The Seahawks returned from their bye week needing a win to keep pace with the Niners. The Raiders exposed serious issues on the team. And there were a lot more than three players to blame.
This game was expected to be a bit of a breather. Obviously, it was anything but that. Surrendering 576 yards certainly wasn’t in the game plan. Since we’re getting throwback uniforms soon, could we get a throwback defense too? LOB edition only, thanks. The Raiders came into the contest averaging 342 yards per game on offense, allowing 371 yards on defense. Yes, the game went to overtime, but they still rolled up 200 more yards than the Hawks.
As we’ve seen too often this season, the Seahawks biggest issue is the running game. We’ve seen them struggle to establish the run in a few games. Much worse, they seem to be operating turnstiles on defense. In Seattle’s six wins, they’ve averaged 151 yards rushing and allowed 108. In their five losses, the Hawks have managed just 81 yards per game and given up a ridiculous average of 209 yards on the ground. The loss versus Las Vegas featured the worst performances yet at 65 to 283. That is abysmal.
The Seahawks needed better efforts from virtually everyone
Let me start with Geno Smith. He fumbled once and threw an interception in a game where the Hawks needed every point they could muster. Yes, he also threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Take another look, and he completed 73 percent of his passes and wound up with a passer rating of 106.6. That makes up for the mistakes, right? In fact, it does. I’m starting with Geno to say that he is not one of the main architects of the Seahawks loss.
Yes, he threw a very costly interception that the Raiders turned into a touchdown on their very next play to go ahead 20-13. But was it Geno’s fault? Not when Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf somehow collided on their routes. Obviously, someone got it wrong; and it’s hard to say Smith was the one at fault.
In the fourth quarter, Geno fumbled on an exchange with Kenneth Walker III deep in Las Vegas territory. That killed another Seattle drive. While the Raiders didn’t score on their ensuing drive, it’s extremely likely that the Hawks would have gotten at least a Jason Myers field goal out of the drive. And that would have been the winning margin. Again, I’m not about to say that’s all – or even mostly – on Smith’s shoulders.
I love Geno Smith, and what he brings to the Seahawks. That doesn’t mean I’ll ignore costly mistakes. Those were two huge miscues, but he was hardly the only one to blame for them. He did more than enough for Seattle to win this one. I can’t say the same for a few other players.