Seattle Seahawks

Analysis: Russell Wilson’s MVP candidacy takes a hit in loss to Ravens

Analysis: Russell Wilson’s MVP candidacy takes a hit in loss to Ravens

The table was set for Russell Wilson to separate himself in the MVP discussion. Patrick Mahomes suffered a knee injury on Thursday night and Deshaun Watson had a clunker against the Colts in the early window of Week 7.

But the Seahawks collectively laid an egg against the Ravens on Sunday, Wilson included. It was bound to happen – Wilson couldn’t stay that hot forever – but it didn’t make it any less surprising to see the quarterback look so pedestrian. Seattle only found the end zone once, scored just 16 points and were a garbage time field goal away from getting shut out in the second half.

Wilson finished the game uncharacteristically inefficient, completing just 20-of-41 passes for 241 yards, one touchdown and his first interception of the season – a costly pick-six in the second quarter. It was Wilson’s first game with a sub-50% completion percentage since November 2015.

“Somewhere you have to make a mistake, you’re going to mess something up,” Pete Carroll said postgame. “How many games can you go without making an error like that? I don’t know. Everybody in the locker room knows it. Russ said something after the game.”

On the interception, Wilson floated a careless pass toward the right sideline that Marcus Peters jumped easily and took 67 yards for a touchdown in what was his first game with the Ravens.

Carroll said it was “just a mistake and (Wilson) knows it.”

“It was a pretty easy play for them,” Caroll said. “It was a good job, it was a nice job making (the play), but we kind of gave it to them.”

It was evident that Seattle missed Will Dissly dearly, especially from an efficiency standpoint. Dissly had caught 23-of-27 targets before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 6 against the Browns.

The Seahawks needed to have a receiver not named Tyler Lockett step up and nobody did. Jaron Brown dropped a sure touchdown in the first half, and DK Metcalf lost a fumble in the fourth quarter, a play that resulted in a Ravens scoop and score.

Jacob Hollister has been thrust into a prominent pass catching role after being on the practice squad until Week 6. He caught 3-of-6 targets for just 20 yards. Hollister showed promise back in training camp, but he’s still an unproven commodity.

It’s important not to panic over one game. Tip your cap to Baltimore and its defense and move on. But understand that there’s a lot of work to be done in Seattle despite its 5-2 record. The NFC is loaded and it will assuredly take 10 wins to claim a wildcard spot, maybe even 11. Five teams in the conference are 5-2 or better. Three other teams have four wins.

The NFL’s MVP race is now just as murky. Aaron Rodgers and his six touchdowns on Sunday have him firmly in the conversation with the Packers owning a 6-1 record. Heck, Lamar Jackson is also in the discussion after his standout performance against the Seahawks on Sunday.

Where Wilson and Co. struggled to establish any consistency, Jackson was able to come through for Baltimore every single time Seattle threatened to regain momentum. He gashed the Seahawks for 116 rushing yards – including a 28-yard scramble, a 30-yard scramble and an 8-yard touchdown run.

“He had some crazy runs,” Wilson said of Jackson. “He's really special out there, especially on some third downs and stuff. So he's had a great season, he's been playing great and always loved watching him in college and talked to him after the game, so he's a tremendous football player.”

Wilson, barring an implosion from him and the rest of the Seahawks, will remain deservedly in the running for MVP. His 18:1 touchdown to interception ratio likely still makes him the betting favorite at this point.

A road matchup against the reeling Falcons, losers of five straight, should help Wilson and the Seahawks right the ship in Week 8.

Seahawks struggle in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams

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USATI

Seahawks struggle in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams

 

Not the first half the Seahawks faithful wanted to see.

With Seattle (10-2) being able to take possession of the NFC’s first seed with a victory over the Los Angeles Rams (7-5), they struggled.

The Rams are on the outside looking in amidst the NFC playoff race and need to win to stay a game back of the sixth-seeded Minnesota Vikings. With their backs against the wall, the Rams have only failed to convert a single third down while the Seahawks only converted two third downs in the first half. The Seahawks got outgained by the Rams 240-146 led by Goff's 184 yards passing.

To make matters worse, Seattle running back Rashad Penny injured his knee early in the half and was ruled out quickly.

 

The Seahawks got on the board first with a field goal, but it has been all-Rams since then. Los Angeles took the lead with a one-yard touchdown run from Malcolm Brown.

Later in the contest, quarterback Jared Goff found Robert Woods in the endzone to extend the lead to 14-3. 

When the Seahawks did threaten near the redzone, the Rams stopped them on a fourth-and-one.

Finally, with 51 seconds remaining Goff found Cooper Kupp to take a commanding 21-3 lead right before halftime.

WATCH THE SECOND HALF HERE

Pete Carroll shuts down USC fan who yelled at him to come back

Pete Carroll shuts down USC fan who yelled at him to come back

Seahawks fans don’t have to worry about their head coach leaving anytime soon.

A Super Bowl champion, Carroll has been dominating in the NFL.

But since Carroll's departure at USC after the 2009 season, the program hasn't been relevant. Now, their fans want to re-live the glory days with many dreaming of enticing their former head coach to come back to the City of Angels.

Nowadays, he only coaches in LA Memorial Coliseum when the Seahawks play on the road against the Los Angeles Rams. Ahead of their Week 14 matchup, while Carroll walked around the field, a fan yelled out for Carroll to come back.

From all accounts, Carroll loves coaching at the NFL level and holds no desire to return to college football. Also, given his results, it may be awhile before his seat is hot in Seattle. 

Spurned Trojans fans will have to continue watching Clay Helton run their program, despite their best wishes.

Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny leaves Week 14 with knee injury

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Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny leaves Week 14 with knee injury

LOS ANGELES -- Rashaad Penny suffered what may be a serious knee injury in the first quarter of the Seahawks Week 14 matchup against the Rams. Penny injured his knee at the end of a 16-yard reception -- a screen pass that he took up the left sideline.

He went down immediately clutching his leg. Trainers tended to Penny on the bench for a moment before moving him to the blue medical tent. Penny then limped his way to the Seahawks locker room.

After initially being announced as questionable to return, he's since been downgraded to out.

The second-year running back had been a rising star in Seattle's offense. Penny racked up 203 yards, 33 receiving yards and three total touchdowns over his last two games combined. He'd earned a near 50/50 split in a timeshare with Chris Carson.

With Penny out, Carson will reassume a full workload. C.J. Prosise and Travis Homer are the other running backs active against the Rams.

Seattle Seahawks in action vs. Los Angeles Rams, follow us on social for live updates

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USA Today Images

Seattle Seahawks in action vs. Los Angeles Rams, follow us on social for live updates

The Seattle Seahawks are 10-2 and on top of the NFC West, but a division foe will look to change that this week. Seattle is heading to Los Angeles in Week 14 to take on the Rams (7-5) in what could be the two teams’ final meeting at the storied Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 

The Seahawks are riding a five-game winning streak and will not only look to keep their hot streak going, but also clinch a playoff berth with a win on Sunday. 

Seahawks Insider Joe Fann and digital producer Lindsey Wisniewski are in Los Angeles for the game, so make sure you follow along on social. Kickoff is at 5:20 p.m.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

This is the Seahawks third appearance in prime-time in the last four games. Seattle’s all-time prime-time record is 61-30-1 and 3-0 this season. 

With a win on Sunday, Seattle would improve on its best road start in franchise history and begin the season 7-0. 

Chris Carson needs 19 rushing yards for his second-consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season and to become the sixth player in franchise history with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Pete Carroll needs one more win to reach 100 regular season wins as head coach of the Seahawks.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Russell Wilson on the Seahawks wearing flashy kicks in support of My Cause My Cleats, a campaign across the league that gives players the opportunity to bring attention to the causes close to their heart. 

“I think what the NFL My Cause My Cleats has been a great tradition over the past three years or so. It’s been really cool just to see guys and who they represent, what they represent, who they want to help, the people that they may have lost or the people that they want to help in the future. I think that’s always really cool. I think the cool part about us as a team is, we do a great job of, the media team and everyone else do a great job of getting everyone together and getting their cleats together.”

GAME INFORMATION

Time: Sunday, December 8 at 5:20 p.m.

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum | Los Angeles, CA 

TV: NBC | Stream here 

No ladder needed: D.K. Metcalf makes this one-handed grab look easy

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NBC Sports Northwest

No ladder needed: D.K. Metcalf makes this one-handed grab look easy

We already knew D.K. Metcalf was a freak of nature.

Before he even stepped on the field as a Seahawk, the 21-year-old was blazing the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds.

Then, photos of his chiseled physique took over the internet. The NFL Combine reportedly measured him at 1.6 percent body fat.

He’s since become one of Russell Wilson’s go-to weapons and a social media icon after partnering with a coffee brand to sell “Decaf Metcalf.”

Ahead of Seattle’s Week 14 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, Metcalf once again showed off how much he is killing it at life. During team drills, the Seahawks wideout displayed his freakishly good football skills when he leaped up above the field goal post to catch this ball one-handed. 

We nearly lost it. Twitter nearly lost it. The crossbar of an NFL goalpost is 10 feet tall. Metcalf cleared that EASILY! How is Metcalf even human?! 

Metcalf will look to add to his reel of flashy catches tonight as the Seahawks take on the Rams in what looks to be the final time at Memorial Coliseum. 

Ziggy Ansah INACTIVE vs. Rams, Jadeveon Clowney to play for Seahawks

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Ziggy Ansah INACTIVE vs. Rams, Jadeveon Clowney to play for Seahawks

LOS ANGELES -- The Seattle Seahawks (10-2) will be without Ziggy Ansah on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams (7-5).

Ansah suffered a shoulder stinger in Week 13 against the Vikings and was listed as questionable to play in Week 14 with a neck injury. He will miss his fourth game of 2019.

Expect to see Shaquem Griffin and Rasheem Green see added playing time in Ansah's place. Griffin has been active over the last month but is still looking for his first career sack. Green has three sacks on the season and has forced a fumble in back-to-back games.

Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) is also inactive as expected. Cody Barton is in line to get his first-career start at SAM linebacker on Sunday night.

The good news for Seattle is that Jadeveon Clowney (core) is active after being listed as questionable.

Here's the full list of Seahawks inactives:

Mychal Kendricks

John Ursua

Nick Bellore

Neiko Thorpe

Phil Haynes

Luke Willson

Ziggy Ansah

And for the Rams:

Dont'e Deayon

David Long Jr.

Jake Gervase

Natrez Patrick

Jamil Demby

Rob Havenstein

Gerald Everett

What's at stake for the Seattle Seahawks vs. Rams on Sunday Night Football

What's at stake for the Seattle Seahawks vs. Rams on Sunday Night Football

The Seattle Seahawks (10-2) have plenty at stake on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams (7-5).

Since the 49ers (11-2) topped the Saints (10-3) on Sunday afternoon, Seattle now controls its own destiny for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. A win on primetime would put the Seahawks atop the conference with three games to play. However, a loss would drop Seattle to second place in the NFC West and would put them at the No. 5 seed in the playoff picture.

Sunday's game against the Rams is far more about the No. 1 seed than it is the division. Seattle, in all likelihood, will need to beat San Francisco in Week 17 in order win the NFC West regardless of the outcome Sunday night.

Here's how to watch the Seahawks-Rams game online and on TV. 

Start time: Sunday, Dec. 8, at 5:20PM PT
TV Channel: NBC

STREAM: CLICK HERE 

Week 14 preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch against the Rams

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Week 14 preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch against the Rams

The Seattle Seahawks (10-2) are on primetime yet again in Week 14, on the road in a divisional matchup against the Los Angeles Rams (7-5). It’s a massive game for both teams as Seattle continues its pursuit of an NFC West Championship and Los Angeles is just a game back of Minnesota for a wildcard spot.

The last three games between these two teams have been decided by a combined eight points, so there’s no reason why this one shouldn’t go down to the wire as well. Here are five Seahawks players who will play crucial roles in whether or not Seattle is able to get the win Sunday night.

1. WR Tyler Lockett

Lockett has just four receptions for 64 yards over his last three games. Most recently, he was blanked on Monday night against the Vikings. Seattle’s No. 1 wide receiver has had a tough go of it recently with a bad leg contusion followed by a nasty flu bug that was still clearly hampering him in the Minnesota game.

He should be nearing 100 percent if he’s not there already. Seattle’s passing game needs Lockett to regain his early season form where he racked up 767 yards and six touchdowns in nine games. It won’t be easy on Sunday as there’s a strong chance Jalen Ramsey shadows him on primetime.

2. LB Cody Barton

Barton played 11 snaps in place of Mychal Kendricks against the Vikings. Now Kendricks is doubtful to play with a hamstring injury which would give Barton his first-career start. It should be a tremendous challenge for the rookie as the Rams are still loaded with offensive playmakers even though Los Angeles’ offense has been up and down in 2019. Pete Carroll suggested that the Seahawks would play more nickel in Kendricks’ absence, but Barton will still be a factor on base downs.

3. CB Ugo Amadi

Speaking of nickel defense, this might be the game we finally see Amadi covering the slot. Akeem King played against the Eagles and Vikings but both of those teams utilized two tight end sets. That won’t be the case against the Rams with Gerald Everett listed as out with a knee injury. Amadi should be a better matchup against Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods out of the slot. It will be interesting to see who Carroll opts to deploy.

4. RB Rashaad Penny

Penny has been on fire of late, and Seattle is banking on him continuing to roll. Over his last two games, the second-year running back has 203 rushing yards with three touchdowns and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry. He’s also caught four passes for 33 yards and another score. Chris Carson will continue to start but Penny could earn up to a 50/50 split if he has the hot hand early. They’ve formed a 1-2 punch that the Seahawks believe is sustainable.

Los Angeles has been susceptible against the run at times this year. In Week 12, Baltimore ran for 285 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry. Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson combined for 206 yards on just 23 carries (8.95 average).

5. S Quandre Diggs

Carroll called Diggs’ crushing hit against Irv Smith Jr. his favorite play of the game “by far” in Seattle’s win over Minnesota. It’s an oversimplification to give Diggs all the credit for the drastic uptick from the Seahawks defense – Ziggy Ansah, Tre Flowers, Rasheem Green, Jarran Reed and others have been playing much better of late – but it would be foolish to assume that it’s just a coincidence. Diggs’ speed, veteran savvy and playmaking ability has clearly had a trickledown effect throughout Seattle’s defense.

In Week 5, the Rams gashed the Seahawks for 477 total yards. Diggs should be the difference maker who changes Seattle’s fortunes this time around.

Mychal Kendricks doubtful vs. Rams, Ansah and Clowney questionable to play

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Mychal Kendricks doubtful vs. Rams, Ansah and Clowney questionable to play

The Seattle Seahawks (10-2) should be at nearly full strength on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams (7-5).

Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) is the most notable injury. Seattle's starting SAM linebacker is listed as doubtful to play on primetime in Los Angeles. Kendricks initially suffered his injury last week in practice. He was able to work through it for most of the game against the Vikings as he played 26 snaps. Cody Barton filled in for 11 reps against Minnesota. The rookie would make his first-career start at SAM if Kendricks is unable to go. Kendricks' absence would be financially notable as he's due $125,000 in per-game roster bonuses.

Jadeveon Clowney (core) and Ziggy Ansah (neck) are each listed as questionable and should be in the lineup against the Rams.

Here's Seattle's full injury report:

Out:

Neiko Thorpe (core)

Doubtful:

Luke Willson (hamstring)

Mychal Kendricks (hamstring)

Nick Bellore (quad)

Questionable:

Ziggy Ansah (neck)

Jadeveon Clowney (core)