The Seattle Seahawks clinched a playoff spot on Sunday with their 20-15 victory over the NFC East-leading Washington Football Team and, as of Sunday evening, are leading the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West by one game.
For three quarters, Seahawks fans had plenty to feel good about, however, Seattle’s luck got a bit dicey at the end of the game, requiring the team to lean on their 17-point lead to keep them on top.
Let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from the Seahawks’ 10th win of 2020.
The Good: D.J. Reed
Although the defense as a whole deserves a mention, no Seahawk stood out more than Reed, who finished with an interception, a fumble recovery, three pass breakups, and six total tackles in addition to acting as the team's punt returner. The third-year cornerback was activated on Oct. 31 after the Seahawks claimed him off waivers on Aug. 5, and in just seven games has become one of Seattle's most consistent tacklers. Reed now has two interceptions and two fumble recoveries as a Seahawk, making him one of the team's top turnover machines.
The Good: The offensive line
For the second straight game, Seattle's offensive line allowed zero sacks, a notably impressive effort against Washington's vaunted defensive front. The Seahawks also surrendered just two tackles for loss, which contributed to the overall success of the run game (181 yards and one touchdown on 26 total rushes). Next week against the Rams, the Seahawks' front five will have the chance to get revenge against a similarly intimidating unit that got the better of them in Week 10.
The Bad: The fourth quarter
The Seahawks led 20-3 heading into the fourth quarter on Sunday, but as all Seattle fans know, no lead is safe. Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins and former Seahawk J.D. McKissic led two consecutive scoring drives in the last 20 minutes of the game, carving up Seattle's previously speedy defense and quickly pulling within five points. In the end, the Seahawks had to depend upon the substantial lead that they had built in the two-and-a-half quarters, as Russell Wilson threw yet another interception (his 10th in the past nine games) to halt a potential answering score in its tracks. The upcoming postseason will feature plenty of teams that will not let themselves get behind in the way that Washington and the Jets did - the Seahawks will need to figure out how they can keep their collective foot on the gas through all four quarters if they hope to make a deep run.
The Ugly: Running back depth
Although the Seahawks got Rashaad Penny back this week (he rushed for six yards on two carries), disaster struck the running back unit once again when DeeJay Dallas went down late in the first half on a kick return. Dallas left the game on a cart and with an air cast around his lower leg, but coach Pete Carroll said after the game that Dallas' ankle was only sprained, not broken. It remains to be seen how much time Dallas may miss, but losing another running back down the stretch would be hugely disadvantageous for Seattle, who has only just started consistently clicking in the run game this season.