The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Washington Football Team by a score of 20-15 and improved to 10-4 on the season while simultaneously clinching a postseason berth. Here are five takeaways from the game.
Defense and running game win the day
Dec 20, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Alton Robinson (98) and Seahawks cornerback Jayson Stanley (29) in the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
This is the fourth consecutive game in which the Seahawks have held an opposing team to under 20 points, and despite their easy stretch of schedule, that is commendable considering this defense was on pace to shatter just about every negative defensive record early in the season. They held Washington to three points in as many quarters and made a final stand to lift Seattle to their 10th win of the season and a playoff berth. The running game accumulated 181 rushing yards against Washington’s stout run defense and the players involved deserve credit as well.
Big start to second half
Dec 20, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde (30) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Washington Football Team during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The Seahawks had a 13-3 lead at halftime. Early in the second half, Carlos Hyde broke off a 50-yard touchdown run to set the tone and increase the Seahawks’ lead to 20-3. It was the longest rush by a Seahawks player all season. Seattle proceeded to dominate through the third quarter and it looked like the game was all but over. Except . . .
Momentum shift in the 4th quarter
Dec 20, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic is congratulated by quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. (7) after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Washington began to cut into Seattle’s lead with a touchdown, although Dustin Hopkins missed the extra point. Then, Montez Sweat intercepted a Wilson pass on a tip drill, and Washington capitalized with a touchdown pass to former Seahawk J.D. McKissic to make the score 20-15. It suddenly became a game and the Seahawks were faced with the possibility of suffering another humiliating loss to a seemingly inferior opponent. The offense simply died, leaving the defense to make that final stand.
FedEx Field is awful
Dec 20, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) dives for yardage as Washington Football Team cornerback Ronald Darby (23) and Washington Football Team free safety Jeremy Reaves (39) make the. Tackle in the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
This cannot be overstated. DK Metcalf had a nasty scare, and Deejay Dallas and Shaquill Griffin suffered injuries largely due to the field conditions. Dallas’ injury may have been the only serious one, but it must be reiterated that this is the worst field in the NFL, and the Seahawks are fortunate they escaped it largely unscathed.
Seattle must improve at making adjustments and fast
Dec 20, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end L.J. Collier (91) sacks Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. (7) in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Far too often, the Seahawks let inferior teams claw their way back into the game and threaten their chances of victory. Opponents adjust their game plans to usually positive results, while the Seahawks fail to adapt. This happened once again against Washington, and they just cannot afford these late breakdowns anymore.