Seahawks Week 8+9: San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills

Photo Credit: Bence Balla-Schottner

The last two weeks of Seahawks football has been very polarizing for fans as they beat the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8 but lost to the Buffalo Bills in Week 9.

The match against the 49ers was a masterclass of football that Seattle sorely needed to bounce back from their first loss of the season a week prior. In a week where Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde were both down with an injury, it was up to rookie Deejay Dallas to be the lead back, which he succeeded at. He led the team with 41 rushing yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, and caught five more passes for 17 yards and a second touchdown. D.K. Metcalf led the receiving effort yet again, hauling in 12 catches for 161 yards and two scores. David Moore put himself on the scoreboard with a touchdown as well.

Don’t let the 27 points scored by the 49ers fool you into believing the defense was an issue. They played lockdown defense for the first three quarters and loosened up in the fourth. It happens to every team when a large lead in the fourth allows the losing team to rack up some easy points. D.J. Reed joined five other Seahawks with an interception on Jimmy Garroppolo. Meanwhile, Bobby Wagner managed two sacks in the game as the Seahawks came seemingly out of nowhere with the ability to pressure quarterbacks. This was without new acquisitions on the year in Jamal Adams and Carlos Dunlap so only time would tell how good that defensive unit could get.

If we treat the Bills game as our only evidence so far, the answer would be “not very good.” The Seahawks lost 44-34 and dropped to 6-2, their first-place standing held up by the Miami Dolphins beating the Arizona Cardinals. In his second game as the lead back, Dallas struggled but that was mostly due to the Seahawks being down early and not being able to run the ball. He still managed a score on the ground but was otherwise nonexistent. Metcalf led the receivers again, pulling in 108 yards on seven receptions and a score. Moore followed with 71 yards on four receptions and a touchdown of his own. Travis Homer’s 64 receiving yards was bolstered by a 50-yard gain, and tight end Jacob Hollister continued to find work in the Seattle passing game with 60 yards of his own. The real story of the Seattle offense was Russell Wilson and his four turnovers. Two picks and two fumbles is never a winning formula, and it showed. The offense was constantly playing from behind.

Somehow, Russ’s turnovers were overshadowed by the defense allowing 44 points over 386 passing yards. Josh Allen returned to his early-season MVP form and was seemingly unstoppable. He hit Stefon Diggs for 118 yards, John Brown for 99 and Gabriel Davis for another 70 with the latter having the only touchdown between the three. The other two passing touchdowns were on a 25-yard play to Isaiah McKenzie and a goal-line dump to Tyler Kroft. Both Allen and lead runner Zack Moss scored touchdowns on the ground. This isn’t to bash the defense; the Seahawks generated pressure on the quarterback more efficiently than they had this season. Dunlap had three tackles for loss and two QB hits. Adams in his return put together 1.5 sacks, two TFLs and three QB hits. Jarran Reed picked up 2.5 sacks. Both starting linebackers in K.J. Wright and Wagner had sacks of their own. Meanwhile, the corners got torched. They were on islands and got punished by Buffalo’s incredible passing game.

This second loss in three weeks doesn’t feel like the end. The Seahawks have proved that they’re an incredible team, and maybe their gameplan just faltered against the Bills. Russ’ four turnovers are a statistical anomaly in his track record of being nearly perfect at protecting the football. Defensively, they have the talent. Everyone needs to be better, from the players to the coordinator Ken Norton Jr. to Pete Carroll himself. They were not prepared for the Bills to air it out which borders on gross levels of incompetence. Players are coming back from injury and they have some relatively easy games going forwards with the Rams, Eagles and Giants all in the next four games.