The Seattle Seahawks lost to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night (Nov. 20), coming up short against the defending NFC champions. The injuries on defense were just too much for the Seahawks to overcome, as the team fell 34-31 in what ended up becoming an offensive shootout. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson did everything he could to keep the team in the game, but it just wasn’t enough in the end.

With seven seconds left on the clock, rather than allow the offense to move the ball farther down the field, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll opted to have Blair Walsh kick a 52-yard field goal.

It would have been his longest field goal of the season, but the kick came up just short of tying the game and sending it to overtime. The fact that it was dead center led to a lot of Seahawks fans getting very frustrated with the outcome.

Seahawks didn’t lose because of Walsh

Though social media has been very hard on Blair Walsh following the loss to the Atlanta Falcons, it wasn’t his fault that the Seattle Seahawks came up short. The defense could have played better, Russell Wilson could have taken better care of the ball, the coaches could have made better play calls, the offensive line could have blocked better, and the receivers could have caught more balls. It’s also important to remember how terrible the running game was (again).

The trio of J.D. McKissic, Mike Davis, and Eddie Lacy finished with just 50 rushing yards on 16 carries. They couldn’t get the ball in the end zone on various attempts, forcing the Seahawks to kick a field goal early and then giving Pete Carroll an opportunity to call for a fake field goal attempt. The fake ended very badly and had the Seahawks simply gone for a field goal, it could have changed the complexity of the entire game.

Instead, Blair Walsh was put in a difficult position, where the Seahawks weren’t even guaranteed to win had he made the difficult kick.

Seahawks in the running for NFC West title

The Los Angeles Rams lost to the Minnesota Vikings this weekend, giving the Seattle Seahawks a shot at catching them for first place in the NFC West.

The Seahawks blew that opportunity against the Falcons, but it would be incorrect to state that this wasn’t a good team that just beat them. The Falcons are the defending NFC champions and now hold a playoff spot in the Wild Card race. They aren’t simply a push-over and there is no shame in losing a game to them.

In Week 12, the Seahawks play the San Francisco 49ers and the Rams play the New Orleans Saints. This could be another opportunity for the Seahawks to catch the Rams. If the Seahawks beat the 49ers and the Saints beat the Rams, then suddenly a first-round playoff game at CenturyLink Field is back on the table. Sure, it would have been nice for the team to beat the Falcons, but the Seahawks still control their own destiny in the race to win another NFC West title.