For the second straight year, the Rams – Russell Wilson’s forever nemesis – ended Seattle’s season.
Yeah, there are three games left, but the Seahawks have been hanging by a thread ever since their unconscionable 3-8 start. We actually called it after they got that eighth loss at Washington.
Every game has been a playoff game for the past three weeks, and the Rams were the ones to knock them out, just like they did in the real playoffs last season.
Wilson and the offense were every bit as out of sorts Tuesday in a 20-10 loss as they were in that 30-20 playoff loss — and Seattle is now 1-5 in the last six against the Rams, averaging a pathetic 15.8 points. Sean McVay and Aaron Donald have dominated the last 10 games against Pete Carroll and Wilson, winning eight.
That has to change if the Hawks are going to get back to the top of the NFC West. Everyone knows the only way it will change is if Wilson and/or Carroll are gone after this season. As we have said, our money is on Wilson.
He played yet another baffling game – proving maybe for the last time that the Rams are deeply embedded in his head.
And it wasn’t his line’s fault. That unit played well enough to win, especially as the Hawks did fine running the ball (80 yards on 19 carries) when Shane Waldron deigned to do it (31-19 pass-run ratio). Their TD drive came courtesy of Rashaad Penny and DeeJay Dallas.
Assuming Carroll stays, he is going to have to decide whether Waldron deserves a second season, with a new QB who can do more than Wilson can.
In this game, Wilson’s best attribute – his deep ball – was missing. He grossly underthrew DK Metcalf on what may have been a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He said he was trying to get rid of the ball before being hit – another sign that Donald and the Rams are in the quarterback’s head.
For the umpteenth game this season, Carroll lamented poor throws by Wilson: “We are trying to get the ball (to Metcalf). We’ve just got to throw it and catch it and make the plays. We’ve got to throw it better …”
Metcalf was understandably frustrated on that underthrow. It was the continuation of a theme for the erstwhile rising start, who doesn’t have a score in the last six games and hasn’t gained 60 yards in the last seven.
There are so many reasons to think Wilson’s time in Seattle is up. This game encapsulated a lot of them.
No ‘bellyaching’ necessary
The Seahawks were going to lose this game anyway, but conspiracy theorists will blame it all on the NFL – first for a two-day Covid delay that allowed the Rams to get back Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller, then for the horrendously one-sided officiating that hindered an already disadvantaged Seattle squad.
Wilson also underthrew DeeJay Dallas on fourth down late in the game. Rams linebacker Ernset Jones ran into Dallas as he reached back to get the ball, but the refs didn’t call it. Watchers everywhere were outraged.
The Seahawks know they were on the wrong end of several calls in this game, but they also know they could have overcome them if their offense were any better.
“I’m not bellyaching about that call,” Carroll said of the Dallas play. “We needed to win the game in all the other ways we could win the game.”
As for the Covid issue, the Hawks didn’t lose any healthy players after Sunday, so moving the game did not affect their roster. Both teams were without three starters, so it evened out – which was the NFL’s point of moving the game.
As Carroll put it, “The delay helped them. It didn’t hamper us — other than not having Tyler (Lockett).”
As for the Seahawks’ outbreak, which landed 10 guys on the COVID-19 list, Carroll said, “A couple guys felt a little something, but they’re not sick sick. … It’s really frustrating for them because they don’t feel bad.”
The NFL eased its testing protocols, and league-wide results predictably dropped Tuesday. But, as Carroll correctly said, “I don’t think we’re done with this thing. I think we’re still dealing with it.”
Quandre Diggs is making more money every game. The Pro Bowl safety had his fifth interception of the season — picking off Matthew Stafford, his friend and former Detroit teammate, for the second time. Diggs said he “wasn’t supposed” to be where he was when he made the interception, but he said film study told him to make a self-audible on that play. The Hawks need to extend him in the next three weeks – or be prepared to franchise him.
After a hugely disappointing season that stems largely from the way the Seahawks have used him, Carlos Dunlap is finally coming alive. He became the first Seahawk with three sacks since Michael Bennett did it in 2015. Add that to the safety he had against the 49ers, and he has four sacks in limited playing time over the past three weeks. The D-line rotations have been terrible this season as the coaches focused on stopping the run at the expense of the pass rush. They need to rethink that next year.