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Seahawks crashing back to Earth; Packers, Broncos hit bottom?

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THE LOSS: 40-34 (OT) vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Look, Pete Carroll, Geno Smith and these Seahawks deserve a ton of credit for overachieving in 2022. Three months ago, nobody thought they’d head into December with a winning record, much less begin the month in a division race.

After the Seahawks started the season at 6-3, though, expectations in Seattle rose. The conversation around the team changed. The ‘Hawks suddenly had the chance to high-step on the haters all the way to the postseason. But Seattle couldn’t dig out of a 21-3 hole in Week 10, losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London, 21-16. Following a Week 11 bye, Carroll’s crew stumbled again, this time in front of the 12s at Lumen Field.

Seattle lost to Las Vegas in overtime when Josh Jacobs walked it off with a demoralizing, untouched, 86-yard scamper to paydirt. Jacobs finished with 229 rushing yards and 303 total yards from scrimmage — both franchise records for the Raiders. Per NFL Research, he’s the only player since at least 1950 with 225-plus rushing yards and 70-plus receiving yards in a single game. Credit the 24-year-old running back, who’s enjoying one hell of a contract year. But from the Seahawks’ perspective, that’s inexcusable run defense. Over the past two games, Seattle has given up 444 yards on the ground. Just a staggering figure. Adding insult to ineptitude: The Seahawks’ own running game has come to a screeching halt. In the past two games, Kenneth Walker III has totaled 43 yards on 24 carries. That’s 1.8 yards a pop. While the enticing rookie impressively found his way to the end zone twice against the Raiders — showing off his jump-cut ability on a 12-yard touchdown and his raw power on a 14-yard score — Walker’s remaining 10 carries produced exactly zero yards. Not great against a Raiders defense that entered Week 12 ranked 20th against the run and 27th overall.

Sunday’s setback not only knocked Seattle out of a first-place tie with San Francisco atop the NFC West, but the Seahawks now find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. The season isn’t over yet — not by a long shot — but during the Seahawks’ hot start, there was always a feeling that everything was breaking Seattle’s way. Losing to Josh McDaniels at home is a rough way to start the post-bye stretch run.

Image & Story Credit: nfl.com

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