The Seahawks started Sunday's game on a high note, with Quandre Diggs intercepting Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on the first play from scrimmage, a turnover that led to an eventual Seahawks touchdown.
Sunday's game concluded, however, in about the most painful way possible, with Las Vegas running back Josh Jacobs sprinting 86 yards for a game-ending touchdown that gave the Raiders a 40-34 lead. And in between those two big plays, there were plenty of moments in which the Seahawks played well, but far too many others that cost them a win.
From turnovers on offense to struggles on defense to stop the run—Jacobs' 229 rushing yards were the most ever for a Seahawks opponent—to the inability to move the ball in overtime with a chance to win the game, there were plenty of reasons for the Seahawks to feel like they let a winnable game slip away.
"That's a terribly frustrating game for us," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "We had our chances to win the football game—they're obvious and so clear. To give them the opportunity to stay in there and hang in there, those guys kept hanging.
"You can look at both ways, everybody was involved in this thing. We're not going to say a whole lot about it, we're not going into a bunch of detail; we'll deal with it in the next couple of days."
While Carroll heaped plenty of praise on Jacobs, who also finished with 303 total yards, the second most ever by a Seahawks opponent, he also felt like the attention they focused on All-Pro receiver Davante Adams affected their ability to stop the run.
"We gave up way too much in the running game," Carroll said. "We did not play the run worth a darn to get that done. And we didn't rush the passer as well as we needed to either. That's just what happened in this game. I give them credit, they outplayed us and got their win, but it's really frustrating because the game was there to be won."
And just as the Seahawks didn't stop the run when they were on defense, they couldn't get the running game going on offense. Kenneth Walker III had a pair of impressive touchdown runs, scoring from 12 and 14 yards out, but those two runs represented his entire rushing total, as he finished with 26 yards on 14 carries, while the team gained 65 yards on 23 runs, 18 of which came on one Geno Smith scramble.
"Every aspect of our game, we didn't do well enough today," Carroll said "It goes right to me, I'm the one that's got to get this stuff organized so that it fits together and fits right. I'm really disappointed that we're sitting here talking about a game we didn't win, because that was a game we should have won, could have won.
I've got to clean some stuff up, I've got to make sure that things fit well and precisely, that we don't get out of balance with how much we're having to throw the football, how much we're playing for the throwing game on defense. We can balance some stuff out, I've got to help out.
In particular, Carroll was frustrated to see his team beat in the trenches on both sides of the ball when it came to the running game, which was also the case in Seattle's Week 10 loss to Tampa Bay before the bye.
"That's kind of what happened on this day," he said. "It's really disappointing, that's not the way we want to play… That was a problem for us, again. It's old-style ball, and there's nothing new about that at all, it's just that it's different, and we didn't adjust two it in either of the past two weeks."
For the defense, what is particularly frustrating is that, for more than a month, that unit seemed to have fixed a lot of the issues that plagued it early in the season. During a four-game winning streak that ended in Munich two weeks ago, the Seahawks were statistically one of the best defensive teams in the NFL over that month-long span, but now in the past two weeks opponents have had success running the ball and converted at a high rate on third down.
"We have to fix it," said safety Quandre Diggs, whose two first-quarter interceptions led to 10 points for the Seahawks. "Everybody's going to expose it if we don't fix it. We fixed it for a little bit. It showed its head today. At the end of the day, if we don't stop the run, we're not going to be able to do anything. It starts with everybody.
"I thought we fixed it. I just have to look at it. It's not a lack of effort. I think we just have to figure it out again, and figure out that niche that we had for a while there, and get it fixed fast. Because teams are going to see that, and when they see that, you could have run the ball. We have to get those stops. I'm not down on anybody, I'm just saying we have to get those stops. We had some good stops today, and we just have to be more consistent with it."
The good news for the Seahawks is that, at 6-5, they're still very much in contention both in the NFC West and in the playoff hunt overall, but they know games like Sunday's can't keep happening if they're going to be contenders down the stretch.
"I think the biggest thing is you just have to make a decision," said Tyler Lockett, who had a touchdown catch for the fourth straight tame. "Unfortunately, we let this game slip away, but at the end of the day, things are still in our control and it sucks to see what just took place but everything that we want is still right there in front of us. It's not going to be something that's easy. Sometimes in life we all want stuff to be easy to where you don't have to work to the point where it's like you either get it or you don't. For us we just have to be able to go back to the drawing board. I think this was a game to be able to show us that if you want it, you have to take it. No one is going to hand it to you."
Said quarterback Geno Smith, "We can't let it be a snowball effect. Reality is that we're going from the hunter to the hunted. People want to play us. As a young team, we've got to learn to be able to go out there and win those games. That's our next step in the evolution as a really young team. We got to understand the moment, capture the moments, take advantage. I feel like we had plenty of opportunities to go out there and win that game, finish it late, and we just didn't get it done.
"Seeing what we have on this team, I believe we can do a lot of great things. I think everyone else can see that as well. We have to own that, accept that for who we are, because we are great players and we are a great team. We lost two games in a row. It's not the end of the world. We lost one game today. But we got six more ahead of us. Like I said, we got to learn from that because we're going to be in these situations again. I'm really looking forward to that, being in that situation, seeing how we can overcome those things and get back on the winning track."
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.