Seahawks Steamrolled 41-23 by San Francisco in NFC Wild Card

Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks season came to an end on Saturday afternoon, in a crushing 41-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Levi Stadium in the NFC Wild Card. The Seahawks needed to play a near-perfect game to upset the 49ers. After a disciplined first half, turnovers and penalties ultimately proved too much to overcome against a dominant 49ers team.  

The Seahawks actually hung with San Francisco for the majority of the game. Still, things started to unravel mid-way through the third quarter when a lost fumble and an interception allowed the 49ers to really take command. 

San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy was impressive in his first career playoff start, throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Deebo Samuel looked healthy in his second game back from a knee injury, snagging six catches for 133 yards and a touchdown, while running back Christian McCaffrey tacked on 136 all-purpose yards and a receiving touchdown. San Francisco showed why they are favorites to make a run to the super bowl, flashing creative play calls and relying on some of the best offensive weapons in football.

Despite the loss, Seahawks wideout DK Metcalf had a remarkable day, catching 10 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. His first score came on a beautifully thrown ball from Geno Smith which gave the Seahawks an early 14-13 lead. Smith looked for Metcalf early and often, as Seattle struggled to get their running game going against San Francisco’s elite defensive front. 

Geno Smith finished the game 25 of 35, for 253 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also lost a fumble.

After the game, Smith said he wanted to finish his career in Seattle.

“I want to be here. The town, the city, the team, coach Caroll, the organization, they all embraced me” said Smith post-game.

“I was a guy who probably could’ve been out of the league- they embraced me, and I want to repay them for that.” 

When asked if he expected to be back next season, Smith responded, “I do.”

Smith managed to set a new single-season passing record for the Seahawks in 2022, finishing the regular season with 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions- all career highs for the veteran quarterback.

Seahawks players might say otherwise, but Seattle’s season as a whole has been widely viewed as a success. The emergence of Geno Smith as a pro-bowl quarterback is something few would have predicted before the season. His leadership and competitive mentality were sorely needed to establish the identity of this team, especially after the departure of team captains Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson last offseason. Smith is a large reason the Seahawks finished the regular season 9-8, and it will be exciting to see what the team decides to do with him this offseason.

Meanwhile Kenneth Walker III and Tariq Woolen will both certainly be in the conversation for the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards. Walker, along with wide receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are the first trio of Seahawks to each finish with 1,000 yards of offense in a single season since 1995.

The Seahawks will have the 5th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which will occur in Kansas City starting on April 27. Seattle is poised to have three picks in the top 40, with a very realistic chance to build on last year’s tremendous rookie class. After seeing what this team was capable of putting together this season, it’s safe to say expectations will be even higher for the team in 2023.