Following a 26-21 loss to the 49ers, the Seahawks are now officially the No. 5 seed in the NFC and will take on the Eagles as a wild card team in the opening round of the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Seattle, this latest loss conjured up memories of Super Bowl XLIX reliving a certain play involving the goal line. After John Ursua completed an 11-yard reception on fourth down, Russell Wilson rushed to the scrimmage line and spiked the football on San Francisco’s one-yard line, stopping the clock with just 23 seconds left.
However, as the Seahawks brought Marshawn Lynch back onto the field, they failed to snap the ball in time, causing an inexcusable delay of game penalty. Just two plays after the penalty, Jacob Hollister was denied entry to the endzone by Dre Greenlaw, falling just inches short of the goal line.
On the bright side, Seattle still has a chance for redemption next week in Philadelphia. If victorious, along with a Saints victory over the Vikings, the Seahawks would be slated for a rematch against the 49ers during the divisional round.
Let's dive into our three big winners and losers from Week 17.
After being held off the scoreboard in the first half, the Seahawks sparked a comeback after halftime led by their eighth-year quarterback. Overall, Wilson completed 25 of his 40 pass attempts for 233 yards along with a pair of touchdown passes.
Wilson also rushed eight times for 29 yards against the 49ers. Until Wilson began making things happen with his legs, Seattle's receivers were unable to create significant separation in the passing game. If the Seahawks struggle running the ball against the Eagles' defense next week, Wilson may need to spark the offense with his legs once again.
During Seattle’s Week 16 defeat against Arizona, the Metcalf was targeted just once by Wilson. Despite the Seahawks' offense remaining stagnant in the first half, Metcalf caught six of his 12 targets for a team-leading 81 receiving yards.
The former Ole Miss standout was also a major factor on third-down conversions, as both of his first-half receptions lead to a pair of first downs. Along with his impressive performance on third down, Metcalf hauled in a late touchdown to cut the 49ers lead to 26-21.
Without Flowers’ impressive performance, the 49ers would have likely extended their 13-0 lead even further in the first half. The second-year pro generated a sack on Jimmy Garoppolo for a loss of seven yards, which ultimately forced San Francisco to settle for a 47-yard field goal from Robbie Gould.
Later in the first half, Flowers teamed up with Marquise Blair to force a fumble after colliding with Deebo Samuel just inches short of the marker to gain. While San Francisco recovered their own fumble, they were forced to settle for a field goal once again, pushing their lead to 13-0.
During the first half, Ifedi failed to provide his quarterback with much protection in the pocket. Seattle's opening drive of the game stalled on third down due to Ifedi losing his block too early in the play, forcing a rushed and inaccurate pass from Wilson.
While Wilson was sacked just once by the 49ers, Ifedi's inability to block DeForest Buckner and Nick Bosa prevented Seattle from potentially cutting into their 10-0 lead. Along with his poor pass blocking, Ifedi committed a false start penalty during the Seahawks' final drive of the first half, ultimately leading to a turnover on downs.
Missed Tackling on Deebo Samuel
Throughout Seattle’s defeat against San Francisco, the defense struggled mightily to bring down Samuel in open field. In total, the rookie out of South Carolina caught five passes for 102 yards. Specifically in the first quarter, Samuel created a pair of 30-yard gains, including a touchdown on an end around, due to the Seahawks ineffective tackling.
During his 30-yard catch and run, Lano Hill emerged from the secondary and whiffed on his tackle attempt, providing Samuel with plenty of room to operate. Both K. J. Wright and Shaquill Griffin failed to tackle Samuel during his 30-yard rush towards the end zone, which pushed San Francisco's lead to 10-0.
Already without three starters to begin the game (Duane Brown, Quandre Diggs, and Ethan Pocic), Seattle lost both Jaron Brown and Mychal Kendricks to knee sprains against San Francisco. In addition, Tre Flowers and Tyler Lockett each departed for a short period of time before returning later in the game.
During his post-game press conference, coach Pete Carroll mentioned that both Brown and Kendricks could miss next Sunday's matchup against the Eagles. The good news? Carroll also stated that there's a chance Diggs could make his return in Philadelphia. To depart with a victory, the Seahawks will need their players to stay healthy against the Eagles next Sunday.