The Seattle Seahawks surprising season came to an end with a disappointing 24 to 22 NFC Wildcard playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night in Arlington Texas. The loss ended a run of nine straight victories in playoff openers for the Seahawks. According to The Elias Sports Bureau, it was the longest streak in NFL history.
Seattle came into the game as the number one rushing offense in the league averaging 160 yards per game. On Saturday the Dallas Cowboys defense shut down the Seahawks vaunted running attack and held them to just 73 rushing yards the entire game. Chris Carson came into the game having rushed for 100 yards in three straight games was held to 20 yards on 13 carries.
The obvious reason for the Seahawks inability to run the game was that the Dallas front seven was able to dominate the Seahawks offensive line. The Seahawks inability to move the Dallas front seven resulted in the team converting just two third downs the whole game.
The Seahawks were 2-13 on third downs (15%). In order for the Seahawks to be able to run the ball, it is crucial for their offense to convert on third down because every new set of downs give the Seahawks offense an opportunity to gain momentum and rhythm which then opens up the passing game. For Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll the Seahawks that inability to run the ball contributed to the third-down woes.
” First of all congratulations to the Dallas Cowboys they did a lot of nice things, they made it hard on us. This game did not go as we had anticipated, most of our games have been different than this one. It was a different game for us to play. Not being able to run the ball like we wanted to really is a product of the third down issues we had we have always know that.
“But it just did not come out the way we planned so we had to adjust and do something. The story of this season continues to be told at least in our locker room, guys know that they are never out of anything and they just keep coming back, keep coming back and keep battling and we are building something that is special and I really excited about that.”
SEAHAWKS KEEP IT CLOSE
Despite the running game woes, the Seahawks used their season-long formula of playing hard-nosed defense and keeping it close until the end. The Seahawks had 22 rushing yards in the first half and went into the locker room trailing 10-6 thanks to two Sebastian Janikowski field goals. The games most bizarre injury occurred just before the teams went into the locker room when Janikowski injured his thigh attempting a 57-yard field goal on the last play of the half.
A Russell Wilson four-yard TD run and a point-after run by Mike Davis gave the Seahawks a 14-10 run with two minutes left in the third quarter. The lead was shortlived as Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliot’s one-yard run gave the Cowboys the 17-14 lead. After another three -and- out by the Seahawks offense they’re sixth of the game, a special teams breakdown gave the Cowboys a first down at the Seattle 38 yard line.
Prescott made amend for his earlier transgressions with a one-yard TD run to widen the Cowboys lead to 24-14 with 2:08 left in the game.
A Wilson to J.D McKissic seven-yard touchdown pass and a successful point- after- try run by Carson narrowed Seattle’s deficit to 24 to 22 but it as close as the Seahawks would get as the onside attempt by Michael Dickson was recovered by the Cowboys who ran out the clock to end the Seahawks season.