Is it panic time for the Seahawks?
Well, any hope they could build a nice cushion in the NFC West is gone now, with Seattle locked in a 6-3 tie with the Rams and Cardinals.
The good news is they now get both the Rams and Cardinals at home in Seattle. But the bad news is those might now be must-win games, with Seattle unable to afford any surprise slip-ups the rest of the way.
And in worse news, Seattle no longer is at least tied for the lead in the NFC, falling behind 7-2 Green Bay and New Orleans and 7-3 Tampa Bay.
But it might be good that the Seahawks have little time to stew about losing three of four with Arizona coming to town Thursday night.
And here’s a stat to remember – Seattle has never lost three in a row under Russell Wilson.
On to some unsightly grades for the second consecutive week.
Quarterback: This was Wilson’s worst game of the season because this time he didn’t counter a few bad throws with a few other miraculous ones.
Instead, Wilson seemed unusually indecisive, most notably when he passed up running with a lot of room in front of him to instead throw a pass to Will Dissly in the end zone that was picked off in the second quarter and the Seahawks in position to tie the game.
He also just missed on a few throws, such as when he overshot an open Freddie Swain for a potential touchdown in the second quarter from the Rams 24.
Wilson now has five interceptions in two games and eight in his past three, and 10 for the season, just one off his career high with seven games left to play – he had a combined 12 the past two seasons.
Running back: Less than two weeks after joining the team, Alex Collins got the surprise start at tailback in place of injured Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde. And, in just his second game in basically two years, he showed a good spring to his step, especially on an early 13-yard touchdown run.
Travis Homer did some good as the two-minute back early on, especially with a couple of receptions that sparked the drive at the end of the first half that got Seattle into field-goal position. Homer, though, then suffered a hand injury and sat out the rest of the way with fullback Nick Bellore taking his role as the third-down back.
Rookie DeeJay Dallas, the starter the past two weeks, barely played until the final moments.
Wide receiver: In the matchup of the day, Jalen Ramsey got the better of DK Metcalf.
Metcalf did not have a target during the first half, when seven other Seattle receivers had receptions, and finished with two catches for 28 yards on four targets (according to NFL’s NextGen stats, Ramsey covered Metcalf on 30 of 42 routes, with all of Metcalf’s targets and catches coming against Ramsey).
Typifying the day, Metcalf had a deep pass early in the fourth quarter go just off his fingertips with Ramsey appearing to complain he’d been shoved, a play that might have changed a lot of things.
Tyler Lockett took advantage of the Rams’ commitment on Metcalf and finished with 66 yards on five receptions. But there just wasn’t a lot going on with the passing game.
Tight end: The Rams have been susceptible to giving up yards to tight ends this season, and the Seahawks took advantage a few times.
Greg Olsen had a 22-yard gain on a third down to key the first scoring drive and then had an 11-yarder to pick up a third-and-10 in the fourth quarter, and the tight ends finished with 45 yards on four receptions overall.
A mixed bag. It seemed pretty good early as Seattle had 214 yards at halftime and Wilson was sacked only once – and Aaron Donald didn’t make a tackle (though he did have two quarterback hits), a rare time he hasn’t wrecked the Seahawks.
But Wilson was sacked five times in the second half, three by Leonard Floyd.
Kyle Fuller, making his first NFL start at center – and first of any kind since 2017 – in place of the injured Ethan Pocic, appeared to play OK until the fourth quarter, when he delivered a low snap to Wilson on a third-down play that turned into a lost fumble, giving the ball to the Rams at midfield. Mike Iupati left for a little while with an undisclosed injury, and Jordan Simmons also was hurt, meaning Jamarco Jones had to play left guard.
Defensive line: There were a few highlights, notably Poona Ford continuing what’s been maybe the best overall season by any of Seattle’s defensive linemen. Ford got a good push to force an incompletion and a field goal on the Rams’ first drive and then got a sack to help kill a drive in the third quarter.
Carlos Dunlap again started and got credit for a QB hit.
But other than Ford and Dunlap, no lineman was credited with a QB hit.
The Seahawks, though, did a decent job on the run, holding the Rams to 3.7 yards per carry and just 41 yards on 16 carries in the second half, which at least allowed Seattle to stay within striking distance when the Rams seemed on the verge of putting it away easily.
Linebacker: Bobby Wagner had seven solo tackles, one for a loss, and a pass defensed in what felt like a bounce back from a week ago.
Rookie Jordyn Brooks seems to keep improving, with a big breakup of a pass to Robert Woods on third down late in the game, and he finished with six tackles.
K.J. Wright missed much of the week with an ankle injury but was back in the starting lineup. He was lucky to not give up a touchdown, or at least a long completion, to wide-open Rams tight end Tyler Higbee in the fourth quarter when Jared Goff’s pass was just overthrown.
Secondary: Seattle’s seventh different starting secondary configuration this season featured D.J. Reed starting at left cornerback with Tre Flowers on the right in place of injured starters Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar. Ugo Amadi, back after missing two games, was again the starting nickel.
Jamal Adams missed a couple of plays on the Rams’ second series with a shoulder injury. He came back to force a fumble in the second quarter and finished with two sacks overall.
Reed played pretty well for the most part, finishing with a team-high 10 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Special teams: A good day here.
Jason Myers’ 61-yard field goal broke the team record of 58 by Josh Brown (2003) and Stephen Hauschka (2014). He had three field goals overall and has made 21 in a row, third-longest streak in team history.
A Michael Dickson punt was fair-caught at the 7 following Seattle’s second series, continuing a good year in that department.
Homer also had a few decent returns, taking advantage of Kai Forbath’s inability to kick the ball deep.
Once Homer went out with an injury, Reed took over kickoff return duties and had a 49-yarder in the third quarter, the longest of the year for Seattle.
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