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Seahawks Looking To Build Off Last Week's Offensive Success

The Seahawks had one of their best offensive performances of the season in last week’s loss to Dallas; now they’ll try to carry that momentum into this week’s game.


The disparity between the Seahawks' last two offensive performances is stark.

Facing the 49ers on Thanksgiving with an injured quarterback who barely practiced in the leadup to the game, the Seahawks managed just 220 yards, 14 first downs, Smith was sacked six times, and Seattle didn't score an offensive touchdown.

The Seahawks unfortunately came up short again last week in Dallas, but the offense came out on fire against another of the NFL's top defenses. Seattle scored five offensive touchdowns, its most of the season, including three touchdown passes from Smith, who was not sacked in the game, the Seahawks went a season-best 9-14 on third down, gained 406 yards, and didn't punt in the game.

The question now is whether or not the Seahawks offense can look more like the group that caught fire in Dallas than the one that couldn't find the end zone against the 49ers, and do so against that same San Francisco defense that gave them so much trouble two weeks ago.

"There was a lot of positives in that game, and our ability to convert on third down, you could see," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "Look at the difference in the game. It was a fantastic start, I think we were (9 of 14), which is great stuff. It allowed us to have long drives, sustaining opportunities with the ball, all of those things. That's a real positive for us. We set our sights on producing a really good outing last week and it showed up, and everything that we tried to get done, basically got done. It's 1:43 left, down by a touchdown, and you got to go. It came right down to that. Just like we did in the first half, we expected to do that in second half as well, and then we got stalled in third-and-two and fourth-and-two unfortunately. It was a fantastic game in a lot of ways. A lot of respect to them, they're a really good team. We went nose-to-nose in a good way."

While the opponent is different and the game plan will change, to some extent, as a result of that, the Seahawks believe that a lot of what they did better in Dallas can be carried over moving forward.

"I think just overall, if you look at the way we played, just the effort we played with, the intent that we broke the huddle with, just the way that the receivers ran and caught the ball, the protection, anytime you're scoring a lot of points, that's something that you want to build on," said Smith, who threw for 334 yards and three scores, adding another touchdown on the ground. "For us, we know that each game is going to be different, every game is a different game. You get a new set of downs, and we have to focus on executing one play at a time. We can build on it, but we can't allow that to let us get complacent. We have to go out there and we have to earn it every single time."

A big difference for Smith and the offense was the way he was getting the ball out of hands more quickly than in previous games, particularly in Week 13 when the 49ers piled up six sacks. The Cowboys didn't record a sack on Smith last week not because their talented pass rushers weren't generating pressure, but rather because the ball was out of his hands before that pressure could result in a sack. 

"I think it made a great difference," Smith said of the quick passing game. "To not really give up any sacks with the amount of pressure they were getting with Micah Parsons and (DeMarcus) Lawrence and all of those guys, just to be able to get the ball out speaks volumes to the play calling, to the receivers, to the O-line protecting, and to us executing overall."

At 6-6 and in the midst of a crowded NFC playoff race, the Seahawks know they need to start piling up wins, and to get that started against a very difficult opponent in the Bay Area, they know that on offense, they'll need to look a lot more like the team that played in Dallas rather than the one that was kept out of the end zone two weeks ago.

"They're a great team, great defense, and what we can expect is for them to be who they are, but we're another great offense," Smith said. "I feel like we've got an opportunity to really prove ourselves, to showcase what we knew all along about ourselves. This is a great test for us. They're a great team and we look forward to the opportunity."

Seahawks practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on Dec. 7, 2023 ahead of their rematch with the 49ers.

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