Seahawks

Immediate takeaways as Seahawks clinch NFC West with win over Rams in Week 16

Seahawks

The Seahawks are NFC West champions for the first time since 2016 after beating the Rams, 20-9, in Week 16.

It was a defensive struggle for most of the game with the score tied 6-6 at halftime. The Seahawks defense kept the Rams out of the end zone for the entire game in what was a terrific performance throughout. Russell Wilson hit Jacob Hollister for a dagger 13-yard touchdown in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The defense followed suit with one final stop.

Here’s what you need to know from Seattle’s division-clinching win.

1. How about that Seahawks defense, eh?

Seattle’s defense silenced all of its remaining critics with a dominant performance on Sunday. The Seahawks showed the last month-and-a-half, played largely against inferior offenses, was no fluke.

This was by far the team’s best defensive performance against Sean McVay’s offense. Quandre Diggs grabbed his team-leading fifth interception. Jarran Reed had two sacks. Alton Robinson also had one.

The signature moment of the game was a goal-line stand in the third quarter in which Jamal Adams saved a touchdown and Jordyn Brooks an emphatic tackle for loss.

Seattle held the Rams to just 9-19 on third downs while no Rams receiver had more than 66 yards. The group is healthy and playing its best ball of the season.

2. Russell Wilson and the offense does just enough

Wilson led two touchdown drives in the second half. The first came on the opening possession of the third quarter. Wilson hit David Moore for a 45-yard pass down the right sideline on what was a remarkable throw and catch. Wilson capped the drive himself with a 4-yard touchdown run.

 

DK Metcalf caught six passes for 59 yards, but while the numbers weren’t gaudy against Jalen Ramsey, he had a pair of clutch third-down conversions. The second set up Wilson’s game-sealing 13-yard touchdown pass to Hollister. That capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive.

There is some poetry in Hollister scoring a touchdown in the north end zone in what was sort of the NFC West Championship game. You’ll remember he was stopped a literal inch short of the goal line in Week 17 last year on the final play against the 49ers with the same stakes on the line.

Wilson finished the game with 225 passing yards and one touchdown. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over.

3. It’s Chris Carson’s show in the backfield

There is no longer a running back by committee in Seattle. This is Carson’s backfield, and Rashaad Penny and Carlos Hyde are merely complements. Carson carried the ball 16 times for 69 yards. Penny and Hyde received just five combined carries.

A healthy Carson should be huge for a Seahawks offense that sorely missed him last year during their playoff run.

Odds and ends:

-- Jason Myers made both of his field goal attempts and remains perfect on the season.