So, the Seahawks got lit up pretty good against the 49ers on Saturday, didn’t they?
I mean, losing the game to a final score of 23-41 with a final touchdown coming in garage time should leave a sour taste in any player and fan’s mouth. It should sting even more knowing that at the halftime, Seattle actually held the lead, 17-16, and looked like the team with better momentum. That second half must have surely been bad football for the Hawks.
Well, yeah. It was pretty awful. The defense stopped tackling and covering, and while the Seattle was able to continue moving the ball offensively, Geno Smith fumbled the ball in the red zone on a strip sack, and then later threw an interception when everyone on the sidelines and stands knew Seattle had to pass to catchup. Both turnovers led to 49er points that kept getting piled on, and so forth, and so on. Thus, we have this final score.
This essentially was the game, and really, I’m kinda alright with it. Let this game be a learning experience for this young team, and this quarterback who hasn’t been a regular starter in this league since 2014.
The truth of the matter is that the San Fransisco 49ers are a bunch of booger eaters, as are most of their fans who aren’t my friends or extended family members. Nick Bosa is a booger eater supreme, but he is also an incredibly talented booger eater, and the best at his position. So are a bunch of his booger eating buddies, like booger eating Deebo Samuel, and booger eating George Kittle, and booger eating Fred Warner. Seattle went down to Santa Clara and give this game a good fight for a half of football, and they lost to a superior, booger eating team. It’s that simple.
The 49ers have superior offensive and defensive lines to go along with the many top end talents they have at all the skill positions, and they have a bright young rookie quarterback who is making football look easy. Frankly, this should be a team playing in a championship, and Seattle has a lot of work to do to get closer towards their level.
While the reality is that while it might take Seattle a couple more seasons to be able to truly match San Fransisco, they are most definitely off to a fast start. In fact, I’m more excited about this coming offseason than maybe I have been since I became a fan in the early 1980’s.
Seattle is blessed with having found a pro bowl worthy quarterback in Geno Smith who has stated that he wants to remain in Seattle and finish his career here, and they hold nine picks in the 2023 draft to which they can further construct their roster with. One of those picks is the fifth overall, and the pick after that is 20th overall. Seattle is a rare playoff caliber team in position to draft a player 5th overall, and that should make fans of a lot of other teams fairly envious.
This is why this sort of thumping the 49ers gave us isn’t overly upsetting for me. San Francisco is superior, and let them eat their cake. They are set up to win now, but will be tighter against their salary cap in 2023 with a lot of players set to enter free agency. Much like the Rams last year, they could be a team that wins it all in February, only to lose key players in free agency in March, and get ravaged by the injury bugs next season.
For me, the plan for Seattle should be pretty straight forward. Figure out a way to keep Geno Smith here longer term, and use that high end draft capital to better fill it out around him. There’s other players set to enter free agency for Seattle that I believe they need to consider keeping, as well, like Jason Myers, Ryan Neal, and probably Cody Barton, but they need to keep Geno, especially if Pete Carroll isn’t leaving anytime soon (which, let’s face it, he likely isn’t).
I will write a more comprehensive piece about how I think their offseason should go down in the following days, but this is a sneak peak at it. Keep Geno and a few other guys, dip your toes in free agency on the offensive line (if you can), but build most of it through the draft.
As for this team this year, I feel like they met their natural conclusion. They were talented enough to be a middling team who got surprisingly good play at quarterback, and they found themselves as the seventh seeded playoff team in the NFC. They were basically the inverse of the 2011 Seahawks; where this time around the offense was actually pretty good, but the defense was largely a hot mess.
A lot of crap is also being made right now about the officiating that occurred in the season finale against the Rams that helped Seattle win that game, but screw those for making a stink about it. Bad officiating that helped Seattle against the Rams made up for some of the bad officiating that hurt Seattle earlier in the season like it did during the game against the Raiders. What comes around, goes around.
All in all, I am proud of this team, and had more fun as a fan this year than I’ve had in a long while. It was fun watching them grossly exceed many expectations and prove many doubters wrong. It’s fun watching blow hards like Colin Cowherd and his doofus buddies look like idiots when it comes to Seattle.
After thirteen years in this league, it’s stunning to me the amount of people who cover the NFL still don’t understand Pete Carroll and his culture building ways. Ten playoff appearances now in thirteen seasons should cement just how special this dude is as a coach, and at age 71 he most definitely still has it.
But he still has a lot of work to do. The two biggest offseason priorities must be to settle the quarterback position, and fix that defense either by scheme or talent, but probably by both.
Also, in my opinion, Carroll needs to continue getting back to his DNA on both sides of the ball. Getting beat like this by the 49ers can help towards getting him there. Their defense is modeled after his infamous 4-3 one that was the league leading defense for four seasons in a row and won a Super Bowl. Their offense is all about running the ball and getting smart point guard style quarterback play.
This can be the Seattle Seahawks in 2023 and beyond. This mission is there for the undertaking should Carroll choose to accept it.
I suspect he will, and I’m very excited to see it unfold.