The Seahawks wasted a 12-win regular season with an absolute dud of a performance against the Rams in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs. Seattle lost, 30-20, despite one Rams QB leaving the game with a neck injury and the other playing through an injured thumb.
Here’s what you need to know from a grim conclusion to Seattle’s 2020 season that marked the franchise’s first home playoff loss since 2004, ending a streak of 10-straight wins.
1. Russell Wilson, Seahawks offense laid an egg
Apart from a Tyler Lockett one-handed grab and a 51-yard touchdown from Russell Wilson to DK Metcalf (to be fair, it was a gorgeous off-schedule play with Wilson scrambling to his left), Seattle’s offense was silent for the entire game.
The Seahawks missed on their first eight third-down attempts. Wilson threw a pick-six on a quick screen to Metcalf that Rams corner Darious Williams read perfectly, jumped and returned 42 yards for the score.
Aaron Donald dominated Seattle’s offensive line before leaving the game with a rib injury. The best defensive player in football had 2.0 sacks and also foiled a potential touchdown with another QB hit of Wilson. Donald smoked Mike Iupati off the ball and forced Wilson to rush his throw, ultimately causing the quarterback to overshoot a wide-open Metcalf. Leonard Floyd also had his way with Seattle’s offensive line, posting 2.0 sacks.
The most egregious miscue of the game came midway through the fourth quarter with Seattle facing 4th-and-1 from their own 34-yard line. Damien Lewis was hurt after the third-down play, giving the Seahawks all day to make their fourth down play call. And yet, the offense didn’t get out of the huddle until there were five seconds left on the play clock, resulting in a false start.
The lack of urgency and awareness to call a timeout was embarrassing. Seattle ended up punting rather than going for it on 4th-and-6.
Wilson ended the game with 174 yards, two touchdowns and one pick on 11-of-27 passing. The second score was a garbage time TD to Metcalf. Metcalf caught five balls for 96 yards and the pair of touchdowns.
Seattle also went just 2-of-14 on third down and missed on their first eight attempts to start the game.
Brandon Staley’s defense put on an absolute clinic against Brian Schottenheimer’s offense in a comprehensively dominant performance.
2. Cam Akers powered Rams offense
The rookie running back ran the ball 28 times for 131 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 45 yards, including a clutch 44-yard catch and run to convert on a 3rd-and-9 in the second quarter. That led to his own 5-yard touchdown run. Akers’ dominance masked Los Angeles’ troublesome quarterback situation.
Sean McVay opted to start John Wolford over Jared Goff. However, Wolford suffered a neck injury on a scramble when Jamal Adams hit the quarterback’s head with his shoulder. That forced Goff into the ball game despite dealing with a thumb injury he had surgically repaired less than two weeks ago.
Goff had a pair of 44-yard completions, one to Akers and another to Cooper Kupp. He also threw a game-sealing 15-yard touchdown to Robert Woods on a busted coverage from Seattle.
Prior to leaving, Wolford completed 3-of-6 pass attempts for 29 yards.
3. Jamal Adams battled through injury, but clearly wasn’t himself
Adams was clearly limited by his injured left shoulder. He rarely blitzed and had trouble using his left arm in pass coverage. On multiple occasions, Adams was in position to make a play on the ball but couldn’t do so. One of those plays was the 44-yarder to Kupp.
Seattle’s star safety deserves a ton of credit for playing through the injury he sustained in Week 17. Adams still had a trio of pass breakups and a few big hits.
Odds and ends
-- Poona Ford (calf) and Nick Bellore (hamstring) left the game and did not return.
-- Jarran Reed had 2.0 sacks in the game.
-- D.J. Reed had a 58-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter, but the Seahawks offense managed to get only a field goal out of the great field position. Reed also fumbled a punt return in the fourth quarter that doomed any chance at a miracle comeback.