The Seattle Seahawks didn’t play well for three quarters, but they came alive and scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to close a 16-6 deficit and beat the San Francisco 49ers 26-23 on Sunday against their regular season.
The Seahawks appear to have found the right combination of an opportunistic attack and a stingy defense ahead of their game against the Los Angeles Rams in a wild card playoff on Saturday.
Here are 10 studs and guys.
The Seahawks fired 49ers quarterback CJ Beathard three times and kept the 49ers-lauded rushing game within 86 yards of play.
The Seahawks defense plays at the championship level. The unit can keep the team close and give them a chance to win. The Seahawks have kept their opponents under 20 points in seven of their last eight games and appear to be at their best in the playoffs.
Stud: Tyler Lockett
The broad receiver had a big day with 12 receptions on 14 targets for 90 yards and two touchdowns, including that 6-yard sliding grab in the fourth quarter.
Lockett set a new franchise record for one season with 100 receptions, breaking the previous record of 94 set by Doug Baldwin (2016) and Bobby Engram (2007). Lockett is the first Seattle player to record 100 receptions in one season.
Stud: DK Metcalf
The Seahawks’ “other” recipient didn’t have a big day, but he also set a season franchise record by ending the season with 1,303 receiving yards, breaking Steve Largent’s 1985 record of 1,287 yards.
Metcalf and Lockett each finished with at least 1,000 reception areas, making them the second receiving duo in Seattle (Joey Galloway and Brian Blades 1995) to post at least 1,000 reception areas in the same season.
Stud: Quandre Diggs
The clear security came from 10 meters to Jeff Wilson, who trailed Jeff Wilson in the fourth quarter. Diggs, who ended up with a total of six tackles in the game, was a secondary school anchor with five career-level interceptions and one Pro Bowl selection.
Stud: KJ Wright
The experienced linebacker set the tone for the defense in the second quarter with a bone-breaking hit against the 49er full-back Kyle Juszczyk.
Linebacker Bobby Wagner looked like he was more excited about the hit than Wright. Wright, in his 10th season, is ending his best season. Fortunately, he’s in his contract year.
Stud: Benson Mayowa
There were two sacks at the end of the defensive, including a strip sack from 49ers quarterback CJ Beathard, and the fumble was salvaged by Rasheem Green late in the fourth quarter.
The turnover led the Seahawks to score a touchdown for a 26-16 lead.
Stud: David Moore
The broad receiver caught a seemingly meaningless 5-yard pass with 22 seconds remaining. That reception meant a lot to Moore, however. The reception was Moore’s 35th of the season, triggering a $ 100,000 bonus for him.
Quarterback Russell Wilson made sure Moore, who had not been targeted throughout the game, received the one pass that was worth $ 100,000.
Stud: Russell Wilson
Wilson passed for a measly 101 yards in the first half and failed to complete a pass in the third quarter. Wilson got hot in the fourth quarter, however, throwing two touchdown passes, including a handsome 4-yard floater, for a touchdown to wide receiver Tyler Lockett.
Wilson hasn’t played as consistently as he did at the start of the season, but he knows how to turn it on in the fourth quarter. His ability to keep calm under duress and lead the team on winning races in the fourth quarter could mean the difference between winning or losing the Seahawks in the playoffs.
Dud: Jamal Adams
Seahawks’ manager Pete Carroll said the strong security sustained a right shoulder injury in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game. Adams had a left shoulder injury earlier in the season and is playing with two broken fingers. Carroll said he was optimistic that Adams could play the Rams in the playoffs.
Dud: Brian Schottenheimer
I’m not sure why the Seahawks abandoned the attack in the first half. The Seahawks ran the football ten times for a total of 27 meters in the first half. The Seahawks ran 84 yards in the second half, and the threat of the run kept the 49ers’ defenses a little off-balance, making the passing game more effective.
– Geoffrey C. Arnold | @geoffreyCarnold