The Seattle Seahawks were looking to make a memorable comeback season as they entered the playoffs on a 0-2 start. The Dallas Cowboys were the weak link of the playoff teams and the Seattle defense came out swinging. The Cowboys were held to 10 points in the first three quarters with the Seahawks having a 14-10 lead heading into the final quarter. At this point, kicker Sebastian Janikowski had injured his thigh and was out for the game. Rather than let Michael Dickson kick extra points, Seattle opted to run two-point conversions twice, and made both.
Dallas gained more ground in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns heading into the final few minutes. Seattle rallied and scored again with less than a minute on the clock, meaning the Seahawks needed to win an onside kick and run it back for another score. However, in what was likely the strangest play of the game, Dickson missed the onside kick by about 30 yards and the Cowboys were able to take the win.
This loss was somehow the worst the Seahawks had looked in a long time. The Cowboys held halfback Chris Carson to 20 yards the entire game. Despite having the most rushing yards in the NFL, Seattle was held to 73 rushing yards all game. By comparison, the Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliot rushed for 137 yards alone. This proved to be a major thorn in the side of the Seahawks, as they continued to push the run game to no avail. Russell Wilson and his wide receiver corps put up numbers where it counted, and the defense was no slouch. The loss is largely credited to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for running a predictable offense that was counter-intuitive to the team’s strengths, but did he really deserve it?
The Seahawks established themselves as the best running team in football this year, despite having a top five quarterback. Some people used that basis to say Schottenheimer should have passed the ball and shaken things up. It could have worked, but the truth is that the Seahawks ran the same game plan they ran all season, with Carson being their first running back to hit 1,000 yards since Marshawn Lynch years ago. The fact of the matter is that Dallas countered it well, though it becomes less of an issue when you consider Seattle’s positive trajectory over the coming years.
Seattle ran a young defense, headlined by veteran stars in Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. In this year of rebuilding the team, the Seahawks were expected to garner maybe four wins for the season but proved everyone wrong by making a playoff run. The young studs can expect to get better under the expert coaching and tutelage of Wagner and Wright. Michael Dickson made the All-Pro First Team as a rookie, which is an argument for being the best punter in the league. Russell Wilson is still very young, as are his running backs. While this season might have ended in disappointing fashion, it was supposed to be worse. As a result, fans can reasonably expect great things from the Seahawks in the next couple years.