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Studs and duds for the Seahawks from the last game of 2023 season

The Seahawks pulled off another dramatic come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter today, this time against the division rival Cardinals. Geno Smith’s late touchdown pass and two-point conversion to Tyler Lockett gave them a 21-20 win, with a little help from a miss by Matt Prater as time expired. While it wasn’t enough to make the playoffs, Seattle does end the 2023 season on a high note.

Here’s our final studs and duds list for the season.

Stud: The running backs

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Seahawks didn’t have much going for them in the desert, but their run game was working. Ken Walker led the way with his streaky and entertaining style, racking up 78 yards on 17 carries (4.6 yards per attempt.) Backup rookie Zach Charbonnet was also effective on the ground, posting 32 yards on five carries and another 28 yards on two clutch catch and runs.

Stud: QB Geno Smith

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Smith had been the hottest quarterback in the league going into today – leading the NFL in QBR since Week 13. However, Smith cooled off in a bad way against Arizona. He was inaccurate most of the game and never really settled into a rhythm with any of his receivers. Smith ended the game just 16/28, with 189 passing yards and two touchdowns. All that said, Smith once again got the job done in the fourth quarter, getting the points he needed for his fifth game-winning drive of the year. No other NFL quarterback was more clutch this season.

Stud: TE Will Dissly

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Seattle had only a couple of pass-catchers who really made a difference in this game. One of them was veteran tight end Will Dissly, who had two big catches, including a go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter. Dissly finished with 46 yards on three receptions.

Stud: WR Tyler Lockett

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The only other Seahawks receiver who came to play was Tyler Lockett, who had an uncharacteristically quiet 2023 season. At least he balled out today, reeling in a few huge catches, including the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion attempt. Lockett had a team-high 71 receiving yards.

Dud: Run defense

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Once again the Seahawks were terrible in run defense. They were frequently out of position to make stops against the run, and when they did their bad tackling popped up again. James Conner went off for a total of 150 rushing yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. As a team, Arizona averaged 5.4 yards per attempt on the ground.

Stud: CB Devon Witherspoon

Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

One exception to the poor performance on defense was that of rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon. Last week Spoon had an awful time trying to tackle but he was much sharper against the Cardinals, making several stops near the line of scrimmage. Witherspoon posted three tackles for a loss and 11 total – second on the team behind Bobby Wagner (15).

Dud: Seahawks coaches

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron put together a pretty uninspired gameplan. If not for Geno Smith’s clutch antics they would have finished with just 13 points against against a defense that came into this week ranked 31st in scoring defense and 32nd in DVOA. On the other side, defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt once again had no answer to stop the run. While they deserve their lumps of coal, these guys are ultimately answerable to their boss who hired them. The disappointing end to the season is the responsibility of head coach Pete Carroll more than any other individual.

Story originally appeared on Seahawks Wire