Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks looking to avoid trap game against struggling Browns

Seahawks looking to avoid trap game against struggling Browns

Pete Carroll gave his players a homework assignment on Bonus Monday: to watch the primetime contest between the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns.

Following the 49ers convincing 31-3 win, Carroll half-regretted assigning the task.

“I don’t think it was my best assignment as a teacher,” Carroll joked with reporters on Wednesday. “The game didn’t work out. I was hoping it was going to be a real battle. The game kind of got lopsided, so it wasn’t as beneficial.”

Now it’s up to the Seahawks to avoid taking the Browns lightly. Coaches and players will obviously say the right things during the week, but that was the case in Week 1 and Carroll still admitted that his squad was “a little arrogant” against the Bengals.

That task should be easier in Week 6. Although Cleveland, now 2-3, has been largely a mess through five games, its roster is still loaded with superstar talent.

“I like to live by the term ‘any given Sunday.’ You give every team their respect,” Bradley McDougald said. “They have some very good athletes, pure athletes. They have playmakers all over the field. They can get this thing clicking at any moment, we just don’t want it to be against us.”

Containing Nick Chubb will be a point of emphasis. The same goes for Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ has been extremely quiet so far this season. If you take away his 89-yard touchdown against the Jets, he’s only posted 246 yards on his other 22 receptions with no scores. Much of that has to do with Baker Mayfield's inconsistencies and Cleveland's issues in pass protection.

The Seahawks will choose to view it as Beckham is overdue for a monster game. Limiting his yards after the catch is crucial in making sure he doesn’t go off on Sunday.

“He’s very elusive when working in space and he has a great burst,” McDougald said. “When you try to get him down, he has some moves, but as long as you wrap him up and hold on – because you know the guys are coming. Yards after contact are going to be big this week.”

Defensively, the Browns are hoping to get back starting corners Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams. Both players have been out the last three week with hamstring injuries.

It also goes without saying that Seattle will have to be aware of Myles Garrett on every play. Garrett has seven sacks on the season, and he’s already regarded as one of the game’s top edge rushers. Carroll said Garrett is about as much of a problem as you’ll face across the league.

“He’s a terrific athlete,” Carroll added. “He’s got great speed and burst and flexibility to bend and get off the ball and then get around the corner. He’s off to a great start. He has seven sacks and he could have had 10 at this point. Maybe more. He’s real legit.”

Seahawks players have one more incentive to avoid a potential trap game in Cleveland. Veterans with at least six years in the NFL are given the coach’s first-class seats on the plane ride home after road victories. McDougald has been the beneficiary of the upgrade twice this season already. He plans on enjoying the extra leg room on Sunday evening as well.

“I definitely try to take advantage of that,” McDougald said. “It’s a little incentive on the way.”

Seahawks lose Rashaad Penny for season with ACL injury

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Seahawks lose Rashaad Penny for season with ACL injury

The Seattle Seahawks offense has been dealt another tough blow.

According to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, rookie running back Rashaad Penny will miss the remainder of the season with an ACL injury. 

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the former first-round pick suffered a torn ACL in Seattle’s 28-12 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, an MRI confirmed Monday. 


Penny is coming off a two-game stretch of 129 and 74 yards against the Eagles and Vikings. He also scored a combined three touchdowns in those two games, giving Seattle the 1-2 punch at running back they hoped to achieve. 

"Well obviously it's disappointing losing Penny," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said after Sunday’s loss. "He's such a great competitor. He's been tremendous the past several weeks, so that's just unfortunate. It's part of the game unfortunately. I got to talk to him afterward and he had his head up, he's looking forward to where he's going next and just fighting through the rehab of it all and we'll be right there with him, but yeah, it was tough when you lose one of your key players -- a guy that you love to play with like Penny. He's been playing good football, too, for us, but Chris did well tonight. He made some key runs. Made some nice plays, some nice catches and stuff like that, so I thought Chris played well."

Running back Chris Carson also took to Twitter to send Penny well-wishes.

The Seahawks will now turn to C.J. Prosise and Travis Homer. Prosise has rushed just 15 times for 72 yards in 2019, while Homer has yet to have a single carry. 

Analysis: Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett offer peculiar explanation for Seahawks offensive woes vs. Rams

Analysis: Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett offer peculiar explanation for Seahawks offensive woes vs. Rams

Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett both have a unique way of reacting to a loss. They won’t harp on any one thing in particular, and then they’ll offer the typical “we didn’t execute well enough” clichés before turning the page as quickly as possible.

Let me make this clear, there’s nothing wrong with that at face value. Wilson and Lockett are team leaders tasked with keeping the ship moving forward, especially in adverse times like the Seahawks 28-12 loss to the Rams on Sunday night.

“I think that we didn’t match the execution (of the Rams) more than anything else,” Wilson said. “When it comes down to playing a great football team, us being a great football team, we’ve got to execute when it matters and some of those plays we didn’t.”

Wilson wasn’t wrong. Seattle was outgained by Los Angeles 455-308, had 10 fewer first downs and converted just 5-of-14 third downs while the Rams went 7-of-13. Wilson and Co. were kept out of the end zone and the quarterback's streak of 16-straight games with at least one passing touchdown came to an end.

While he and Lockett will never be as candid as Shaquill Griffin was following the ugly defeat on primetime, there were still a few troublesome quotes from those two.

In their respective evaluations of what went wrong, both Wilson and Lockett pointed to a lack of opportunities early in the game. After an opening drive field goal, Seattle went seven-straight drives without points. The Rams went on a 21-0 run during that span.

“It felt like we didn’t have the ball really until the fourth quarter,” Wilson said. “And then we started throwing and making some plays and doing the things we wanted to do.”

That’s not true, though, as Seattle had more time of possession in the first half, 15:17-14:43. Lockett was under the same impression as Wilson – that there was a lack of opportunities.

“They executed their offensive game plan really well,” he said. “They were holding the ball a lot, and we weren’t really having a lot of possessions to be able to do what we wanted to do. They were controlling the game, and it took us out of our element. We had to hurry up and try to rush the game plan more to try to get the ball going, to try to get the touchdown going so we could get back in the game.”

The Rams did execute really well out of the gate, scoring touchdowns on three of their first four possessions. But Seattle’s offense – its passing game in particular – has enough firepower to be able to respond. It’s why the Seahawks were able to keep pace and ultimately beat the Rams in a 30-29 shootout in Week 5. It’s why Seattle was able to erase a 20-6 deficit and top the Browns in Week 6. I could go on.

Seattle’s 7-2 start was due primarily to Wilson’s MVP-level first half of the season and his uncanny chemistry with Lockett. It’s no coincidence that their lack of production together is why the Seahawks passing attack has sputtered of late.

Lockett dealt with a leg contusion and the flu in Weeks 10, 12 and 13, but what was the issue against the Rams? How was Los Angeles able to keep Wilson to 245 yards and no touchdowns and Lockett to just four receptions for 43 yards?

“I just think that we’ve been running the ball more,” Lockett said. “We haven’t been focused much on trying to air-raid the ball like we kind of did earlier on. I think a lot of teams are trying to force us to run the ball instead of trying to force the throw all the time. We’ve been taking what teams give us to run the ball early on.”

That, right there, is alarming. Championship caliber teams should be able to dictate the tempo beyond just taking what a defense gives them, especially when trailing 21-3 in a pivotal primetime matchup. Seattle had every chance to get back into the contest. The defense cleaned things up at halftime, only giving up seven points over the final two quarters, and even scored a touchdown on Quandre Diggs’ pick-six.

But the Seahawks passing game remained anemic from start to finish. It was a low point amid a four-game stretch in which Wilson hasn’t topped 245 yards. And this quote from Lockett may be the most concerning of all.

“We haven’t been running plays to be explosive,” Lockett said. “We’ve been running plays to run the ball and control the clock. We haven’t really been trying to go over the top like we normally have because teams have been game-planning it.”

That strategy works in games like Seattle’s wins against Philadelphia and Minnesota where the Seahawks defense was stout, and the running game was churning out yards with ease. But when Plan A has to go out the window, as it did in Los Angeles, you have to have a counter punch. The Seahawks simply didn’t have one against the Rams.

Perspective is still important as long as Seattle can figure things out in the days leading up to its Week 15 road game against the Panthers. The reality is that the Seahawks, now 10-3, are still in a great spot to win the NFC West if they take care of their own business. That’s what Wilson and Lockett chose to focus on following Sunday’s eye-opening loss.

“Just let it go,” Lockett said of how he plans to handle the defeat. “We’ve still got three more games. We’re in a great position. On to Carolina. Just keep on playing, learn from it and just move on. It’s nothing to just sit and nod your head and get mad about.”

I’d agree. Sunday’s loss wasn’t one to lose sleep about. But squandering an opportunity to win the NFC West and ending up with the No. 5 seed in the postseason would be regretful, which is why the Seahawks need a sense of urgency it clearly lacked against the Rams.

Shaquill Griffin: Seahawks knocked off ‘high horse’ in loss to Rams

Shaquill Griffin: Seahawks knocked off ‘high horse’ in loss to Rams

LOS ANGELES -- Shaquill Griffin wasn’t bashful about calling a spade a spade following the Seahawks ugly, 28-12, loss to the Rams in Week 14. The primetime defeat was decisive on both sides of the football as the Rams built an early lead and never looked back.

“I’ve got to take my hat off to them,” Griffin said. “Their game plan was good. Their scheme was good. They took advantage of that. The main thing we have to do is go back to the drawing board and figure out what happened – what went wrong and what went right.”

The Rams offense did most of its damage in the first half. Jared Goff completed 15-of-18 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns over the first two quarters. Malcolm Brown added a third touchdown on the ground in what was a 21-0 run for Los Angeles.

Seattle’s defense struggled to get comfortable in the early going and it showed. Goff had all day to throw and was playing catch with wide open receivers. Griffin didn’t use the word predictable, but he suggested that the Rams knew exactly how to carve up the Seahawks secondary.

“What was different was the routes we were seeing, they cut them a little shorter,” Griffin said. “They saw the open windows. They saw the open spots. I feel like they knew what coverage we were in. … They sat in windows that we didn’t go over.”

Beyond being handled from a schematics standpoint, the Seahawks were beat on an emotional level as well. The Rams were in a must-win game to keep their playoff hopes alive, and it showed. Seattle had an opportunity to leave Week 14 atop the entire NFC, and yet there was zero urgency to suggest as much.

Griffin admitted that his team didn’t have the mental edge required given the quality opponent, the stakes of the game and the primetime spotlight.

“We came in thinking like, ‘OK, this game, we’ve already got it won.’ That’s the part that we have to do better and we will,” he explained.

Seattle entered Sunday’s game as winners of five straight. On the heels of three standout defensive performances, it appeared that the Seahawks were on the verge of having everything come together for the home stretch. Instead they were humbled in front of a national audience.

The wake-up call can be a positive as long as the proper lessons are learned and the necessary adjustments are made.

“I feel like we were on a high horse at the time,” Griffin said. “That’s not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it takes that little loss to make you feel like, ‘You know what? We can’t act like we’re just the best team out there. We can’t come in thinking we’re automatically going to win this game.’”

Griffin took ownership of his part in Seattle’s lopsided defeat. Seattle’s top corner back and budding leader in the locker room assumed the blame for a few of Los Angeles’ key offensive plays.

Griffin allowed Rams tight end Tyler Higbee to beat him up the right sideline in the first half for a 33-yard gain. He also gave up a 2-yard touchdown to Robert Woods in the second quarter.

“I feel like I didn’t have the game that I usually have,” he said. “I didn’t play well. I have to do better. I have to do more for my team, and I will. I will do better.”

The loss isn’t catastrophic from Seattle’s standpoint. It’s unlikely that the Seahawks claim the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but the NFC West crown is still well within reach. Seattle can win the division by winning out, including the highly-anticipated matchup against the 49ers in Week 17.

“It’s still there. We still believe. We still have the chance to control our own destiny and we will,” Griffin said. “I feel like this is going to be a whole different team come Carolina next weekend.”

The Seahawks know they laid an egg on Sunday night. How they respond, especially against a reeling Panthers team in Week 15, will be telling.

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny suffers ‘significant” ACL strain

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Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny suffers ‘significant” ACL strain

After being tackled on a 16-yard reception in the first half, Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny immediately grabbed his left knee. He would go to the blue tent on the sidelines before limping to the locker room where the team declared him out for the game.

Following the game, head coach Pete Carroll informed the press that Penny’s knee injury was a “significant” ACL sprain.

NBC Sports Northwest’s Seahawks insider Joe Fann speculates that would mean it’s unlikely we see Penny suit up the rest of the regular season. 

During the game, Penny tweeted his gratitude to the fanbase for their support.

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.

Instant analysis: Seahawks get reality check in primetime loss to Rams

Instant analysis: Seahawks get reality check in primetime loss to Rams

LOS ANGELES -- The Seattle Seahawks (10-3) got a reality check on Sunday night, falling to the Los Angeles Rams, 28-12, on primetime. An anemic offensive performance was made worse by a slew of notable injuries for the Seahawks.

The loss puts Seattle in second place of the NFC West, one game back of the 49ers. It’s not the end of the world, though. While the Seahawks are now unlikely to claim the No. 1 seed in the NFC, Seattle still controls its own destiny within the division.

Here’s what you need to know from Sunday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

1. Seahawks goes completely silent

Seattle was outgained 455 to 308. The Seahawks scored an opening drive field goal and then went seven-straight possessions without scoring points: punt, down, punt, end of half, punt, punt, punt. Seattle didn’t muster a single offensive touchdown and went just 5-of-14 on third down.

Russell Wilson finished the game with just 245 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked five times, and his streak of 16 games (playoffs included) with at least one touchdown pass came to an end as well.

It may be time to wonder what’s going on with Tyler Lockett. He was quiet for a fourth-straight game, but this time he wasn’t dealing with a leg injury or the flu as far as we know. He caught 4-of-6 targets for 43 yards.

DK Metcalf was Seattle’s leading receiver with six receptions for 78 yards.

2. Rashaad Penny hurts his knee

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.

Penny tweeted mid-game, which adds further indication that the injury is serious.

3. Quandre Diggs the lone defensive star

Seattle’s defense was gashed by Los Angeles for the second time this season. The Seahawks allowed 455 total yards. The Rams converted 7-of-13 third downs. Jared Goff completed 22-of-31 pass attempts for 293 yards, two touchdowns and two pics. Most of the production came in the first half as he was nearly flawless through the first two quarters. Tyler Higbee caught seven passes for 116 yards and Robert Woods caught seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Diggs was the lone bright spot. He had a 55-yard pick-six to open the third quarter and later intercepted Goff again on a deep pass down the right sideline. In his four games with the Seahawks, Diggs has three interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown.

Odds and ends:

- Rasheem Green blocked a field goal in the third quarter, which a neat personal moment given he played his college ball at the Coliseum for USC.
- Malik Turner dropped a crucial fourth-down pass in the first half. Jacob Hollister also had a drive-ending drop.
- Seattle’s offense was flagged for illegal formation on the first play of the game, which somewhat sums up everything that transpired Sunday night.

Social media reacts: Seahawks tumble in 28-12 loss to Rams

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Social media reacts: Seahawks tumble in 28-12 loss to Rams

You could blame it on the loss of Rashaad Penny or the fact Russell Wilson, a candidate for league MVP, did not score a single touchdown. 

But there's only one word to describe the way the Seattle Seahawks played on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams: ugly. 

In a crucial game where the stakes were high, the Seahawks, vying for the No. 1 seed out West and a playoff berth, let the Rams take control of the game from the start. 

Los Angeles held a 21-3 lead at halftime, but as we know to expect with Seattle, it's never over until it's over. Back-to-back interceptions from Quandre Diggs, one returned for a pick-6, gave the Seahawks momentum to cut it to 21-9 before the end of the third quarter.

Todd Gurley and the Rams, however, hauled in another touchdown in the final quarter and after a Malik Turner dropped fourth-and-1 pass and another Jacob Hollister third-and-7 pass, LA called game. 

Here’s a look at how fans and media reacted to the big plays in the Seahawks 28-12 loss the Rams. 

The highlight of the first half was when the Rams cheerleaders spent a little too much time on the field and got called out for it. 

Quandre Diggs came alive in the second half with back-to-back interceptions, including a pick-6. Lions fans took a moment to mourn the loss of a player that got traded away to the Seahawks for a 2020 fifth-rounder. 

Rasheem Green, a former USC standout, also made a noteworthy block on a Rams field goal attempt in the third quarter. 


Seattle still controls its destiny in the West, despite being 10-3, but they are now unlikely to take top seed in the NFC. 

Next up, the Seahawks head to Carolina to take on the lowly Panthers (5-8), who are coming off a 20-point loss to the Falcons. 

Rashaad Penny tweets following injury, thanks fans for support

Rashaad Penny tweets following injury, thanks fans for support

There's no official update, but things are not trending toward getting good news about Seahawks injured running back Rashaad Penny.

In the first quarter of the Seattle Seahawks’ (10-2) Week 14 game against the Los Angeles Rams (7-5), running back Rashaad Penny injured his knee after a 16-yard reception

Quickly, he was ruled out for the game after limping to the locker room.

About an hour later, Penny broke his silence on Twitter.

Penny thanked the Seahawks fans for all the support and looks to have a good attitude about the setback.

While not close to an official diagnosis, given the tone of the tweet and how quickly the Seahawks ruled Penny out for the game, it’s likely that the injury news will not be good. 

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.