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Monday Round-Up: Media Reactions To Seahawks' 41-23 NFC Wild Card Loss To The San Francisco 49ers

Local and national media react to Seattle's 41-23 NFC Wild Card defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

round up jan 16

Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Monday, January 16 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

Media Reactions To Seahawks' Wild Card Loss To 49ers

All good things must come to an end, and after a rollercoaster season that ended in a playoff berth, there is a bright future despite Saturday’s loss. In Saturday's NFC Wild Card matchup, the Seahawks fell 41-23 to the San Francisco 49ers on the road. After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, Seattle outscored San Francisco 17-6 in the second to take a one-point lead at halftime. After failing to score in the third quarter, the Seahawks defense couldn't stop an 18-point fourth quarter for the 49ers that sent Seattle home in defeat.

Seattle quarterback Geno Smith closed out his first season as a starter since 2014 by completing 25-35 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Both scores went to wideout DK Metcalf. The first came in the second quarter on a 50-yard bomb from Smith, as Metcalf beat 49ers corner Charvarius Ward deep to take the lead. The score is Metcalf’s third touchdown reception of 50-or-more yards in the playoffs, tied for second most in league history.

Rookie running back Kenneth Walker III scored the first playoff touchdown of his career Saturday, giving Seattle its first points of the contest. On 15 carries, Walker rushed for 63 yards against a stifling San Francisco front-seven that sacked Smith three times.

San Francisco's high-powered offense controlled the time of possession (32 minutes), with a balanced attack through the air and on the ground. Running back Christian McCaffrey rushed for 119 yards on 15 carries, scoring a receiving touchdown. Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy evaded Seattle's pass rush, being sacked once. The Iowa State alum completed 18-30 passes for 332 yards for 3 touchdowns. Wideout Deebo Samuel and running back Elijah Mitchell were the recipients of Purdy's other two scores as San Francisco put up over 500 yards of total offense.

Coach Pete Carroll discussed the tough loss and the valiant effort from the team on the road.

"This was a really frustrating day for us in that we really had a shot at putting this game away on our end of it," said Carroll. "And we could have done it today. It was a fantastic end of the second quarter to get us ahead. Great kick. Down 10-0 on the road, they're going crazy, and our guys just bounced right back into it. Put us ahead by the time we're done at halftime and we felt great about it. We really felt like we had done some things we could fix and we could play a better second half. We go through the third quarter 23-17 and it's there. It's there to be had. They did some really good stuff. They've got good players and a good team, and I give them all the credit. I thought [Head Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] did a fantastic job, but we had our shot. So, the suddenness of this finish is just what's so striking right now, that we are all of a sudden done. We weren't thinking that way. We were thinking something good was going to happen, we were going to knock these guys off and we were going to keep going. Of all the stuff that has to do with playoffs, this is the biggest obvious factor that's different and unique, that you're playing for something. All the hype, everything building and going crazy, and all of a sudden you have to go home. What has happened during the course of this season has been a tremendous amount of progress that we've made. We've made so much growth and there's so much yet to occur here in the next turnaround. As we get to come back for this next season, all of these young guys are going to see the world totally differently than they see it right now. They're going to be amazed how much they didn't know in their first season of playing NFL football. I'm not dwelling on the negative part. I'm going to focus on what's coming and that's how we've talked in the locker room. There's future, there's all kinds of promise and there's all kinds of cool things that are going to occur here as we bounce back and get back on track for another season. But, really disappointed that we had it. We had such a good opportunity today. You all felt it and I know you could tell, and it was really exciting. It was a great finish Jason [Meyers] hitting the kick right at halftime to give us that assurance that yeah, we can come back and we can be in this thing and we're for real. But they did a nice job in the second half."

Despite the season ending for the 9-8 Seahawks, there is much to be positive about. Namely, Smith's eagerness to get back under center for the team next season, despite his looming free agency. Carroll discussed the year his quarterback had and what's next to come.

"Oh he's for real," said Carroll. "Geno's the real deal. He can do all of the things that a terrific quarterback does. His movement was probably more of a surprise, that he was so efficient with his movement. He could always throw it, but his ability to stay poised and calm throughout the season with all of the hype and the buildup, he could've gone south five different times and he didn't. He never wavered. His leadership really stood out. His voice in the locker room, his voice with our players, he said the right stuff all year. Right up until today. It's a great story. It's a great story for a lot of players in other sports, wherever you want to go. If you keep hanging in there, you believe in yourself and you don't let the messaging outside of you affect who you are and what you are, you'll find your best. I think Geno's found his best and he's ready to come back and go again. He had an unbelievably great season for us."

There isn't much solace in being eliminated from the playoffs in the moment, but with a solid foundation to build on including a standout 2022 draft class - the sky's the limit for Seattle in 2023.

Here's what Pacific Northwest and national media had to say following the game:

Stacy Rost of Seattle Sports 710AM: Rost: How the Seahawks put a new twist on an old story.

Brandon Gustafson of Seattle Sports 710AM: Surprising Seahawks' weak points exposed in season-ending loss.

Mike D'Abate of Sports Illustrated: Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III: Future of Franchise?

Brent Stecker of Seattle Sports 710AM: They're in: Seahawks make playoffs — and get a top 5 pick.

Social Post Of The Day

Thanks to the best fans in football for help making this a memorable season.

Check out the best sights from the sidelines and locker room following the Seahawks' Wild Card game vs. the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on January 14, 2023.

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