Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 42-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
This was an absolutely putrid performance by Seattle’s offense. The Seahawks managed just 149 yards, the fewest Seattle has had in a game since gaining just 135 in a 14-9 road win over the Rams in 2013. The Seahawks fell behind so quickly they were never able to give their running game a chance. Seattle’s top two receiving threats, receiver Doug Baldwin and tight end Jimmy Graham, combined for two catches for 5 yards. And quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked seven times and committed a crucial turnover in the second quarter. It was a dumpster fire.
In truth, Seattle’s defense wasn’t given much of a chance as Los Angeles’ average starting field position in the first half — when the Rams built a 34-0 lead — was Seattle’s 42-yard line. But that doesn’t excuse the fact Rams running back Todd Gurley was able to do anything he wanted as he rushed 21 times for 152 yards and three touchdowns, and caught a pass for another score. It’s clear all the injuries on defense, with linebacker K.J. Wright joining the scratch list and fellow linebacker Bobby Wagner playing on one hamstring, finally caught up to the Seahawks.
The first-half field-position issues were largely due to poor play on special teams. Los Angeles return man Pharoh Cooper had a field day, accumulating 128 yards on seven punt returns, including a 53-yarder to the Seattle 1-yard line to set up the Rams’ first touchdown, making it 13-0 less than 10 minutes into the game. Punter Jon Ryan hit it long when he needed to be short and hit it short when he needed to be long. And when Seattle finally stopped Cooper, Delano Hill nullified the play by getting penalized — and ejected — for unnecessary roughness.
When mistakes are made in one aspect of the game, that can be put down to execution. But when a team is equally bad in all phases of the game, that’s on the coaches for not having the team prepared to play. The Seahawks were not ready for what Los Angeles came at them with, and it’s not as if the Rams had a game plan any different than expected. And once again the coaches weren’t able to keep their players’ emotions in check, with Hill being ejected and another near fight breaking out.
There’s no salve to ease the sting of the whupping Seattle received at the hands of Los Angeles. So much was riding on this game for the Seahawks. Seattle would have moved back into first place in the NFC West with a victory as the Seahawks would have had the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Rams. Instead, Seattle’s hopes of a division title are all but dashed, and now the Seahawks are going to need some help just to nab a wild-card spot.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer