Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 16-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Los Angeles Coliseum:
This was not a particularly good showing by Seattle’s offense. Quarterback Russell Wilson had an uncharacteristically off afternoon (76.2 quarterback rating), including throwing a bad interception deep in Rams territory as he found himself regularly under pressure. Seattle’s running game was once again non-existent, with just 62 yards on 25 carries as neither Eddie Lacy nor Thomas Rawls was able to gain much traction. The field goal that made it a six-point game and forced Los Angeles to go for a touchdown at the end was all because of the defense.
Yes, the Seahawks gave up yardage. However, Seattle’s defense forced four turnovers, put the shackles on Rams star running back Todd Gurley (just 43 yards on 14 carries after coming into the game second in the league in rushing), gave up just three points from the five times Los Angeles reached the red zone, and free safety Earl Thomas’ last-ditch forced fumble at the goal line on the Rams’ first possession may just have saved the game for the Seahawks. Oh, and it came against a Los Angeles team that came in averaging an NFL-high 35.5 points per game.
Seattle’s special teams did everything they needed to do to help the Seahawks win the game. Kicker Blair Walsh made all three of his field-goal attempts, including a pair of long ones. Punter Jon Ryan twice dropped punts inside the 10 that pinned the Rams deep in their own territory. And Seattle even came up with a field position-changing turnover when the Seahawks recovered a muffed punt by Los Angeles return man Tavon Austin.
This one wasn’t much about coaching. Seattle dialed up a trick play that backfired and forced the defense quickly back onto the field, but that was as much about execution as it was play calling. The Seahawks were finally able to get the ball to tight end Jimmy Graham in a one-one-one situation against a shorter defensive back near the goal line, resulting in the Seattle’s lone touchdown. But the best call the staff made was putting the defense on the field and letting it do its thing.
This was an important victory for the Seahawks. A loss would have put Seattle two games behind the Rams in the NFC West standings and left observers wondering whether they were watching a divisional changing of the guard. But now the Seahawks are tied for first, have their first victory on the road, and have their first win against a decent team. All of that allows Seattle to head into its bye week in a positive frame of mind.
Nick Patterson, Herald writer