That sucked. And I expected a blowout, but not a complete whitewashing from start to finish. It was 42-7, and yet the Seattle Seahawks probably should’ve given up 50+ against the Los Angeles Rams. That’s how bad it was.
Injuries are part of the reason the Seahawks aren’t a good team right now, but I don’t think it’s the only cause. Undisciplined play, bad coaching, bad players, bad mistakes from good players, a lack of quality depth, it’s all culminated in virtually ceding the NFC West to the Rams.
Here’s winners and losers from Sunday’s nightmare.
He snuffed out the early 4th and inches pass by Jared Goff and deflected Goff’s throw into the arms of Michael Wilhoite. McDougald should be re-signed, because he’s good enough to start at strong safety. I’ve been thinking about the long-term viability of Kam Chancellor even before his season-ending injury, and he’s routinely been the most banged up player on the defense.
He scored his career-high fourth touchdown on the season. Good for him!
Didn’t even get the chance to miss a field goal.
I thought the Seahawks offensive line was surprisingly adequate against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. The Rams represented a return to reality. Nobody, and I mean nobody played well. Duane Brown and Ethan Pocic in particular were just rotten. Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald did whatever they wanted. Germain Ifedi false started twice, including once in garbage time. It seems that no matter what offensive line combo Seattle puts out, this team cannot handle the Rams’ defensive front.
Forget the pass rush, which disappeared after the opening quarter, they were annihilated in run defense once again, this time to the tune of 244 yards. For the second time in as many games, the Rams scored a RUSHING touchdown on 3rd and long. The run defense charade even fooled me for a bit, but the recent improvement in the run game was through the linebackers and secondary tackling, not the defensive line. It’s all about the second-level.
Sheldon Richardson is absolutely awful, and I mean awful against the run. Jarran Reed, brought in for his run-stuffing abilities, was blocked into the Puget Sound on more than one occasion. Michael Bennett is clearly not healthy and hasn’t been healthy this season. With the linebacker and secondary depth compromised, this was going to be the end result.
Fire Brian Schneider. Fire Brian Schneider. Fire. Brian. Schneider. Pharaoh Cooper was Dante Hall 2.0 out there. Jon Ryan is outkicking his coverage and also failing to pin opponents inside the 10. The tackling has been miserable on punt return coverage. Tyler Locket has no room to return kicks and punts. We know the Blair Walsh kicking woes but he wasn’t a story for a change. Brian Schneider was once a great special teams coach. They have been middling to terrible for four of the last five seasons. I never thought I’d be putting him on the chopping block, but if there will be a coaching staff shake-up, Brian Schneider must go.
Seahawks wide receivers — and I specifically mean wide receivers — rarely lose fumbles. McEvoy’s fumble on the game’s opening drive set the tone for the rest of the day. He’s also one of the many who played poorly on special teams, so... what’s his purpose?
1 catch for -1 yard, on that idiotic play-action rollout that Bevell has run with Graham before and almost never gains anything. His catch radius is garbage, red zone touchdowns be damned. When is the last time you saw him catch a pass that was below his stomach? Do not re-sign him at all.
He’s not going to win MVP, that’s obvious. Playing like Seneca Wallace will not get you very far. Even when he wasn’t being harassed, he was off rhythm, overshooting open receivers, and looking completely frazzled. For as much praise as Wilson has rightfully deserved, he’s also part of the problem on offense, and no I was not hijacked by Andy Benoit. His refusal to give up on plays doubles as a liability, as evidenced by some of the mindless decisions he made on Sunday. That Aaron Brooks-esque backwards throw/fumble would have you thinking he was a rookie, not a six-year veteran.
The entire coaching staff
This team was unprepared. Completely and utterly flummoxed. That falls on Pete Carroll, Darrell Bevell, Tom Cable, Kris Richard, Brian Schneider, and everyone on this staff. Seattle has been outcoached in more games than fans may care to admit. They’ve not led for one second in half of their defeats. The slow starts have been so glaringly bad that their first-half point differential just at home is -44, which means it was -10 heading into Sunday, despite playing three 10+ loss teams. How can you defend that?
The 2012-2014 Seahawks could overcome slow starts and early deficits and win with alarmingly high regularity. Some would way it was unsustainable. This team isn’t talented enough to overcome its miscues, and they commit a ton of them at terrible junctures. They’re also no longer a team that gets stronger in December. This is twice in a row that it’s been the opposite, key injuries or not.
This is not me saying John Schneider should be fired, but he should not be beyond reproach. I’ve already written about the low success rate of Schneider’s most recent drafts. 2017 looks to be the most promising one since the 2010-2012 stretch, but 2013-2015 cannot be qualified as a net positive. It’s not just the drafts that have been a problem. Two of the worst players on the field on Sunday were major trade acquisitions (Brown and Richardson) that indicated that Seattle was bent on “winning now.” The Blair Walsh reclamation project was a failure. Eddie Lacy was a failure. Cary Williams was such a failure that they bailed midseason. Letting go of Jahri Evans was a mistake. The Jeremy Lane and Jermaine Kearse contract extensions backfired and have had a negative impact on the team’s salary cap situation.
It’s bleak. I have no confidence in a win against the Dallas Cowboys, or in the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions both having a worse record than the Seahawks after week 17 is over. Maybe it’s a good thing, because Seattle is a seriously flawed team with a seemingly inflexible defense that collapses when even one key player goes down, let alone five. The offense was not good last year, was not good through the first nine games of 2015, and not very good this year. Special teams has fallen apart beyond recognition.
If scraping by terrible teams (and losing to abject mediocrity like the Titans and Washington) wasn’t enough of a sign that these aren’t the Seahawks of old, the beatdown at the hands of Sean McVay’s team should be the nail in the coffin.
The season isn’t over, but my mind is already focused on what the future of this Seahawks team will look like. There doesn’t need to be a full-on rebuild like they’re the Browns, there does need to be a complete rethinking of how this team is structured and if their current philosophy for success is still viable.