The Seattle Seahawks aren’t a very special team this season, especially on the road. Three time they tried to save the day on third down and avoid a loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, but on all three attempts either Russell Wilson or Marshawn Lynch where stopped, leading to their fourth loss of the season.
While the defense played an integral part in the 24-20 for the Chiefs, marking them as one of the teams to look out for in the AFC, a lot of credit has to go to Jamaal Charles, having an excellent season and doing most of the work on offense. He ran for 159 yards and scored a couple of touchdowns, while Alex Smith was hardly involved offensively, attempting only 16 passes, completing 11 for 108 yards. The Chiefs gained 190 yards on the ground, with De’Anthony Thomas and Knile Davis (scoring a touchdown) contributing a little bit.
Number-wise, things weren’t so bad for the Seahawks. Russell Wilson bounced back from a number of bad an inaccurate performances, completing 20-of-32 for 178 yards and a couple of touchdowns while running for 71 yards. Marshawn Lynch did very well with 124 yards on 24 carries. But each time the Seahawks needed something big from their offense, it wasn’t there. The Chiefs’ defense held them to only 5.23 yards per play, managing to negate the factor of their running backs turning the ball over twice.
The Seahawks attempts on fourth down all came in the fourth quarter. Twice those attempts were stopped – once by an incomplete pass and another by stuffing Lynch right before the line, within two yards of the endzone. The Seahawks had a chance for field goals but didn’t go for it. The final attempt was a fourth-and-18 on their own 20 with 1:13 left in the game, something Wilscon couldn’t convert.
All of the Seahawks losses this season have come in very close games, by nine points or less. That’s the big difference from last year, when they kept winning all of the close ones. It had nothing to do with how good they were – the Super Bowl was a one time thing, not an indicative difference between them and the Denver Broncos. A season comes and goes, but it’s impossible to always have luck on your side. It might hurt to hear, but luck had a lot to do with the Seahawks going all the way last season, appearing in different stages during the season.
The Chiefs don’t win with flash or anything exciting. Andy Reid knows the material he has to work with. He’s not going to try and let Alex Smith bomb his way with deep throws in hope of changing him. Smith is who he is, and keeping things simple is just the formula to get the most out of him and this offense. His passes traveled just 4.3 yards per attempt. Most of the throws are to tight ends and running backs. Only four attempts were targeted at a wide receiver.
Is that kind of formula enough to make the playoffs? It doesn’t only depends on them, but the AFC West isn’t a shut case as it seemed to be two weeks ago. And further than that? The Chiefs have the defense to match anyone else’s in the league, but the offense that does only one or two things, constantly keeping it short, might have trouble down the road. For the Seahawks, with every game that goes by, it seems more and more like a team that without home field advantage won’t be able to do much in the postseason, if they actually make it.