KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Well, the math seems pretty simple for Seattle now after a 24-10 loss Saturday to the Kansas City Chiefs: Win the final two games at home against the Jets and Rams and maybe the playoffs. they can still happen.
But the margin of error for the Seahawks basically disappeared after a Saturday game that was never truly in doubt, as Seattle lost for the fifth time in six games to turn a once-brilliant 6-3 record into a listless 7. -8.
Kansas City scored on three of their first six possessions to take a 17-0 lead late in the first half, and Seattle never got within 14 points the rest of the way.
However, just when the embarrassment seemed to be at first, the Seahawks got tough, forcing three straight Kansas City punts to start the second half and three times driving into Chiefs territory at 34 or closer.
But missing two fourth-down attempts in the second half, and three for the game, as well as an interception by Geno Smith in the end zone meant the Chiefs never really felt uncomfortable.
The last miss was the real killer as the interception came with 7:42 remaining and on a play of second and 12 at the Kansas City 22-yard line with Seattle trailing 17-3.
There seemed to be some confusion as Smith tried to hit Marquise Goodwin down the touchline, but he flicked the ball well over his head, giving Juan Thornhill an easy pick.
The Chiefs, who had gained just 13 yards in 11 plays in the second half to that point, closed out the game with a five-play, 80-yard drive punctuated by a 52-yard catch-and-run by tight end Travis Kelce. . Patrick Mahomes got the TD on a 3-yard run up the right side on third-and-goal, stretching the ball toward the pylon as he went out of bounds.
That made it 24-3 with 4:42 remaining and sent the KC fans happy to the starts and some heat.
Seattle got a touchdown with 2:25 remaining on a 6-yard pass from Smith to Noah Fant. But the Chiefs got the onside kick back, and that was it.
The game started in a temperature of 12 degrees, officially making it the second-coldest game in Seahawks history, behind only the famous minus-six of a wild-card playoff game in Minnesota in 2016.
The only good news of the day came in Carolina, the Panthers beat Detroit. That means Seattle stayed ahead of the Lions 7-8 for the eighth spot in the NFC playoff standings due to the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The Chiefs dominated the first 28 minutes of the game, outscoring the Seahawks 17-0 and outscoring them 181-32 before Seattle finally put together a drive to get on the board.
But that also ended in disappointment when Smith threw incompletions on two passes from the 3-yard line in the waning seconds of the first half, meaning Seattle had to settle for a Jason Myers 22-yard field goal as the game passed. weather. outside.
The Seahawks used a 35-yard pass from Smith to DK Metcalf, as well as three Chiefs penalties, two of them kicked by Metcalf, to get close.
Metcalf nearly got a TD on the drive but couldn’t get both feet in bounds on a catch in the back of the end zone.
While the Chiefs generally moved easily, averaging 5.8 yards per play, they only went 2-for-6 on third downs, one miss coming on a dropped pass that would have gotten a first down, and two others when Mahomes was out. outside. target on the pitches.
But a little slack on the part of the Chiefs was all that kept Seattle close for the first half.
The Seahawks had just 26 rushing yards on 10 first-half carries: 16 on nine from rookie Kenneth Walker III, who played despite not practicing all week because of ankle and back injuries.
The Seahawks didn’t get their first starting down of the game until less than eight minutes left in the second quarter. Seattle had six first downs in the first half, but three came on penalties.
Smith was 10 of 18 for 81 yards in the first half, slowly getting up at one point in the second quarter after a sack. But Smith did not enter the blue medical tent and did not miss a play.
Seattle received the ball first to start the second half. But on a play of 3rd-and-7, Smith decided not to run when it looked like he might have had room to get first and instead tossed up the middle to Marquise Goodwin. Goodwin dove but was unable to catch, forcing Seattle to punt.
But the defense kept Seattle in. The Seahawks moved to 34, 29 and 22 on their next three drives.
The first drive was stopped on a no-gain pass to Colby Parkinson on a play when the penalty on Penny Hart would have negated it anyway.
On the ensuing drive, a 4th-and-9 pass from the 29-yard line went just 7 yards to Laquon Treadwell.
Then came Smith’s interception, and Seattle saw some startling statistical advantages to no avail: The Seahawks outscored the Chiefs 315-289 for the game, keeping the No. 1 offense in the NFL 132 yards below its average and outpacing the Chiefs. 235-116 in the second half.
This story will be updated.