The Redskins have lost six in a row and were desperate to stop their skid into mediocrity. Meanwhile, the Seahawks were a victory away from being able to legitimately consider themselves on a winning streak for the first time in years.
More importantly, the Seahawks were not quite out of playoff contention for a wild card yet—but they would need to run the tables and hope for some help around the league to make it.
Unfortunately, the chips did not fall in Seattle’s favor as they fell to the Redskins 23-17.
Over the next eight slides, we will take a look at some lessons that we learned during the loss to Washington.
Penalties have been one of Seattle’s biggest Achilles heels this season, and the trend continued against the Redskins. Once again they had a number of flags that came at inopportune times.
Many of their penalties, once again, were dead-ball penalties—arguably the worst kind of penalty to take. Others were needless unnecessary roughness-type penalties that cost the Seahawks huge chunks of yardage for no particularly good reason.
The Washington wide receivers averaged over 12 yards per reception, and every one of the eight men who caught a ball had a long catch that was at least 11 yards.
Rex Grossman and the receivers he's throwing to are not so spectacular that those numbers are reasonable, let alone acceptable.
The recurring problem that leads to such inflated numbers is that the Seahawks are having a hard time bringing down receivers after they reel in catches. Their tackles are often ineffective, which gives receivers an opportunity to grind out additional yards.
Roy Helu averaged just under five yards per carry and ran in a touchdown against the Seahawks.
Once again, the main culprit in this statistic is sloppy tackling. There were several plays where the Seahawks should have brought Helu down close to or behind the line of scrimmage and where a second effort by the running back turned a potential loss of yards into a big gain.
Seahawks fans who rightly believe that Leon Washington is a dangerous kick returner will have to wait at least one more week to see him reach the end zone on a special teams play.
It wasn’t for lack of trying, though.
Washington was able to return one kickoff for 53 yards and another for 37 yards. He's elusive to tacklers and fast on his feet—a recipe for success in the return game. It’s just a matter of time before he gets it right.
Did you know that Tarvaris Jackson is playing with a 50 percent torn right pectoral muscle? Anyone who has watched a Seahawks broadcast has probably heard that story over and over again.
It’s a significant factoid, though, when you consider how painful and debilitating that type of injury can be. Jackson is right-handed, which means that his throwing arm is affected.
In that context, Jackson’s two touchdown passes and 46 percent completion rate against the Redskins are, quite frankly, amazing.
It wasn’t enough to give the Seahawks a win.
If they want to stay competitive for the remainder of the season, the Seahawks have got to consider giving Jackson a break and playing Charlie Whitehurst. The team’s odds of getting into the playoffs, even if they win out now, are low, so letting Jackson rest his injury is the right thing to do.
When Sidney Rice signed a $41 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks, there was some hope that he would be able to help revitalize the team’s offense.
For a while, it looked as though he might live up to that reputation. A few weeks ago, however, Rice’s production dropped. He has been held to three receptions or less in every game for the last four weeks, including the one against the Redskins.
That’s not the type of production a team needs from the person who is supposed to be their top receiver.
Marshawn Lynch was able to pick up where Tarvaris Jackson was not able to contribute to his team by once again being a force to be reckoned with on the ground.
He ran for 111 yards on 24 carries, coming close to splitting the touches with Jackson down the middle.
He also caught a pass for a touchdown to keep the Seahawks in the game.
Nobody can accuse Red Bryant of holding back on the field against the Redskins. His name may not have come up much on the field in terms of tackles and assists, but he contributed to his team in a much more tangible way on special teams.
After blocking a field goal attempt early in the game, Bryant later got his hand on a point after attempt when the Redskins pulled ahead.
Thanks to Bryant, the Seahawks could have tied the game with a field goal on their next possession instead of needing a touchdown.
It's unfortunate that the offense could not keep up their end of the bargain, particularly on the extra-point block.