Only one of the teams on CenturyLink Field this Sunday appeared to have playoff swagger.
It wasn't the Seahawks.
This game was ugly. The officiating was abysmal, but Seattle didn't perform well enough in any phase of the game for this loss to be laid at the feet of the refs. After Chris Carson's hot start, he quickly left the game with the hip and groin injuries that had been plaguing him all week. Seattle's offense didn't get their act together again until the final drive of the game.
That, I suppose, would be the silver lining to take away from a game where Seattle appeared to take a huge step backward. They took a playoff team down to the goal line with an opportunity to score, go for two, and take the game into overtime.
I knew Phillip Rivers was going to be a major challenge for this young defense, but Seattle had absolutely no answers for Ken Wisenhunt's offense. Seattle didn't register a single turnover and they allowed for both a 100+ yard rusher and 100+ yard receiver. Nothing was working.
For the first time this season, I'm going to criticize Brian Schottenheimer's play calling. Once Carson left, the Chargers seemed to figure out Seattle's rushing attack-- but that didn't stop Seattle from insisting upon going to it.
After leading the league in 3rd down efficiency the past few weeks, Seattle finished this game with a disgusting 26% on third downs.
It did seem that Seattle was gearing up for a 4th quarter rally, but that was essentially thwarted when Wilson, the only player not allowed to make mistakes, gave up a costly pick six.
Seattle is by no means out of playoff contention, they're most certainly vying for a Wild Card spot, but they must find a way to consistently improve and not give away games when they're in position to win.
I'm so frustrated with this game, I want to forget about it. We have the Rams next week in LA. Find a way to get it done.