12th Man: Week 15 vs. Rams Recap
With a 24-3 beat down over the Los Angeles Rams, the Seattle Seahawks sealed their NFC West fate on Thursday night, winning the division. For the Rams, the John Fassel era begins with an L. For the Seahawks, they managed to take a sorely needed game after getting folded and tossed into mud like the Tuesday paper, back in Green Bay. Admittedly, it never quite felt like a blowout, but the numbers don’t lie, as the Seahawks managed to hold the Rams to under 200 yards total offense. Anyway:
THE GOOD: Apparently, the Seahawks have been reading my work. Jermaine Kearse was only targeted a handful of times, one incomplete, one nullified by a defensive holding call, and one that was basically an arm punt (ugh). The Seahawks had more scoring drives (4) than punts (3). After a frustrating several weeks where the defensive line struggled to bring pressure, it managed to net four sacks across three different players, and eight QB hits. Russell Wilson was only sacked twice. Tyler Lockett ascended into his true calling as #2 receiver, and responded by pulling in seven catches on eight targets for 130 yards and a touchdown. Seattle didn’t abandon the run game. Seattle’s offense also completed a 93-yard drive, the longest of this season (and probably the last two, too). Doug Baldwin was targeted in the red zone, and responded with a touchdown.
We beat the Rams.
THE BAD: While Seattle didn’t abandon the run game, the run game wasn’t so kind in return, netting 72 yards on 30 rush attempts, with the longest rush attempt coming from punter Jon Ryan (26 yards). Jared Goff is… pretty bad. After three weeks of serviceable play, Steven Terrell finally got tested deep and almost failed, had the receiver been able to bring the ball in. Penalties. Lots of damn penalties. 13 of them, to be exact. For 86 yards. Russell Wilson still doesn’t seem quite right (more on that in a bit). Michael Bennett sustained a neck injury, and Jon Ryan is in the concussion protocol. Also bad, the Rams offensive line. It’s really bad. The Rams are bad.
THE HELL WAS…THAT? The Rams’ backup cornerbacks, Jared Goff pulled up on a run but didn’t protect himself by getting out of bounds, and was rewarded for this mental lapse with a crushing blow from Richard Sherman (not seen: Kam Chancellor waiting to deliver much, much worse). Jon Ryan gets wide open on a punt play of sorts, then magically loses the ball while running, totally untouched; aRams player throwing a flag back at an official. Russell Wilson underthrowing a deep ball into the hands of three Rams defenders (one of Jermaine Kearse’s three targets). Seattle has to burn a timeout after Russell Wilson reties one of Thomas Rawls’ loose cleats on the field. Michael Bennett penalized for delivering his sack dance. No Fun League, indeed.
My take on Russell Wilson: he’s still adjusting to being physically healthy. In order to play through a high ankle sprain and an MCL injury, he had to rework his physical and mental approach (this process included weeks of waking up every 90 minutes for more rehab. Not fun). Wilson’s still playing with a smaller brace on his knee now, but with his legs close to fully healthy, he now has to readjust himself to throwing from a healthy base. Clearly, this is not a process without its kinks, as we’ve seen Wilson make some overthrows and some very uncharacteristic underthrows. Tl;dr – Wilson hasn’t been too great lately, but he’ll be fine.
Anyway. Seattle gets nine days off before playing Arizona on Christmas Eve, for their last home game. A win would be a good Christmas present. A blowout win would be even better.
9-4-1. On to the Cardinals.