The task was always going to be the biggest of the season for the Seahawks when they rolled into Arrowed head stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Eve afternoon. The shirtless pregame warmups by several plays showed the visitors were willing. Well-willing is one thing executing is another.
In the first half the Seahawk’s defense contained the Chief’s offense in the first quarter, but that containment of the NFL’s number one offense dissipated in the second period when the Chiefs added a touchdown and field goal to the seven points, they had in the first. Despite the 17 points allowed the Seahawk’s defense came to play and forced KC to punt on half of its six first-half possession. The offense was a completely different story in the first half. The Seahawk’s offense salvaged a dismal first half with a 22-yard field goal by Jason Myers with one second left in the first half.
Up to that point, the Seahawk’s offense had five punts and a turnover on downs.
“This was a tough game for us. In the first half, we just couldn’t get going and couldn’t make a first down. We didn’t get anything going at all and just had to wait it out. Once we found our rhythm in the second half, you could see us play. We played with these guys. That is a terrific football team, and we know it. The defense held their own with these guys. They kept their running game down. They were able to get the third down wins that we needed. There were a lot of three and outs. It made a big difference and gave us the chance to be in the game. You could tell that we were in the go-for-it mode throughout the second half of the game. In fourth downs, using those and just trying to see if we could find a way. Tough ball game for us today.”Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll
BETTER SECOND HALF
Give credit to Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron for sticking with the run game. After receiving the ball to start the second half the Seahawk’s offensive performance continued. The first three positions of the second half ended in a punt and two consecutive drives that ended on downs. The first at the Chiefs’ 34 and the second at the 22-yard line. Both drives were a result of some clever blocking and running schemes by Waldron. On several occasions, the Seahawks brought in an extra tight end to help offset the fierce Chiefs’ rush defense. On the fourth drive of the half, the Chief defense forced a Geno Smith interception after a mix-up between Smith and receiver Marquis Goodwin.
After the Smith interception, Patrick Mahomes put the game away on a five-play 80-yard drive that was capped by a herculean td that saw Mahomes turn into a straight-up superhero to score the game-winning touchdown.
Kudos to Smith and the offense for bouncing back on its next possession with a Smith to tight end Noah Fant six-yard touchdown pass play to narrow the deficit to 24-10. The brutal truth is that the bounce-back touchdown was too little and too little. The Seahawk’s inability to finish the previous drives put them in a hole that was too big to climb out of.
BIG TAKE AWAY
The Seahawk’s defense took another step forward holding the league’s number one offense to just one second-half touchdown. On several occasions, the Mahomes-led offense made some uncharacteristic mistakes some of those, one can make a case that they were forced errors by the Seahawk’s defense. Teez Tabor started for Ryan Neal and held his own with Jonathan Abram replacing for a few plays. The play of the two fill in’s was a pleasant surprise. Ken Walker III finished the game with 107 rushing yards on 26 carries and averaging 4.1 yards per carry. If the Seahawks can be consistent in the next two games they might just back the door into the postseason.
The Seahawks are on the outside looking in at the moment. The New York Giants ( 8-5-1) and Washington Commanders ( 7-6-1) are currently in the sixth and seventh NFC Wild Card Playoff positions. The Giant’s last two games are against the Colts ( Jan.1) and Eagles ( Jan 8th) The Commanders will face off against the Browns ( Jan. 1) and Cowboys ( Jan. 8 ). The simplest way to put it is that the Seahawks have to win more games than the Commanders or Jets.