Seahawks offensive and defensive grades from regular season finale

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The Seattle Seahawks 21 point fourth quarter propelled them to victory in the regular-season finale.

Although the Seattle Seahawks had clinched the division in Week 16, they were still playing for something in the final week of the regular season. They were playing for the number one seed in the NFC. Along with a win against the 49ers, they needed the Bears to beat the Packers and Panthers to beat the Saints.

Well, that did not happen as both the Packers and Saints won big. With that said, the Seattle Seahawks will remain the number three seed in the NFC and face the Rams for a third time in the Wild Card round.

But, let’s focus on the Week 17 performance for now. This Seattle team rallied behind a 21 point fourth quarter to complete the season sweep of the 49ers. Too much of the Niners’ credit, they played a great defensive game for three quarters. They were able to apply sufficient pressure on Wilson and prevent him from establishing any sort of rhythm. Despite the early struggles, Wilson once again challenged his inner Mamba and led this Seahawks team to another victory.

Offense

RUSSELL WILSON

Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

A

For the majority of the game, Russell Wilson was held in check. The big plays off the play-action fake weren’t there and that forced Wilson to hold onto the ball for too long. But, in the fourth quarter, after the Niners scored to make it 16-6, Wilson refused to be stopped. The first drive in the fourth quarter was an 8 play, 75 drive that was capped off with a beautiful touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett.

The second drive in the fourth quarter was a 14 play, 85-yard drive capped off with another Tyler Lockett touchdown. Except, this time, it came on fourth down. The Niners brought some pressure leaving the wide receivers in single coverage. Wilson bought himself enough time and dropped a perfect touch pass to Lockett in the end zone to give his team the lead. In the fourth quarter, Wilson simply refused to lose. Another championship-style fourth quarter performance from our quarterback.

RUNNING BACKS

Seattle Seahawks

A-

Over the last three weeks, we have seen HB Rashaad Penny get more and more playing time as he works his way back into shape. Penny was becoming a huge factor in this Seattle offense last year before suffering the season-ending injury. Now, he is looking to find that spot once again with the playoffs around the corner. But, the lead back as always was Chris Carson. Last year at this time, the Seahawks were also without Chris Carson as well. With Carson in the offense, he adds a whole other element of physicality.

He forces the defense the stay honest and keeps those linebackers on their toes. Although he only ran for 44 yards, he showed some of that physical downhill running as he helped this Seahawks offense get some first downs. 12s have seen how ugly this offense can be without Carson in the starting lineup. It’s exciting to have him, Penny and Hyde all ready to go for next weekend. HB Alex Collins was also called up yesterday as Hyde did not travel with the team due to an illness. Collins was able to punch a late touchdown, sealing the victory for the Seahawks.

WIDE RECEIVERS / TIGHT ENDS

Seattle Seahawks

A

Tyler Lockett single-handedly earned this grade as he was unstoppable yesterday. The first time these two teams met, it was WR D.K. Metcalf who gave this 49ers secondary some fits. But, in Week 17 it was Tyler Lockett who had found profound success in the desert once again. On the year, Lockett put together two of his best games in Arizona. Yesterday, he was targeted 14 times. Of those 14, he caught 12 passes for 90 yards and scored two touchdowns. He was Wilson’s go-to guy yesterday as the Seahawks offense kicked it into high gear with the game on the line.

Lockett also broke the franchise record of most receptions (95) in a single season. His partner in crime, D.K. Metcalf broke Steve Largent’s record of most receiving yards in a single season (1,303). Both of these wideouts have had big years and will look to continue the good play in the postseason. On a closing note, WR David Moore was granted an incentive, thanks to the audible by Wilson late in the game. On his single catch for 1 yard, Moore earned a $100,000 incentive.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Seattle Seahawks

B

With no Brandon Shell and Mike Iupati, this Seattle offensive line did the best they could. Hopefully, both of those guys are ready to go next week as they will be taking on the Rams. But, over the last month of the season, this offensive line has played good enough. They haven’t had outstanding games, nor have they had porous games. They have done their job when it matters most. In the win over the 49ers, this offensive line struggled early on.

Granted, San Francisco was bringing a lot of pressure. But, Seattle scored only 6 points in the first half and had a total of 3 yards in the second half heading into the fourth quarter. Although they were able to catch fire and score 21 straight, many 12s are hoping the offense can pick it up at an earlier time in the ball game. Now, that isn’t all on the offensive line. But, in this particular game, the breakdowns up front allowed the Niners to knock Wilson off any rhythm. If they are able to protect better early on, then they become very difficult to stop.

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