The Seahawks returned from the bye week hoping to rediscover the form that led them to a midseason four-game winning streak, but instead, some of the concerns that have cost them in previous losses crept up once again, resulting in a 40-34 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The game started off well for the Seahawks, with Quandre Diggs intercepting a Derek Carr pass on the first play of the game, a turnover that led to a Seattle touchdown, but defensive struggles, paired with two turnovers by the offense, did the Seahawks in, and in a final blow, the Raiders closed it out with an 86-yard Josh Jacobs touchdown run in overtime.
Here are five rapid reactions to Sunday's loss, which dropped Seattle's record to 6-5:
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1. The run defense and third-down issues that were a problem in Munich continued.
After playing really well on defense during a four-game winning streak, the Seahawks struggled to stop the run and to get off the field on third down—and those two things are very much related—during their Week 10 loss to the Buccaneers.
The hope was that those issue were a one-off problem the defense could put behind it after the bye, but against the Raiders on Sunday, Seattle's defense once again struggled to stop the run and to get off the field on third down.
The Seahawks actually did well against Josh Jacobs early in the game, but he broke free for a 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter immediately after a turnover, and that seemed to open the flood gates for the rushing attack, with Jacobs finishing with 229 yards on 33 carries, including the walk-off 86-yard score in overtime. As for third down, the Raiders were 5 for 7 in the first half, and they converted on fourth down after one of those two third-down stops, and they finished the game 8 for 14.
2. The Seahawks couldn't overcome some costly mistakes… And some debatable late-game calls.
Even with the Seahawks struggling to get stops on defense, the game could have felt a lot different had the Seahawks avoided a few self-inflicted errors, particularly in the first half. The Seahawks settled for field goal on two trips to the red zone, one of which can be chalked up to the Raiders doing their job on defense, but on the other red-zone trip, an apparent fourth-down conversion was wiped out by an ineligible man down field penalty on Phil Haynes. Geno Smith was also a bit uncharacteristically loose with the ball early, throwing a near-interception on the first field goal drive, and then throwing an interception later in the second quarter that led to a Raiders touchdown.
The Seahawks also had a second-half turnover that ended a long, promising drive when a miscue between Smith and Kenneth Walker III on a play-fake led to a fumble.
And if all of those Seahawks mistakes weren't enough to do them in, they also were on the wrong end of a couple of debatable calls. First, on what ended up being a game-tying drive for the Raiders, Coby Bryant ripped the ball loose from Jacobs, and after the play officials announced the runner was down by contact. After Pete Carroll threw his challenge flag—replays showed Jacobs' knee didn't hit the ground—officials then announced that the ruling was that the runner's forward progress was stopped, something that isn't reviewable.
On Seattle's ensuing possession with just under two minutes to play, Smith appeared to hit DK Metcalf for a first-down completion near the sideline, but then after a very lengthy review, the call was overturned. On the next play, Smith was sacked, ending the drive.
3. Quandre Diggs' prayers were answered.
Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs has been Seattle's most reliable player when it comes to creating turnovers in recent years, recording five interceptions in each of the past two seasons, and three five games in 2019 after joining the Seahawks in a midseason trade. But 10 games into the 2022 season, Diggs had been close to multiple interceptions, but had yet to get one, leading to a Tweet/prayer during the week in which Diggs offered to give up trash talk if he could get the ball in his hands.
Consider this author skeptical that Diggs will indeed give up trash talk, but it took almost no time for his prayers to be answered, as he intercepted Derek Carr's first pass of the day on Las Vegas' first play from scrimmage, an interception and return that set up a Kenneth Walker III touchdown run.
Later in the first quarter, Cody Barton made a great play in coverage to knock loose a pass intended for Foster Moreau, and Diggs was there to snag the tipped ball for his second interception of the season and of the quarter. That turnover led to a Jason Myers field goal, giving the Seahawks 10 points off Diggs interceptions.
Diggs' two picks were especially impressive considering the Raiders came into the game with a league-low seven turnovers.
4. Kenneth Walker III is a red-zone machine.
Even on a day when Las Vegas' run defense was making things difficult for Kenneth Walker III and Seattle's rushing game, Walker still showed he has a nose for the end zone, scoring on two very impressive runs, one from 12 yards out and another from 14, runs that showed off his speed, agility and power.
On his first score, Walker took a handoff up the middle, ran into traffic, then bounced it outside and outran everybody to the pylon.
Next up, Walker showed off his power on a third-quarter score, powering through multiple defenders—with some help from his linemen, most notably Abraham Lucas—to pick up the final five yards with nearly the entire offense crossing the goal line together in a scrum. The two scores gave Walker nine already this season, all in the past seven games.
5. Maxx Crosby was a problem.
The Seahawks came into the game knowing they had to try to contain Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, who had nine of his team's 13 sacks this season, but they were unable to slow him down. Crosby finished the game with 1.5 sacks, including the one that ended Seattle's final drive in regulation, as well as six quarterback hits.
Check out some of the best action shots from Week 12 vs. the Las Vegas Raiders at Lumen Field on November 27, 2022. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.