The Seattle Seahawks are not quitting, so at least that can be said. Coming into Week 13 as heavy underdogs to the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle's offense performed unexpectedly well. The issue was the defense was porous and could not get stops near the end of the game when they absolutely needed to and Dallas won 41-35. Dallas gained 411 total yards.
There appears to be no quick fix for Seattle in 2023. They might have fought like a team that has pride should do, but ultimately a loss is a loss no matter if the game is a blowout or a wretchedly close game. Now Seattle still faces the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14 and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15 and both the 49ers and Eagles are likely better than the Cowboys. 12s can be proud of how Seattle played so hard in Week 13, but 6-8 is still likely.
There was some good that came out of the game, however. Geno Smith was mostly terrific and so was DK Metcalf. Zach Charbonnet looked like an RB1, though Charbonnet appeared to get injured late in the fourth quarter. Smith did throw an interception but it was really a great play by Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland. Smith could have made a better throw on 2nd and 2 to Noah Fant on the Seahawks' last futile drive as well.
So Seattle looked better in Week 13 than in Weeks 11 or 12. But still, they lost. (And yes, the officiating was atrocious and the NFL has a real problem there - 19 penalties were accepted in the game, 10 for Seattle and 9 for Dallas.) Here are some quick takeaways from the Seahawks' loss to the Cowboys.
Seahawks kicker Jason Myers is costing the team
Seattle never punted. Actually, for the fifth time in NFL history, neither team punted. But while the Seahawks had a chance to score on every drive in the first half, the only time they did not was a missed Jason Myers field goal from 42 yards. I like Myers and think he has been a very good kicker, but he is currently having arguably his worst season. And NFL kickers should make 42 yard field goals.
Dallas took the lead halfway through the fourth quarter and after converting a two-point conversion, the Cowboys led 38-35. The difference in the game until very late in the game was the Myers missed field goal. He is now 25 of 32 in field goal attempts in 2023 and he isn't earning his $5 million contract.
Shane Waldron called his best game of the year until the most important play
For all the anger that has been directed at Waldron for the unproductivity of the offense in the last many weeks, he had his group well-prepared for Dallas. He found ways to get DK Metcalf and Jaxon Smith-Njigba involved and kept the Cowboys off-balance with a nice mix of run and pass. But Waldron made a critical error on calling a run on 4th and 2 near midfield late in the fourth quarter. The play was obvious and the Cowboys easily snuffed out the run.
Still, if Waldron can keep calling games the way he did in Week 13, and has a good game plan going into the contest, the Seahawks could surprise the Eagles, perhaps. Seattle finished with 406 total yards and averaged a really good 6.3 yards per game. Geno Smith wasn't sacked.
Getting right tackle Abraham Lucas back helped a ton
So, the hope moving forward is that while the offensive line has struggled a great deal, clearly Lucas made them a lot better. Seattle didn't pick up a ton of rushing yards, but the Cowboys are good against the run. Still, the Seahawks were able to do just enough for most of the game to keep Dallas guessing.
Let's just hope Lucas stays healthy. And also that Charbonnet or Kenneth Walker can come back against the 49ers. Otherwise, a pass-only Seahawk offense is a bad offense.