The Seattle Seahawks fell to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, losing a wildly frustrating snoozer by a score of 9-3. The always pesky Rams were aided by Russell Wilson’s bum ankle and the Seahawks’ bum offensive line, among other factors. Like trips to the dentist or the eye doctor, games against Los Angeles are just one of life’s unpleasant things that one has to live through. With Jeff Fisher’s crew firmly in the rear view mirror, there are 7-9 talking points I wanted to get to.
Although he didn’t get his hands on any passes today, it was encouraging to again see rookie defensive tackle Jarran Reed getting his hands up early on when the pass rush wasn’t getting home. With two batted balls last week against the Dolphins, it’s clearly something Reed tries to do throughout games, and if we’re lucky, perhaps it will lead to a fat guy interception.
Before Tyler Lockett left with an injury, the Seattle offense seemed to get back to periodically taking deep shots throughout a game, something that became big for the team last season but was missing in week one. Two deep passes - one to Lockett and one to Paul Richardson - fell incomplete, before Wilson connected with Lockett on a wonderful 53-yard strike to begin Seattle’s final offensive possession. With speedsters like Richardson and Lockett in Wilson’s arsenal, there is no reason for multiple deep shots not to be a weekly occurrence.
The Seahawks cannot roll with Bradley Sowell for 16 games and think they’ll get away with it. On one play early on, Sowell started early, got beat around the corner by Robert Quinn, held Quinn, and still gave up the sack. He’s been called for multiple holding penalties already in 2016, and legitimately could’ve been called for upwards of 10 false starts on Sunday. By the time the second half rolled around, he was seemingly moving early at least once a drive. It may not come by next week, but something has to change with Seattle’s offensive line when rookie guard Germain Ifedi returns.
Hey, here’s something exciting! Jeremy Lane is starting to get noticeably good at blitzes from the nickelback spot. I first noticed it in the preseason against the Vikings, then he almost sacked Ryan Tannehill off a corner blitz in week one, and effected two Case Keenum passes on Sunday coming on a blitz. Corner blitzes are an extremely difficult skill to master – Ronde Barber and Antoine Winfield are two of the best at it – the timing, and the disguise have to be just right. If Lane can continue to work at it, that could become a really fun thing to watch moving forward.
The sub package defensive line group of Cassius Marsh, Frank Clark, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril are a fun group to watch. Four pass rushers that could be coming from anywhere along the line, looping, stunting or delaying rushes. One problem, however, is that as far as defensive lineman go, that’s it for effective pass rushers. Too often against the Rams Keenum had a clean pocket to throw from because Ahtyba Rubin, Jarran Reed and Tony McDaniel weren’t getting any push in the middle. The Seahawks need to find themselves a man that can do both.
A sneaky important part of Tyler Lockett’s kick returning was exposed while he was out with an injury: his intelligence. Lockett could very well be the most dangerous return man in the entire league, but how often does he take the touchback and the guaranteed yardage, rather than taking a risk? Both Doug Baldwin and Richardson were brutal with doing that in 2014, and that hurt Seattle again today. With less than 80 seconds remaining in the first half, Richardson caught the kickoff five-yards deep into the endzone and took it out, only to be tackled at the 14 – effectively costing the Seahawks 11 yards and valuable seconds.
Nolan Frese had another bad snap on Sunday.
It was good to see Tyvis Powell making a couple of impact plays on special teams after not being seen much for the last few weeks. On Jon Ryan’s first punt of the day, Powell got downfield, fought off his blocker for a good 3-5 seconds before getting in on the tackle. Later in the game, he downed a Ryan punt inside the five.
What a game from Frank Clark! A pair of sacks, sniffed out two screens, and corrected his early mistake to force Tavon Austin out of bounds on a wide receiver reverse. There are snaps to be had along the defensive line right now, and Clark is taking full advantage of them through two weeks.
If DeShawn Shead was one of Pro Football Focus’ top ranked cornerbacks last week, I don’t want to know what they think of him this week. He was the victim of a harsh hands to the face penalty, but also got worked by Kenny Britt to the tune of six catches for 94 yards. His spirit and fight has kept him around the team for this long, so no doubt he learns from this and bounces back.
Frankly, this is more than you wanted to think or read about the game, it’s more than I wanted to write or think about the game, so let’s call it there. 1-1 and onto the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday at home. Thanks for sticking in there with us.