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5 Seahawks most responsible for Week 2 loss vs. 49ers

NFL, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Geno Smith, Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Walker

The Seattle Seahawks came falling back down to earth against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 after the stunning Week 1 upset of the Denver Broncos. The 49ers dominated the game from the start, winning 27-7 on their home field even after the season-ending injury to Trey Lance.

Seattle’s offense failed to produce anything, and its run defense was repeatedly gashed by Jeff Wilson Jr. and Deebo Samuel. Even a controversial play call backfired horribly. Several facets of the Seahawks’ loss on Sunday should be worrying for the team’s future.

Here are the three Seahawks players (and two non-players) most responsible for their Week 2 loss to the 49ers.

3. Geno Smith

After receiving high accolades following the Seahawks’ season-opening victory, quarterback Geno Smith failed to move the ball consistently in this game. He went up against a 49ers defense that was significantly superior to the one Seattle destroyed against the Broncos in Week 1.

Smith finished the loss completing 24 out of 30 passes for 197 yards and an interception. His completion percentage will always be deceiving because the Seahawks’ attack is mostly focused on short and intermediate routes.

With Smith at the helm, the offense’s ceiling will always be restricted. We’ll likely see more performances like Sunday’s than what Seahawks fans experienced in an emotional opening night triumph. Smith is far from the only problem with this Seahawks offense, but he demonstrated why the team has to find a new franchise quarterback.

2. Rashaad Penny & Kenneth Walker

In the NFL, sloppy weather tends to favor more productive running games, but the Seahawks just couldn’t get going on the ground.

Rashaad Penny led the team in rushing Sunday with a paltry 15 yards on six touches. Kenneth Walker, a second-round draft pick, made his regular-season debut after missing Week 1 due to injury. He gained only 10 yards on four attempts.

Remember that head coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks rely on the running game to set up the passing game. As such, it will be difficult to win against any team if no rusher gets more than 50 yards on the ground.

“We have to do everything better,” Carroll said after the game, per FOX13 Seattle. “We have to run the ball with some consistency. We actually protected pretty well early in the game for the first three quarters, I guess. But we just got to make more things happen. We have to fit it off what we do with the running game and make the passing game come to life off the play-(action) passes and stuff that really didn’t even show today. We ran the ball for nothing. We gotta execute better.”

Seattle ran the ball just 14 times for 36 yards and had only 47 total plays for the game. They ran under 50 plays in two games last season, defeats to the Arizona Cardinals at home and the Washington Commanders on the road.

1. Pete Carroll & OC Shane Waldron

One of the reasons the offense couldn’t get a rhythm was some dubious play calling by offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. While he called a fantastic game against the Broncos last week, he struggled against the 49ers. Waldron’s low point occurred in the second quarter when he directed a trick play throw to fourth-string running back DeeJay Dallas. While Pete Carroll defended the call, the pass itself was poor and resulted in an interception:

“I wish I’d have called timeout. I should have,” Carroll said. “Because it was a really cool play to call and to give a shot to, but it asked a lot in that situation. I just wish I would have got us out of it.”

Take note that Dallas played quarterback in middle and high school. Throwing a football isn’t something he has never done before. The play call’s inventiveness should not be dismissed just because it did not work.

Having said that, the problem with the call was the timing of when Seattle decided to make it. It was the Seahawks’ first trip inside the red zone of the day. They were only behind 13-0 at the moment, thus any points scored on the drive would have kept Seattle within striking distance of the opponent.

Instead, it resulted in at least a 10-point swing in favor of San Francisco, as the 49ers marched downfield for a score on a 1-yard Kyle Juszczyk run to make it a 20-0 game.