How The Seattle Seahawks Made It Past Wild Card Weekend

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 24: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks calls a play against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 24, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Seahawks defeated the Eagles 17-9. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

In the final game of the NFL’s 2019 regular season, the Seattle Seahawks hosted the San Francisco 49ers in a genuine winner-takes-all style showdown. With playoff seeding and divisional bragging rights hanging in the balance, the Hawks had to perform under fire against a most-fearsome foe…and they tragically fell just inches short.

In the ultimate emotional rollercoaster ride for the 12s, this game included both Marshawn Lynch performing a leaping goal-line touchdown (likely his last ever in Seattle) and an egregious goal-line coaching gaff that seemingly redeemed and repeated the Seahawks’ now-infamous Super Bowl blunder in one night.

With their win, the 49ers earned a BYE week to rest-up while the loss sent the Hawks across the country to face the NFC East champs, the 7-9 and Philadelphia Eagles. And they took care of business in typical Seahawks fashion.

Against the banged-up Eagles, Russell Wilson appeared locked-in and fearsome. He delivered 18 of 30 throws for 325 yards and a dazzling touchdown, as well as leading the team with 45 yards on the ground. But rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was the star of the show, notching 7 catches for 160 yards (a record for a rookie in the playoffs) and hauling in the previously mentioned dazzling touchdown to put the game away.

As a fun aside, when asked about what impresses him most about Metcalf, the always entertaining Lynch said: “That he a big ass dude who can move like that.” Which just about says it all.

Defensively, the Seahawks caught a few breaks, none more impactful than Carson Wentz being removed from the game after a hit put him in the concussion protocol. Facing the backup QB, Josh McCown, the Hawks were able to take advantage of his limitations and keep the Eagles’ offense contained both through the air and on the ground.

In a win-or-go-home game, the Seahawks got the all-important win and punched their ticket to the next round of the playoffs. And due to the Minnesota Vikings stealing a shocking win from the New Orleans Saints, the Hawks will travel north to play the Green Bay Packers at legendary Lambeau Field.

While I was personally hoping for a 49ers rematch this upcoming weekend, I’ll have to be patiently optimistic that the Hawks will beat the Packers and the Vikings will lose to the 49ers, sending these west coast rivals into a head-to-head NFC Championship showdown. But, there’s a lot of football to go before that. (fingers crossed, though, for real)

The Packers—who were gifted their BYE when the Hawks lost to the 49ers in week 17—present a genuine threat to the Seahawks. From Aaron Rodgers, their future-hall-of-fame quarterback who extends plays and keeps his team’s hopes afloat almost as well as Wilson to their potent air and ground weapons, Davante Adams and Aaron Jones, this team looks legit and has something to prove.

In a poetic turn, the NFC West will throw down with the NFC North, and both matchups will be teams playing against themselves to a degree.

For the Vikings at 49ers, both teams feature heavy running attacks, two good pass-catchers, strong defenses, and quarterbacks who’ve been asked less to win and more to not lose. I’d be surprised if the Vikings take this one, but I didn’t anticipate them knocking off the Saints, either, so who knows.

For the Seahawks at Packers, both teams feature extraordinary quarterbacks, one (or two) dependable receivers, a desire to run the ball, and bend-but-don’t-break defenses. This is going to be a real test for the Hawks to overcome, and they’ll either need to establish the running attack that eluded them in Philadelphia or double down on the Metcalf/Lockett show, fully unleashing Wilson’s ability to deliver the prettiest deep ball in the NFL.

Lastly, we need to acknowledge Wilson’s MVP-caliber season. He’s not going to win the actual award, as it’s practically sitting in Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s locker, but with 12 members of the Ravens being selected to the Pro-Bowl and only Wilson and Bobby Wagner being selected from the Hawks, it’s not hard to see how much more Wilson has had to do with less…making him the ‘Most Valuable Player’ to me.

Regardless, Wilson is an amazing football player and he will need to play up-to and far-beyond that level to beat the Packers and pull this team into the Divisional Round of the playoffs. We’ll all have to wait until Sunday afternoon to see if he’s able to unveil yet another magic trick.

Go Hawks!

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About Jon Aiken 80 Articles
Born and raised in Seattle, Jon developed a deep love for the Mariners and Seahawks and continues to watch, analyze, and discuss them on a daily basis. As a professional advertising copywriter, the blending of these two loves (sports/words) seemed like a natural creative evolution. He recently moved south to Tacoma, fully embracing his new hometeam, the Rainers.