The Seattle Seahawks lost for the fourth time in their last five games after they lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 21-13, at home in Week 15 of the 2022 NFL season. The Seahawks failed to avenge their Week 2 defeat to the Niners and surrendered the NFC West to their tormentors. Seattle is now 7-7, putting their playoff hopes in jeopardy. Here we’ll discuss the four Seahawks most to blame for their disappointing Week 15 loss vs. the 49ers.
The Seahawks have lost three consecutive games at home for the second time under Pete Carroll’s leadership. The offense struggled throughout the game, partially due to the strong defense of the 49ers. Keep in mind that San Francisco is ranked first in the league. The 49ers defense allowed only three points in the first half and caused a fumble by Travis Homer in the second quarter that led to their second touchdown of the game. That increased their lead to 11 points just before halftime.
In the first road start of his career, seventh-round pick 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy performed well, completing 17-of-26 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the absence of Deebo Samuel, Purdy had several talented receivers, including George Kittle, who caught four passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Christian McCaffrey also did well with 32 touches for 138 yards and one rushing touchdown.
As for the Seahawks, Geno Smith completed 31-of-44 passes for 238 yards and one touchdown. Meanwhile, Kenneth Walker III had 47 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Final from @LumenField.#GoHawks x @Delta pic.twitter.com/Bnxe1DDfTK
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 16, 2022
For now, let us look at the four Seahawks most to blame for their Week 15 loss vs. the 49ers.
4. Seahawks Offensive Line
Seattle o-line members Charles Cross and Abe Lucas had little chance against Nick Bosa and Samson Ebukam, who are part of San Francisco’s elite defensive line. The rookies struggled as expected, but the bigger issue is the poor run blocking.
The 49ers have a strong run defense, but the Seahawks’ interior offensive line was weaker than anticipated. Damien Lewis has performed well, but Austin Blythe is just not a suitable starting center for the team. The rotation of Gabe Jackson and Phil Haynes also just does not work well.
The offensive line needs significant improvements, including new starters at center and right guard. Re-signing Ethan Pocic would have been a good decision based on his performance with the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately, he is currently injured.
3. FS Quandre Diggs
It is difficult to criticize Seahawks FS Quandre Diggs, but he has just not played well this season. His dropped interception was also a significant mistake in this game. The interception would have given the Seahawks the ball back and changed the field position, which would have affected the playcalling and decision-making before halftime.
Diggs was also out of position on the first George Kittle touchdown and missed the tackle on the second one. It is likely that the injury Diggs suffered against the Arizona Cardinals last season has impacted his performance this year. It is uncertain what the consequences will be for 2023, but Diggs has struggled on the field in a very noticeable way in 2022.
2. LB Cody Barton
For the past decade, Seahawks fans have enjoyed watching elite linebackers like Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright disrupt the plans of opposing offenses. This is why it is frustrating to see plays like when LB Cody Barton allowed San Francisco tight end George Kittle to easily get to the endzone.
Trailing 14-3, Kittle easily scored a 54-yard touchdown with practically no resistance. Barton, the last line of defense, barely touched Kittle, which is just unacceptable. While Kittle is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and may have scored anyway, the issue is Barton’s lack of effort. This play exemplifies the tackling problems the Seattle defense has faced throughout the season.
1. RB Travis Homer
In the NFL, one play seldom decides a game’s outcome. However, one play can also serve as the catalyst for an irreversible change in momentum. One such play for the Seahawks was the costly fumble by Travis Homer shortly before halftime.
In this sequence, the Seahawks had a chance to score some scores before halftime as they trailed 7-3 with 68 seconds left in the second quarter. The Niners had largely outperformed Seattle thus far, but Seattle had a chance to gain some advantage. Sadly, Homer fumbled at the 46-yard line for Seattle. The 49ers recovered it and returned it all the way to the 6-yard line.
The 49ers force a Travis Homer fumble and turn it into a Christian McCaffrey TD
49ers 14, Seahawks 3 #TNF pic.twitter.com/SL6jmPOysv
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) December 16, 2022
San Francisco scored a touchdown two plays later to increase their lead to 14-3 before halftime. They then scored quickly on the first play of the second half to create an unbridgeable 21-3 gap.
Homer had just nine all-purpose yards and five total touches by the time the game was over. Ouch.