games are bonkers. I hope the Seahawks players took something from it as we get ready for playoff week.
How about Travis Homer? At least we know there’s another reliable running back on the roster.
Talk to you tomorrow.
The Groz – Every day at 11:45 a.m. with John Clayton
When Marshawn Lynch was signed by the Seahawks this week you knew the game with the 49ers was going to be memorable, but this is ridiculous. In a game that had almost everything, an unthinkable mistake and unbelievable non-call stand out as the Seahawks wind up with the fifth seed and a trip next week to Philadelphia.
As much as it appeared to be an obvious pass interference call on the 49ers covering Jacob Hollister, the fact that it wasn’t reviewed is a joke. One way or the other, you have to review the call – that’s why you changed the rule. You have to review the play, it is embarrassing for the NFL. Of course that’s also the best word to describe the delay of game call.
John Usura had just made his first catch of the season, on fourth down, to set up the Seahawks on the 1. Here was a chance to atone for the original sin of the Pete Carroll era and give the ball to Marshawn Lynch for the win in what would have been one of the most electrifying moments in dare I say Seattle sports history, and it never came to pass.
It was a great comeback and a special shout out to the offensive line, which completely turned it around in the second half. It was thrilling football as the Seahawks showed the resilience that has been a hallmark under Carroll. They will have to have some more if they want a rematch in two weeks.
Some feel that since Seattle has been so good on the road that it’s better to be in Philadelphia. I don’t agree but I won’t count the team out. Still, it was so close to being an absolutely magical night that right now it just hurts. Oh, what could have been!
Bob Stelton – Bob, Dave and Moore
This was an amazing game. It was amazing that the Hawks actually had a chance to win it after the disaster of a first half they played. Much like their games against the Rams and Cardinals, they did nothing well in that first half. The 49ers dominated every aspect of the game yet it was only 13-0. It felt like 130-0!
Then, in typical Seahawks fashion, they figured something out in the second half (specifically with the offense) that brought the idea of a win into reality.
Marshawn Lynch brought the emotion out of the crowd and his teammates. The building felt like it was moving after he scored his TD. But ultimately there were too many mistakes to overcome. Poor tackling throughout the game was a killer, just like it has been all season.
There was a very obvious missed pass interference call in the end zone on a pass to Jacob Hollister, but the Hawks have no control over the officials. What they do have control over is how they manage the clock, play calling and substitutions. They failed miserably on that front with a delay of game penalty that took them from the goal line to the 6-yard line. THAT CAN’T HAPPEN! They were in a position to win a game and a division sitting on the goal line, yet they couldn’t execute the most basic of football fundamentals. Incredibly frustrating, to say the least.
Despite all of this, you have to feel pretty good about their chances in Philadelphia next Sunday. They have been a decidedly better team on the road for whatever reason this year, and they go up against a team that is riddled with injuries and one they have already beaten this season.
— Bob Stelton (@BobStelton) December 30, 2019
Jake Heaps – Tom, Jake and Stacy
Incredible game. Wild finish that came down to inches and unfortunately the Seahawks ended up on the wrong side of it. After an abysmal first half on both sides of the ball, the Seahawks made significant adjustments in the second half to give themselves a chance to win the game.
Russell Wilson and the offense came to life in a big way by scoring on three consecutive drives in the second half. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were finally implemented in the passing attack, while the ground game took off by a strong performance from Travis Homer and Beast Mode-style runs from Marshawn Lynch.
The defensive performance is cause for concern moving forward. Jimmy G was far too comfortable in the pocket and hardly had to make difficult throws downfield, and 49ers head coach and offensive play-caller Kyle Shannahan kept the Seahawks’ defense off balance all game long.