For the third consecutive year, the Seahawks lost to the Rams on the road. The final of this one was 23-16, in a game comprehensively controlled by Los Angeles, even if the final score suggests otherwise.
Seattle losing in and of itself isn’t that profound or alarming, especially when you consider all of the injuries. The Seahawks were without their top two running backs, their top two corners and their starting center, among others. Those absences were glaring on both sides of the football.
But Russell Wilson played easily his worst game of the season, throwing two more interceptions. Pete Carroll also had one baffling sequence of decisions that is worth noting as well. Those two things highlight our immediate takeaways as the Seahawks are now 6-3 on the season.
1. Wilson’s turnover woes continue
Wilson finished the game with 248 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. The first pick was maybe his worst decision of the year. He was late seeing Will Dissly open down the left sideline. Rather than scramble up the middle, where he had nothing but green grass in front of him, Wilson threw the ball on the run toward the end zone and Darious Williams jumped in front of the pass for the takeaways.
Williams got Wilson again in the second half, jumping an out route by Greg Olsen and making a diving interception. Olsen was never really open as Wilson didn’t see Williams lurking in coverage. Wilson now has 10 interceptions on the season, including seven in his past four games.
Beyond the turnovers, Wilson had several uncharacteristic misfires. He missed three separate deep shots, one for Freddie Swain, one for Tyler Lockett, and one for DK Metcalf.
Speaking of Metcalf, Jalen Ramsey limited Seattle’s top wideout to just two receptions for 28 yards. Wilson didn’t even target Metcalf until the second half.
Wilson was sacked six times, thrice by Leonard Floyd. Seattle had zero rhythm offensively as pretty much all of the production came off-schedule.
2. Why punt, Pete?
Carroll had a bizarre series of decisions on the opening possession of the third quarter with Seattle trailing 17-13. A Wilson scramble set up 4th-and-inches from their own 42-yard line. Carroll challenged the play with the thought that his QB got enough yardage to move the chains. After losing the challenge, Seattle appeared to be going for it. Instead, Wilson barked at the line of scrimmage until the play clock ran out. The Seahawks punted after the delay of game penalty.
Unsurprisingly, the Rams took advantage, scoring on a 14-play, 88-yard touchdown drive capped by a Malcolm Brown touchdown run. It was yet another instance of Carroll trusting a historically bad defense rather than trusting his offense to pick up a few inches.
Playing the field position game doesn’t make sense when you’re merely delaying the inevitable of the opposing offense being able to move the ball downfield. There is no difference between a 42-yard touchdown drive and an 88-yard touchdown drive. They all count the same on the scoreboard. May as well at least pick the option that might keep your own offense on the field.
3. Jamal Adams, Seahawks defense offers a silver lining
Seattle’s defense played its best game of the season, holding the Rams to just 23 points. The Seahawks got three-consecutive stops to end the game in order to keep Seattle’s hopes alive.
Adams was a bright spot, generating 2.0 sacks, one of which was a strip-sack that was recovered by the Seahawks. Adams now has a team-high 5.5 sacks on the season, which is impressive given he missed four games due to injury. Poona Ford also had a sack and two tackles for loss in what was another impressive game from him.
All things considered, especially given the fact that both Quinton Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin didn’t play, it’s worth acknowledging Seattle’s performance defensively. This loss rests with an offense that scored just three second-half points.