The Seattle Seahawks really had no business losing to such a banged-up Tennessee Titans team. Tennessee was basically missing all of its relevant defensive players except for Denico Autry and Harold Landry. Still, Seattle nearly lost and should have no business speaking the word "playoffs" in the next couple of weeks. And yet, they do. Seattle defeated the Titans 20-17.
But after a four-game losing streak until a Week 15 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle is now 8-7. Seattle has two winnable games left. As Seattle has proven, though, neither is likely to be easy. Even if Seattle makes the playoffs somehow, they might lose in the Wild Card round. But doesn't it feel better to win than to lose right now?
Do the Seahawks have the talent level to compete with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, maybe the second- and-third best teams in the NFC? Yes. They led the Cowboys for most of the game and beat the Eagles. Overall, the roster isn't the main issue so anything can happen. Here are quick takeaways from Week 16's victory.
Geno Smith stayed poised under constant pressure
Some people are still going to find a way to want Drew Lock to be the starter, but Geno Smith has proved he is QB1 until he can no longer physically perform the role. That means if he gets injured, not from poor play. The Titans sacked Smith 3 times and hit him 4 more times and Smith remained calm and did not put the ball in harm's way.
Smith finished 25 of 36 for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns. Lesser quarterbacks would have thrown an interception or three. The best chance Seattle has to win the next two games is to start Geno Smith.
The offensive line is horrible
Seattle only had 273 total yards to a team with so many injuries. That is fairly unacceptable. While we can blame the playcalling of offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, that would be too easy. Plus, what is Waldron to do when his offensive line isn't blocking.
Seattle also had just 4.6 yards per play and only kept the ball for 26:09. Seattle converted 7 of 13 third downs but most of that was due to the last drive when the Seahawks picked up a number of third downs. While the Seahawks can still make the playoffs, the offensive line will keep them from being dangerous once there.
Boye Mafe was a beast
Mafe had not had a sack in weeks coming into the game, and this followed a streak where he had a sack seven games in a row. But Mafe saved his best game for Week 16. He was active and aggressive from the first snap and finished with 2 sacks, including one on the Titans final futile drive. He also had 4 quarterback hits and 2 tackles for loss. His game was worthy of being nominated for NFC Defensive Player of the Week.