For as bad as the Seahawks have been this season – and make no mistake, 6-10 with one game to go is pretty damn bad – this one felt a little predictable. There was no way the Seahawks were going to lose to the Bears AND the Lions at home in back-to-back weeks. Just as predictable – as it turns out – that there was no way we were going to beat them in back-to-back weeks either.
The Lions are one of the worst teams in the entire league. It turns out there’s a pretty significant difference between the two very worst teams (the Jags and Lions) and everyone else. The Seahawks beat the Jags and Lions by a combined 82-36. So, if you’re looking at our +21 point differential on the season, look no further and go ahead and put that line of thinking out of your mind. That season-long point differential is almost identical to the outcome of our game with the Lions yesterday, which we won 51-29.
That doesn’t mean we were particularly unlucky, or that we deserve to be at or better than a .500 team. That just means we beat the everloving shit out of the two worst teams in football, but we ourselves are still in the bottom ten of all NFL teams for a reason.
I know it’s tempting to look at this game as some sort of turning point. That maybe, if you squint, you could see the offense rebounding (if we managed to keep the band together for one more go-around) next season. But, these are the Lions we’re talking about. They have no talent whatsoever on defense. Their offense didn’t do much of anything at all in the first half, then gave us a bunch of short fields in the second half. We could’ve put up 60+ if we wanted to (or if we were in any way competent at recovering onside kicks).
One interesting thing to talk about is the emergence of Rashaad Penny. I know, I know, but if you could hold off on your dramatic eye rolling for a minute, hear me out. I just want to talk; see, I’m unarmed!
For reasons that are abundantly clear to any Seahawks fan, this is the greatest stretch of success in Rashaad Penny’s 4-year NFL career. He’s long showed flashes in VERY short 1-game bursts (12 for 108 and a TD in 2018 against the Rams; 14 for 129 and a TD in 2019 against the Eagles), but here are his lines over the last four games (in four consecutive injury-free weeks, no less!):
- 16 for 137 and 2 TDs at Houston
- 11 for 39 at the Rams
- 17 for 135 and a TD vs. Chicago
- 25 for 170 and 2 TDs vs. Detroit
That’s 69 carries for 481 yards, for a 6.97 yards per carry average. That is, of course, a clinically insane level of dominance for a running back, but it at least establishes a ceiling for Mr. Penny. It’s just unfortunate that it’s taken him this long to show what he can do (to be fair, he might’ve shown it sooner, but he was always blocked by Chris Carson even when he was healthy).
I’m not saying the Seahawks need to extend him, but I’m also not totally against it either. This is another case where I wouldn’t care if some other team blew him away with an amazing offer. But, if we wanted to give him an incentive-laden deal, it might be worth our while. That assumes, of course, that our objective isn’t to blow the whole thing up and start over.
In other news, it was cool to see D.K. Metcalf finally bust out with 3 TDs. He’ll likely have foot surgery this offseason, and then we’ll see. It seems like these types of big & tall receivers tend to have chronic foot problems for their entire careers. But, as long as they’re capable of totally taking over games like this, they’re worth the consternation (I would still, nevertheless, trade him while the value is still sky-high, especially if Russell Wilson is also going to force his way out).
If this was Russell Wilson’s last home game in a Seahawks uniform, he went out looking very Wilson-esque: 20/29 for 236, 4 TDs, and 0 INTs. What wasn’t Wilson-esque was the fact that he only took 1 sack for -4 yards. I’m not used to that level of efficiency from our O-Line, but you don’t get to play the Lions every week.
If this was Bobby Wagner’s last home game in a Seahawks uniform, he went out with a whimper, getting injured on the first series of the game (the first play?). It was strange, because it looked like he tried to go right back into the game even though he had to sit out at least a play, but then he just went to the locker room and never returned. I can’t help but wonder if there are some injury guarantees attached to the final year of his contract, and the team was using an abunance of caution to make sure he didn’t do significant damage. We’ll know more if he’s in the game next week down in Arizona.
Apparently, this game also featured the first interceptions of the season by the Seahawks’ cornerback room. D.J. Reed had two and Ugo Amadi had one (if we still consider him to be a nickel corner and not a safety). That’s something, I guess.
It was also nice to see Jason Myers get back on the horse in not-so-great weather conditions. I’m of the mind that kickers will fluctuate in their level of effectiveness from year to year, so I’m not necessarily clamoring for the Seahawks to cut him and start over. He could just as easily bounce back and be nails again in 2022.
That’s all I got. One more game to go. Then, we can mercifully focus on literally anything else.