It’s a wrap! The Seattle Seahawks have officially concluded the 2020 regular season with a 26-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers . . . in Glendale, AZ. It is the first time since 2017 the Seahawks have swept the 49ers, and have now won 12 of the last 14 games against San Francisco.
In typical Seahawks fashion, Seattle made it about as difficult as possible. Despite leading this team 30-7 in Week 8, the Seahawks found themselves down 16-6 to start the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks turned on the jets late, and scored three touchdowns of their own to win their 12th game of the season and finalize their postseason position. The Seahawks have finished 12-4 for the third time in franchise history, with the other two occasions happening in 1984 and 2014, which ended with a trip to Super Bowl XLIX.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. Here are two studs and two duds from the Week 17 revenge over the Niners.
No. 1 studs: Record-setting receivers
Records were falling left and right for Seattle’s receiving corps on Sunday afternoon. Both Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf had a day to remember in the annals of Seahawks history. Tyler Lockett hauled in 12 receptions for 90-yards and the eventual game-winning touchdown. Lockett officially set the Seahawks-single season reception record with 100 catches, shattering Bobby Engram’s mark set in 2007. Glendale, AZ has become quite the home away from home for Lockett, as he finished the season with 27 receptions for 290 yards and five touchdowns. Not to be outdone, DK Metcalf made history as well at State Farm Stadium. Metcalf only had 21 yards, but it was more than enough to break the legendary Steve Largent’s record for most receiving yards in a single Seahawks season. Anytime you break a 35-year-old record – especially one set by Steve Largent – lands you on the Studs list. Also, Metcalf and Lockett become the first Seahawks receiver duo to both finish with 1,000+ yards in the same season since Brian Blades and Joey Galloway in 1995. Interestingly enough, 2020 and 1995 are the only two seasons in the 45-year history of the Seahawks with two 1,000+ yard receivers.
No. 1 dud: Home-field advantage hopes
Going into Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks had a slim, but legitimate, chance at claiming the No. 1 Seed in the NFC Playoffs. This would have ensured a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Seahawks had to beat the 49ers, but also get some help from the Bears and Panthers. In order for Seattle to get the No. 1 Seed, Chicago and Carolina needed to upset Green Bay and New Orleans, respectively. Instead, the Bears and Panthers both laid fairly large eggs on Sunday afternoon. New Orleans creamed Carolina 33-7, and Green Bay predictably cruised past Chicago to the tune of 35-16. Now the Seahawks are locked into the No. 3 Seed in the playoffs and will host the Los Angeles Rams for the second time in two weeks.
No. 2 stud: Benson Mayowa
Perhaps the most unheralded acquisition of the offseason has been defensive end Benson Mayowa. Starting his career as an undrafted free agent with the Seahawks in 2013, Mayowa has been a journeyman throughout his career. With stints in Oakland, Dallas, and Arizona, Mayowa has been a player constantly in transition. In 2020, the Seahawks brought Mayowa home and he has rewarded them in kind. Although his play has hardly made the front page news every week, he’s been a valuable contributor to Seattle’s defensive line. On Sunday against the Niners, Mayowa recorded two sacks for 20 yards lost, one tackle for a loss, and forced a fumble in a crucial moment. With Seattle leading 19-16, Mayowa forced a fumble on San Francisco’s second play of the drive, which was recovered by the Seahawks and led to an insurmountable 26-16 lead three plays later.
No. 2 dud: Russell Wilson
Ironically, Russell Wilson’s best statistical year might arguably be his worst season yet. Aided heavily by a strong start to the 2020 campaign, Wilson has been mediocre at best – and downright awful at worst – for weeks now. Yes, weeks. As in plural. Against the Niners, Wilson completed only 20 of 36 passes for only 181 yards and two touchdowns. His 55.6 completion percentage against a depleted San Francisco defense is hardly inspiring moving forward. Since Seattle’s Week 9 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Wilson has only thrown more than a single touchdown pass in a game twice – with one of those games coming against the miserable Jets. For whatever reason, something seems to be dramatically off with Wilson this second half of the season as his play isn’t making any 12th Man confident.