Gameday Grades: Week 11 Seahawks versus Falcons

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 20: Strong safety Kemal Ishmael (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 20: Strong safety Kemal Ishmael (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

For the second time in three weeks the Seahawks were dealt a massive punch to the gut at home. Penalties and game management were again the Achilles heal in a game were there was little room for error.

Defensive Line: (C+)

For much of the season the defensive line has been a relative bright spot. even though there have been several crucial injuries, the Seahawks managed to hold it together and stay consistent. The one area they’ve been struggling with is the pass rush. They simply aren’t getting to the quarterback enough to get the offense out of rhythm.

The lack of pass rush ended up really hurting the Seahawks as Matt Ryan looked very comfortable in the pocket all evening. Ryan does have a pretty quick release, but to have a shot against elite quarterbacks, you’ve got to make them uncomfortable. Seattle didn’t do that on Monday.

Linebackers: (B+)

Though he is technically the quarterback of the defense, Bobby Wagner found himself having to do even more than usual on Monday night given all of the injuries to a veteran defense. Wagner did his darnedest  to get his defense n position to make plays. It was an uphill battle all night, but it was hard to cast blame on the linebackers for the final result. Terence Garvin saw extensive action and recorded three tackles.

Defensive Backs: (C)

It’s no secret the defensive backs struggled against Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. However, the group battled and played hard. It was going to be a tough matchup given Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were out with injuries. The matchup got even tougher when Shaquille Griffin left the game in the first quarter with an apparent concussion. Byron Maxwell filled in, but was understandably a little rusty.

When the dust settled, the Seattle secondary couldn’t quite keep up with an explosive and experienced passing game. Hopefully with increased reps, the reserves can get better each week. But let’s face it. There’s no replacing Sherm and Kam.

Offensive Line: (D+)

I was locked in on Germain Ifedi for much of the game. I later regretted watching him so intently. It got so bad, I told my dad and brother to focus on Ifedi for a series. Much to our collective horror, the poor guy looked like a damn human turnstile. It was honestly hard to watch. I like Ifedi’s aggressive makeup and would love to see him succeed, but at some point the coaches are going to need to make a change if he doesn’t show some improvement.

Quarterback: (B)

There were a couple of costly turnovers that Russell Wilson would certainly like to have back. Luckily Wilson bounced back to play a pretty solid game and was the only reason the Seahawks had a chance in that game was because of Wilson’s play. Every single week, Russell gives his team a chance to win. The result isn’t always a victory, but when you consider he has no running game, and an extremely depleted defense, what Wilson has done is miraculous.

Running Backs: (C)

The Seahawks played a very cruel joke on Monday. They brought Mike Davis up from the practice squad and for a second it looked like the Seahawks had found their back for the stretch run. But, as fate would have it, Davis left the game with a groin injury and did not return. Davis has a burst and shiftiness we haven’t seen since Chris Carson went down. Truthfully, I’d like to sign up for Davis and McKissic the rest of the way.

Receivers/Tight Ends: (B+)

The passing game once again carried the offense.  This is probably the best group of pass catchers the Seahawks have had on the roster at one time. I think they were a Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham catch away from earning an A.

Special Teams: (B+)

People might want to focus on a last chance 52 yard field goal that came up just short, but that’s probably unfair. The special teams as a whole played very well (including Walsh) the entire game. Tyler Lockett looked fantastic in the return game, nearly making a house call on several occasions. Locket averaged almost 40 yards a return. It was the best he’s looked all season. It appears as though he’s finally starting to get his legs beneath him again.

Related Story: Did Pete Carroll coach his worst game on Monday?

Though he missed the final field goal, Blair Walsh actually performed pretty well on Monday. He went three of four on field goals and probably would’ve gone 4-5 had the Seahawks not faked a field goal at the end of the half.