Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 28-12 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum:
After running back Rashaad Penny was hurt on a promising drive to open the game, the Seahawks’ offense never looked the same. Quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked five times as Seattle was forced out if its comfort zone of controlling the game on the ground for most of the evening. The offense failed in big moments, going three-and-out after the defense’s second interception of the second half and producing no points after a blocked field goal gave the Seahawks a little life. Seattle piled up some yards in garbage time, but when it was all said and done, scored just six points. Not good enough.
After a string of decent performances, this was mostly one to forget for the Seahawks’ defense. The Rams piled up 455 yards and punted just three times. Seattle had zero sacks and applied very little pressure on Rams quarterback Jared Goff. After tight end Gerald Everett carved up the Seahawks for 136 yards in the first meeting, tight end Tyler Higbee accounted for 116 yards in this one. Safety Quandre Diggs did have two interceptions, including a 55-yard pick-six that accounted for Seattle’s lone touchdown of the game, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the numerous other breakdowns against both the pass and run.
It was mostly a positive night for the Seahawks’ special teams. Jason Myers made both of his field-goal attempts and Rasheem Green blocked a Rams field goal. Seattle could have used a big play either in the return game or with a punt block to swing the momentum, but it’s hard to fault the unit with not being able to produce one of those. Myers did miss a point after and David Moore almost lost a fumbled punt, which drops the grade just a bit.
The decision by the Seahawks to stick with their base defense for the majority of the first half despite the Rams having success through the air was baffling. Coach Pete Carroll said Seattle was going to play more nickel defense with the injury to linebacker Mychal Kendricks forcing rookie Cody Barton into his first start. But that never really seemed to materialize early and Los Angeles took full advantage. The Seahawks adjusted in the second half by playing with three safeties, and had some success slowing down the Rams’ passing attack, but it was too little, too late.
In some ways, this game felt inevitable. The Seahawks had averted disaster a number of times this year, so a clunker was bound to happen — and it did. Is the loss a crushing blow? Not really, but the Seahawks failed to capitalize on an opportunity to take control of the No. 1-overall seed in the NFC. The Seahawks will still have plenty to say about how the playoff picture shakes out, with winnable games against the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals the next two weeks before a Week 17 showdown against the 49ers at CenturyLink Field.