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Seahawks 30 Rams 29: Winners and Losers from a Thursday night classic

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What a night.

The Seattle Seahawks are 2-1 at home and yet have a negative point differential. No one cares as long as you get the W. They edged out the Cincinnati Bengals by a single point to start September, and they eked past the Los Angeles Rams by that same margin to begin October. These are the Heart Attack ‘Hawks and I hope they pay my hospital bills when I inevitably pass out from one of these games.

Alas, I am alive and my voice is still intact after yelling “NO GOOD!” on Greg Zuerlein’s miss. I also have enough rational thought flowing through my head to give you a late night Winners and Losers.

Winners

Paul Allen

If not for Paul, the Seahawks would have left Seattle two decades ago. Field Gulls would not exist. This unforgettable stretch of success that has captivated an entire city and significantly expanded this incredible fanbase even at a global level would have never happened. This win was for Paul Allen, and that’s what makes this one of the most memorable victories in franchise history.

Russell Wilson

I outlined my case for him being an MVP candidate here. He is a marvel. Game manager? Yeah, he’s managing to win games at a really high clip. Take those pejoratives and shove them straight up your collective asses. Since the 42-7 disaster, Wilson has thrown 9 TDs and 0 INTs against Wade Phillips’ defenses, and now he has his first game-winning drive against the Rams since 2012.

On the topic of Paul Allen, you saw his emotions pour out in the post-game interview. This meant so much to Russ and it was fitting that he turned in another wonderful performance to guide Seattle to a huge win.

Chris Carson

I’d sure have a different placing for Carson if he had dropped that touchdown, which he said he lost in the lights. Instead, he’s an undisputed winner. Another 118 hard-fought yards on the ground and the aforementioned TD. Those fumbles seem like a distant memory now.

Tyler Lockett

Four catches for 51 yards and arguably the greatest touchdown catch he’s ever scored. This is his first year as the obvious #1 receiving option and he’s gone above and beyond to show what a super player he’s become.

Will Dissly

Four catches for 81 yards and a lateral rush for another 7 yards. Number 88 had 88 total yards of offense and made this ridiculous face mask grab. Dissly’s emergence as Seattle’s second-best receiving option is incredible and unexpected. He has rapidly become one of the most important parts of this offense.

DK Metcalf

We got our DK Deep Ball touchdown. Marcus Peters was lit on fire on national television...

David Moore

...And then David Moore dunked Peters in the toilet.

Tedric Thompson

I’d have put him as a loser if not for the interception; Thompson absolutely did not play well as a whole. With that said, you have to praise Tedric for making the type of INT that you would expect Earl Thomas to have made over the years. It ain’t his fault the offense didn’t make that the game-sealing pick. He has been in the doghouse for justifiable reasons, I think he has earned some kudos for a remarkable effort.

Jadeveon Clowney

Officially credited with the forced fumble and recovery on that key Todd Gurley turnover late in the 1st half. He might not have gotten a sack but he had several pressures on Jared Goff that forced some bad throws. The basic stats may disappoint in terms of sacks, but as you all know, they don’t always tell the whole story.

Jamar Taylor

Outside of that one deep ball to Cooper Kupp I thought that Taylor had the best game out of any of the players on the Seahawks secondary. He’s certainly erasing some of the doubts I had about him being the starting nickel corner, and he could’ve had one or two interceptions on the night.

Jamarco Jones

I thought that losing D.J. Fluker would doom Seattle, because Jones looked out of his depth at tackle in preseason and evidently had never played guard before. All things considered, he was really good in emergency duty. He should be praised much in the way we praised Jordan Simmons last year for his showing against the Rams under similar circumstances.

Losers

Mike Iupati

I don’t think there was a worse offensive lineman on the field for either team than Mike Iupati. Even acknowledging the tough task of taking on Aaron Donald, Iupati was penalized for holding three times and gave up so many pressures. That was a rough night at the office for him, and I honestly wonder if Ethan Pocic would not have been a worse option had he been healthy.

Jaron Brown

That fumble was absolutely careless on his part and it put the Seahawks in an early deficit. He also may have robbed himself of a touchdown on 3rd and 17 when he abruptly stopped running in a scramble drill. Brown played well against the Cardinals, but certainly not against the Rams. Maybe I should write about benching him and he’ll have a career day next week.

That freaking option play on 3rd and 2

Bad playcall by Brian Schottenheimer, bad decision by Russell Wilson to pitch it to Tyler Lockett, just bad all around. They overthought what could’ve been a game-ending 3rd down conversion. I never want to see that play again.

Ken Norton’s two-minute drill defense

That’s three times now this season that the Seahawks have given up an end-of-half touchdown this season, and the willingness to concede underneath routes at the end of the game was just inexcusable. Don’t do that AND give them the sideline. They need to clean this up badly, and while I won’t give it a separate “Losers” tag, the tackling remains abysmal in the second-level.

Pete Carroll’s decision making

I didn’t like the OPI challenge on Brandin Cooks. Down by two points, that was an unnecessary risk to take and it cost Seattle a timeout.

I’ll admit that I agreed initially with Pete’s decision to go for the field goal on 4th and 1 from the 30. Two weeks ago, admittedly outside of FG range, Carroll went for it on 4th and 1 against the Saints and got stuffed. New Orleans scored a touchdown right after that to go up 20-7. I assume Carroll was afraid of that same fate. It backfired. At the very least, I do not like trying to draw them offsides. Either kick it right away or run a real play, don’t do something that has a much lower percentage of getting you a first down and/or points than the other options.

Jason Myers and Tyler Ott

You can hate on Carroll’s decision all you want, Myers still had a makeable kick. Tyler Ott did not have a good snap, but Michael Dickson got that ball down and Myers had a chance. He just hooked it and that turned into a ten-point swing.

Referees

I’ve never heard of Scott Novak or any of his crew, but because several high-profile refs have retired over the past two seasons, there are promotions aplenty. This crew was not ready for primetime. The Rams got away with a blatant false start on their opening drive of the 2nd half, then a delay of game on the Todd Gurley touchdown run. I also thoroughly disagree but otherwise will gladly take that Clay Matthews roughing the passer penalty. Ziggy Ansah was seemingly pushed into Jared Goff’s knees yet that got flagged and cost the Seahawks a TD. You could even argue they erred by not letting Jaron Brown’s fumble play out and then deferring to replay.

Other Notes

  • Rashaad Penny’s 30-yard catch was a nifty move that even prompted Aqib Talib to hold the shit out of him, and that proved unsuccessful. Good to see him improvise and help Wilson out.
  • Al Woods’ stop on the Jared Goff two-point conversion quarterback draw was so important. Instead of 28-21, it’s 26-21 and you probably get significantly different game strategy the rest of the night. He was also very effective in run support, which is why John Schneider signed him.
  • Rasheem Green had a pass defensed and at least one pressure. I continue to be encouraged by his play in his second season.
  • Malik Turner’s block on the Moore TD was neat. Eric Weddle whined for a flag but I don’t see a case. Anyway, that’s a rare quick screen for the Seahawks that actually worked, and I’m stunned.
  • How about Travis Homer and Ugo Amadi getting it done on special teams? Carroll must love the rookies finding ways to contribute without being a part of the offense or defense.
  • This is going to be an all-timer of an Enemy Reaction. I just know it. That’ll be your Saturday morning reading. In the meantime, I’m going to bed after pressing publish, which is right abooooooouuuuuuuut now.