With a 7-6 record, the Seattle Seahawks were suddenly clinging to their hopes of making the playoffs when they hosted the red-hot San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.
It looked like a great opportunity for them to get closer to a playoff spot, not to mention put a dent in the Super Bowl hopes of one of their fiercest divisional rivals.
Instead, Geno Smith and company lost to the 49ers, 21-13, and in doing so, they not only dropped to 7-7, but they also gave up the NFC West title to San Francisco.
There were two Seattle players in particular who needed to produce more in order to get the team a win.
1. Kenneth Walker III
Walker came into Thursday’s contest with solid numbers of 649 rushing yards on 4.7 yards per rush attempt and nine touchdowns.
But the 49ers’ savage defense held him to just 47 yards on 12 attempts, which translated to only 3.9 yards per attempt.
In general, the Seahawks’ run game was as cold as the temperatures at Lumen Field during game time, as they only mustered 70 yards on the ground all night.
2. DK Metcalf
With Seattle’s ground game grounded, its wideouts, particularly Metcalf and Lockett, needed to have big games, but that didn’t happen.
Metcalf, who came into the game with 896 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 contests, was held to just 55 yards on seven catches.
His biggest reception topped out at just 13 yards, which simply wasn’t anything remotely good enough versus the NFL’s best defense.
The 49ers defense is getting under DK Metcalf’s skin 😂😂
— OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers) December 16, 2022
Overall, the Seahawks converted on just four of their 13 third-down situations, and it didn’t help that Smith got sacked three times and hit nine times.