The San Fransisco 49ers gave the Seattle Seahawks a bit of a gift earlier on Sunday. They had beaten the New Orleans Saints on the road, and all Seattle had to do was defeat the Los Angeles Rams on the road, and they would be in the driver’s seat for the top overall playoff seed in the NFC conference. Seattle just needed to take care of business.
Unfortunately, they did the opposite. In this Sunday night rematch of the Rams, the Seattle Seahawks not only failed to put their best foot forward, they exposed all their warts on national television, and were beaten down by a Rams club built to beat them.
The only silver lining in this stinging defeat is that Seattle can still win the NFC West division if they win out their next three games. They will need to find their footing again. They have a great opportunity to do that against two struggling opponents in the Panthers and Cardinals before they match up with the dominant looking 49ers again. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this game against these Rams was just an outlier to their season, and all will be good by the time that they kickoff against the 49ers in Seattle on December 29th. Otherwise, Seattle is probably looking like a wildcard seed, at best.
Let’s get into it.
There wasn’t a lot of big positives in this game, especially on the defensive side, but Jarran Reed was a solid force inside against the run, and got a few decent pressures on Jared Goff.
Free safety Quandre Diggs had a great game picking off Goff twice and his pick six was the play that kept Seattle in this one until the fourth quarter. He was Seattle’s player of the game without question.
Defensive end Rasheem Green made a great special teams play blocking a field goal that again, gave Seattle an opportunity to stay in the match for a while in the second half.
DK Metcalf had a few really nice grabs against Jalen Ramsey and beat him on a beautiful deep pass down the sideline.
Rookie linebacker Cody Barton had his first start and flashed his speed on the field at times.
Bobby Wagner adjusted his game in the second half and made some nice run stops.
This is Seattle’s first loss since October 20th. After a bad loss like this, it’s a nice thing to remember that just how much they have been winning, despite all the close score victories, and one can easily say that they were due this kinda game.
The team lost running back Rashaad Penny early in the game to a knee injury and I suspect that effected greatly what the offense hoped to do at running back in this game. It will be a tough loss for this club if his injury is serious, and it sounds like it is.
The defense that had been playing much better ball the last few weeks reverted to how they were earlier in the season. Simply put, they were caught flat footed and it wasn’t pretty. There was little pass rush on Jared Goff. Coverage was weak, and Shaquill Griffin seemed to have a particularly rough night. Linebacker KJ Wright looked slow in coverage and against the run. Did I mention how much the pass rush sucked?
The offensive line had a rough night once they fell behind. Germaine Ifedi was getting abused by passer rushers, but he wasn’t alone. Even pro bowl left tackle Duane Brown was giving up pressures.
Russell Wilson wasn’t awful, but he also wasn’t great. It’s tough to criticize him much when he was dealing with that kind of pass rush all night. This game will no doubt muck up his chances for the MVP title, which blows. People will now be pointing to the statistical fact that over the last four games, Russell has thrown 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Fortunately he now faces the Panthers and Cardinals to get right.
Jason Myers missed a point extra, not that it really matters much, but it sucked too.
Penalties were awful for Seattle in this match and at times, it felt like they were beating themselves as much as the Rams were. They started the game with a false start. Rasheem Green was called for an early offsides. DK Metcalf got a stupid personal foul when he was being baited into it by Jalen Ramsey.
Speaking of which, Jalen Ramsey will make the Rams extremely easy to detest. What a jerkface punk that guy is.
Like I said in the opening, even though Seattle lost this game, they can still control their own destiny winning the division by winning out on the remaining three games. How likely that is remains to be seen. It feels like the Rams have suddenly knocked them back down to Earth considerably.
One thing the really stands out to me in all this is just how much the Los Angeles Rams are still built to beat the Seattle Seahawks. They have multiple weapons on offense that can easily find creases in Seattle’s zone defense. Defensively, if you fall behind on them and are forced to pass, they have a generational inside pass rusher mixed with talented edge rushers. Seattle’s offensive line is not equipped to handle that rush which is why they had to stay with the run when they fell so far behind.
Conversely, Seattle is probably not really built to beat the Rams quite yet. In a game in which they had no Ziggy Ansah, Seattle’s so so pass rush was almost non existent. They severely lack depth there. Also, in a night that they had no Mychal Kendricks at linebacker, Seattle felt considerably slower on the field. I hate to say this because this is just one game, but this felt like a loss where Seattle got exposed.
In order for Seattle to beat quality teams they have got to stay on schedule on offense and not draw penalties, and they need to catch the catchable balls on third downs, and on the defense, at the very least, they need to play assignment sound ball, and not blow coverages, or miss tackles. If they can play relatively clean in these regards, they stand a chance to beat any contender. If they can’t, a result like this can easily happen.
A lot of this is fixable over the next few weeks (especially if they get Kendricks and Ansah back on defense), and they can still have an interesting playoff run, but I also feel, deep down, that Seattle is likely looking at another off-season before they are built up as a team that is a true contender. They’ve got some really nice pieces, but they are also not fully complete. Not like the San Francisco 49ers appear to be, or even the Rams are, if they keep playing like this.
That all said, if the Seahawks head across the country and mop up on the Panthers next week, and then mop up on the Cardinals before Christmas, and then somehow pull off the win at home against the red hot 49ers, I’m probably be the first one to punch my Super Bowl ticket on this team. That’s just the way I roll.
Think that is unlikely? Let me throw out this tidbit. On November 20th, 2017, the Philadelphia Eagles game into Seattle to play a Sunday Night game, and they lost to the Seattle Seahawks 26-15. I was at that game, and this game felt a lot like that match. The Eagles would go on to win the Super Bowl and the Seahawks failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in the Russell Wilson era.
Just some food for thought. There is still a lot left on the table for this team, if they can correct themselves. I’m excited to see if they do.