Category Archives: Week 5: L.A. Rams

Irked Carroll should make more changes

Pete Carroll has a history of fixing his defense on the fly, and he is going to have to do it again — NOW.

In his day-after assessment of his defense’s total meltdown against the Rams, Carroll bemoaned his defense repeating the same mistakes. Carroll is ticked off, which means more changes should be coming to Seattle’s defense during this mini-bye.

“We have to clean stuff up across the board so the same issues don’t show up,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN. “When we’re really not doing well is when you see the same problem continue to show, and that’s something that pisses me off.”

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Forget Wilson; priority is fixing the defense

For some fans, the sky is always falling. So, you can imagine the reaction after the Seahawks lost to the Rams yet again – and Russell Wilson got hurt along the way.

The Hawks are now 2-3, and some people are writing their 2021 obit. But the season is far from over.

The Hawks were not expected to beat the Rams – not this time, not with an inconsistent offense and discombobulated defense. The only surprise in the 26-17 loss was the finger injury to Wilson, which actually improved the offense as Geno Smith led the Hawks to more points in one quarter (10) than Wilson had in three (7).

Smith’s steady performance – minus the unfortunate interception at the end – assuaged any concerns that the Hawks cannot win without Wilson. In some ways, Smith was better (e.g., he worked the middle of the field and threw a successful screen pass).

The big problem Seattle must fix over the next 10 days – before a Sunday night game in Pittsburgh – is a defense that once again is off to a historically bad start. Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. have got to seal up the cracks – again.

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Rams week is why Waldron is here

“We have a lot of respect for what they do, obviously, so much that we brought it here.” – Pete Carroll, on the Rams and Seattle’s own ex-Ram, Shane Waldron.

Shane Waldron had an inconsistent first month as Seattle’s OC and clearly has not yet found his rhythm as a playcaller – the offense has failed to play a complete game as the Hawks have started a disappointing 2-2.

But, like it or not, his warmup is over and it’s show time. His former team is in town for a nationally aired Thursday night game, and it’s time to show exactly why Carroll and Russell Wilson brought Waldron to Seattle. He’s here to beat the Rams, first and foremost.

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Fortunately 4-1, Seahawks are ‘still growing’

Logo -- Los Angeles“We’re still climbing. The best is yet to come.” — Shaquill Griffin

The Seahawks are 4-1, despite still not playing their best game — and that’s how we know they’re Super Bowl contenders.

Their lucky 30-29 win over the Rams had a lot of good in it: Russell Wilson’s near perfection, Tyler Lockett’s toe-tapping magic, Chris Carson’s winning efforts and more. But the Hawks still were unable to lock up the win on their own merits — the Rams had to lose it on a missed field goal.

Of course, the Rams would have been lucky to win themselves since Jason Myers missed a first-half field goal that meant the Rams did not need to overcome a four-point deficit at the end.

The Hawks lost two close shootouts to the Rams last season, and now they have won one against the Super Bowl runners-up — proving these teams remain evenly matched. That Sunday night game in Week 14 will be huge.

By that time, though, the Seahawks should have found their defensive groove and be a complete contender.

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Home playoff game on the line vs. Rams

Logo -- Los AngelesHow big is Seattle’s game against the Rams? Probably the difference between a home playoff game and a road trip — and certainly a major factor in the race for home field in the NFC playoffs.

This is the second straight year the Seahawks have hosted the Rams in Seattle in Week 5 after playing at Arizona in Week 4. Last year, the 33-31 home loss to the Rams was the difference between 10 wins and 11. If the Hawks had flipped that game and beaten the 49ers in Week 15 (rather than lose in OT), they would have been at 12 wins and won the division thanks to a better conference record than the Rams. That would have made them the NFC’s third seed, hosting the Eagles in the wild-card round instead of going to Dallas.

And while we are doing what-ifs: If the Hawks had beaten the Saints in Week 3 this year, rather than handing the win to New Orleans, they would be going for 5-0 and early control of the NFC this week. Instead, they are just trying to stay in the mix in both the division and conference while flipping the script on a Rams team that has beaten them three straight times and won the division the past two years.

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Youthful secondary can learn a lot from failure vs. Rams

Logo -- Los AngelesThe Seahawks’ secondary got schooled by the Rams on Sunday, and we have to hope they learned a few lessons — because they still face a handful of the league’s top offenses down the road.

Granted, only Kansas City looks as powerful as the Rams, but the Hawks need to learn from the lax coverage techniques, loose zones and missed tackles that enabled the Rams to roll up 468 yards and gain 30 first downs in a 33-31 shootout win.

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Hawks fell way behind in division but still took a step toward playoffs

Logo -- Los AngelesAs feared, Seattle’s defense couldn’t stop the Rams. And now, barring some catastrophic injuries to the Rams (5-0), the Seahawks (2-3) are chasing a wild-card spot the rest of the season.

There are reasons to be confident they will catch one: (1) They finally put together a pretty complete game on offense, (2) their young secondary will get better and (3) they will get back a couple of key injured players soon.

“I hope you can tell how our team has grown. The last three weeks has been really an extraordinary step forward for us,” Pete Carroll said. “There’s a long season ahead of us — and how we come out of this game and go on to the next one, it will be crucial, just as it will the next week. But there’s no doubting who we are as a team and how we’re trying to build this thing.”

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Hawks need a complete game from offense

Logo -- Los AngelesAs good as the Seahawks’ defense has been over the first month, it is about to face its biggest test of the season — and that means Seattle’s offense is going to have to be a lot better than it has been if it is going to win a shootout.

Seattle ranks seventh in overall defense, fifth against the pass and sixth in takeaways — rankings built against some of the league’s poorer offenses. Now, without Earl Thomas, they go up against a Rams unit that ranks first overall and second in passing and scoring.

It’s the ideal time for Russell Wilson and company to find themselves.

Under Brian Schottenheimer, the offense still is having trouble figuring out what it wants to be when it grows up.

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CHAWK LINES -- Rams at SeahawksHere are Bob Condotta’s things to watch in the Rams-Seahawks game.

Matchups and key stats for Rams-Seahawks, via FieldGulls’ Alistair Corp.

Frank Clark is going to play despite fighting food poisoning all week. Dion Jordan and Chris Carson also will return.

The Hawks are confident in Tedric Thompson replacing Earl Thomas, although the Hawks have struggled without Thomas.

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