The Seattle Seahawks absolutely had to have a victory in Week 16. Losing to such a battered group as the 5-10 Tennessee Titans would have been inexcusable. Could the Seahawks still have made the playoffs had they lost to Tennessee? Sure. But that would only be an indictment on the current structure of the playoffs race.
Thankfully, Seattle came through after traveling most of the way across the country on Christmas Eve. Now Seattle stands 8-7 with games they should win in the next two weeks. First, Seattle will play a Pittsburgh Steelers team struggling to find a real identity but blew out the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16. Seattle then travels to Arizona to play a Cardinals team that has seemingly been out of the playoff race since the preseason (mathematically that is not true, of course).
But who stood out (and who failed) Seattle in their Week 16 victory? While Seattle won the game, it wasn't pretty. There is both credit and blame to go around.
Seattle Seahawks Winner No. 1 - Tight end Colby Parkinson
Colby Parkinson is likely in his last season with the Seattle Seahawks as he is set to be free agent after 2023. Ideally, Seattle would bring him back as well as fellow free agent Noah Fant. But Parkinson is also likely to put up better statistics with some other team that passes to the tight ends more and specifically throws passes to Parkinson. He is a massive target who should be better-used in the red zone and he catches most everything thrown in his direction.
Speaking of catches, the game-winning one he made against the Tennessee Titans was special. In extremely tight coverage, he not only was able to put his hands on the ball but was able to move the ball quickly into his right arm, the side of his body away from the defender. It was not the kind of catch made by someone who doesn't know how to catch quickly; the grab was one of skill, not luck.
Parkinson has not had more than 2 targets in a game since Week 5. The last time he didn't corral a ball that was tossed his way was also in Week 15. Overall, Parkinson has a catch rate of 73.9 percent in 2023. He simply needs more targets and if he gets them, he will be very productive.