Heading into the locker room up 24-9 at halftime, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll sprinted along the home sideline firing up the 68,585 fans in attendance at Lumen Field. Given the circumstances, the amount of momentum on his and team's side appeared too insurmountable for the Titans—or any team—to overcome on an unexpectedly sunny Sunday afternoon in Seattle.
But in the 15 or so minutes the Seahawks spent in their locker room, that energy greatly dissipated. The offense came out flat and the Titans went on to control the pace of the game, dominating the time of possession with an explosive run game and surgical passing attack. As Seattle's 15-point lead evaporated, the story of the day went from a triumphant return of the 12s to an absolute heartbreaker in overtime. Failing to live up to Carroll's emphasis on finishing, the Seahawks saw a 2-0 start to the season slip through their fingers on a walk-off field goal by Titans kicker Randy Bullock.
In a high-scoring affair such as this one, there were plenty of ups and downs on both sides. Let's take a look at who—or what—led to the deflating 33-30 loss and who rose above the disappointment.
WR Tyler Lockett
Getting out to a great start in Indianapolis last week, Lockett added to his already impressive 2021 résumé with another great day at the office. Kicking things off with a 51-yard gain on the Seahawks' second drive of the game, the three-time All-Pro cruised well north of 100 receiving yards with 178. His biggest play of the afternoon came on a 63-yard catch-and-run in which he smoothly made Titans defensive backs Bradley McDougald and Elijah Molden whiff as he scooted towards the goal line. Now, after just two games played, Lockett is at 278 yards and three touchdowns on 12 receptions.
WR Freddie Swain
Stepping in for Dee Eskridge (concussion) as the Seahawks' No. 3 receiver on the day, Swain put forth the best game of his young career on Sunday. Picking up some key first downs in the first half, his top highlight came on the easiest play he made all afternoon: a 68-yard score made possible by a blown coverage from Tennessee's secondary, letting Swain slip behind every white jersey on the field. Overall, the University of Florida product finished second on the team in yards with 95 on five catches with the easy touchdown.
DT Al Woods
With Bryan Mone (elbow) inactive, Woods stepped up in a big way on Sunday and proved to be one of Seattle's few defensive linemen to get consistent penetration in the trenches. While Titans running back Derrick Henry dominated the Seahawks' defense in the second half and overtime, it certainly wasn't the fault of Woods. Finishing with five tackles and a sack of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, it was a solid outing for the veteran big man.
Seahawks' second-half offense
Last week, the Seahawks' offense faltered in the third quarter but was able to recover to put the Colts away. This week, however, similar struggles occurred but no solution was ever found as Seattle managed to put up just six points in the final three periods of the game. Many will point their collective fingers at the defense for blowing a 15-point halftime lead, but the offense came out of the locker room looking as dysfunctional as they did against the Rams in January. The absence of consistent pre-snap motion and an over-reliance on a deep passing game reeked of what led to Brian Schottenheimer's downfall in Seattle and the Seahawks paid dearly for it on Sunday.
WR DK Metcalf
Unable to keep his emotions in check against Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton early on and receiving a double whammy of penalties (holding + offensive pass interference) on a screen to running back Chris Carson, Metcalf was undisciplined in his mindset on Sunday. And while his six-catch, 53-yard performance won't appear all that bad on the box score, he was generally ineffective in the passing game for most of the day. To make matters worse, the third-year receiver played through what appeared to be a lower leg injury for most of the fourth quarter and overtime, looking nowhere near 100 percent.
TEs Gerald Everett and Will Dissly
After proving to be a great complement to Seattle's star receiving duo in Indianapolis, Everett and Dissly were rarely used against the Titans. Neither received a target until the early fourth quarter—a modest three-yard reception by Everett short of the sticks. Targeted just once more afterwards, that play wound up being the group's only reception of the game. They were a non-factor and it's mind-boggling as to why, especially with Metcalf ailing.