'The line could prevent the Seahawks from contending': What the national media are saying

SEATTLE - A win is a win is a win, but the Seattle Seahawks' last-minute 12-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers had many in the national media wondering if Pete Carroll's bunch is in trouble heading forward.

The Washington Post's Mark Bullock wrote that the shaky offensive line could be the weak link that prevents Seattle from advancing to its fourth Super Bowl.

While both the 49ers and Packers deserve their share of credit for restricting the Seahawks, there is clearly a troublesome pattern emerging.

The Seahawks’ offense has a major flaw: the offensive line, which has struggled in both pass protection and the run game. Its ineffectiveness has made the Seahawks’ offense stale and predictable, relying on quarterback Russell Wilson to carry the unit with his ability to scramble and extend plays. The line’s issues are nothing new, and could prevent the Seahawks from contending for a Super Bowl.

After Carson, the Seahawks best runner was Wilson, who rushed 12 times for 34 yards while completing 23 of 39 for 198 yards and the touchdown. But the 49ers punished Wilson, sacking him thrice and hitting him 10 times, a few of which just looked painful. The Seahawks offense depends on Wilson’s mobility, and if he continues to absorb double-digit hits every game, he’s risking an injury that could sap his elusiveness. In 2016, Wilson injured his ankle in Week 1, and his lack of mobility seemed to hamper the offense for the entire season. The team is at risk of something similar happening this year, as there’s no way for Seattle to consistently string drives together without Wilson putting his body on the line.

Seattle is one of the many teams this season suffering from terrible offensive line play, but it’s one of the few where every piece outside of its offensive line is good enough to win the Super Bowl. (I’m looking at you, Giants.) Russell Wilson is great at scrambling, but he can’t outrun Seattle’s problems forever.

The improv act by Wilson that saved the game and, maybe, their season, was the Seahawks’ first touchdown of the year. The Seahawks shouldn't be part of a discussion with the likes of the Jaguars, Bills, Bengals, Colts and, yes, 49ers, teams that have have either been barred from the end zone or have only slipped in when games are out of hand.

Except, that’s where the Seahawks are.

The praise is warranted, and possibly overdue. As one league source told PFT, some of Carson’s teammates believed Carson should have been the guy all along.