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Winners and Losers from Rams 20 Seahawks 10

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Well folks, the slender playoff hopes have gone up in smoke.

The Seattle Seahawks will finish below .500 and unless they win out and the 49ers lose out, they will be last in the NFC West for the first time since realignment in 2002. This has been the season from hell and change needs to happen and yet I cannot guarantee that it will happen.

Let’s get to Winners and Losers.

Winners

Carlos Dunlap

He played his ass off. Three sacks was double his season total heading into the game. It’s more fun to watch Dunlap rush the passer than drop into coverage. I wish Dunlap did play better over the course of the season and I wish this team could’ve finally delivered him a playoff win, but alas... a round of applause for Dunlap.

Rasheem Green

He notched another sack and continues to make a case for re-signing with his solid performances in a contract year. Also his blocked PAT return for two points should be grounds for a new contract alone. He earned that shit.

Jordyn Brooks

Unfortunately he was involved in both of Cooper Kupp’s touchdowns but the second one not only should’ve never happened but it was just a phenomenal throw by Matthew Stafford. Brooks was otherwise outstanding both in run support and sniffing out screens, the bane of Seattle’s existence.

Offensive Line

Really other than Damien Lewis, whom aside from the two very debatable holding penalties just did not play well in general. All three sacks Russell Wilson took were coverage sacks and I don’t think Wilson was under siege nearly as much as expected or feared. I highlight Gabe Jackson and Jake Curhan for their overall work but especially in the run game, where their side seemed to open up the most successful rushes of the night. Considering the opposition, I thought they acquitted themselves well.

Gerald Everett

4 catches for 60 yards against his former team in the 1st half. A shame the offense decided to exclude him for the rest of the day.

Losers

Shawn Hochuli’s embarrassingly incompetent crew

I’ve been pretty adamant that the Rams haven’t received any special treatment over the COVID outbreak postponement, especially not when two other teams had games pushed back for the same reason this season and multiple teams had the same fate last season. But they sure as hell got special treatment from the refs!

I earnestly cannot recall a single questionable officiating decision that benefited the Seahawks in this one. Every iffy call went in the Rams’ favor — from Damien Lewis’ two holding penalties (albeit one of those was on the TD drive and wasn’t that damaging), to the Bless Austin “hold” on 3rd and 12, to the non-pass interference flag on the DeeJay Dallas 4th down throw that is somehow not even the worst no-call for DPI the Rams have benefited from.

You know you’ve had a horrible officiating night when the TV rules analyst (Dean Blandino in this instance) can’t spin the bullshit. I’m not saying the Seahawks would’ve won the game if not for better reffing, but it’s not inconceivable. The two highest-leverage calls led to a touchdown drive for the Rams and a turnover on downs for Seattle. Dallas doesn’t throw a tantrum for DPI if they DPI gets called.

Just disgusting. Every team at some point experiences bad reffing because the standard for NFL officiating is pathetically low. This was unacceptable.

Russell Wilson

It sucks not having Tyler Lockett out there, I get it, but Wilson was absolutely awful virtually from start to finish. Wilson was just 17/31 for 156 yards and an interception, and he absolutely missed some huge opportunities. DK Metcalf should’ve had well over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown if not for Wilson’s inaccuracy (especially on the deep throws) and decision-making.

There’s also a very discouraging habit Wilson has developed, almost as if he’s been deprogrammed. If the young Russ was way too willing to abandon clean pockets and dart for open field when receivers were open, older Russ almost straight up refuses to scramble for yards. He’s reached the point where 44-year-old Tom Brady is more willing to run than Wilson is. On at least one sack he had no spy on him and he had ample room to just cut his losses and go for a first down, and instead he got sacked by Von Miller after 5 seconds.

We’ve had six games of Russ post-injury absence and this offense has put up one competent game and it’s against the barely NFL caliber Houston Texans. I’m not counting the 49ers win because they weren’t good in that game, either. This version of Wilson is not a functional season-long starter. Some of that can be attributed to injury but between the end of last season and much of this season, my bold take is that whether or not the Seahawks actually do trade Wilson in 2022, they need to find his successor ASAP.

Alton Robinson

That running into the punter penalty sure was costly. The refs got that one right and Alton got that one horribly wrong, and it turned into 3 points. Can’t do that, Alton.

DK Metcalf

Not for his performance, which should’ve been better than 6 catches for 52 yards, but for both the fact that Wilson missed him multiple times and his continued public discontent on the sideline. Frustration is natural but this has been a repeated pattern for Metcalf and it’s hard not to wonder just a bit about what his future looks like with the team in the long-term.

Freddie Swain

He fair caught this punt and didn’t even hesitate to do it. Why. The gunner is in the middle of getting blocked out of the play. Bryan Walters 2.0.

Shane Waldron

That god damn 3rd and 6 playcall. I guess running it is not inexcusable knowing they had two downs but running it towards arguably the worse performing side of the line was ridiculous. Between that and the usual failed screen passes I felt like I was watching slow motion sabotage. The touchdown drive felt like an anomaly for the Seahawks offender under Waldron, not the norm.

Final Notes

  • Quandre Diggs was almost a loser for that absurd two-hand touch effort on Sony Michel’s big run. The interception he made keeps him off the list but this is one of the rare times where Quandre gets on the bad list.
  • We almost got a Poona Ford interception. Almost.
  • L.J. Collier made a play! A 3rd down run stop that ended the Rams’ opening drive.
  • Darrell Taylor had a huge hit on Darrell Henderson that looked straight out of the Kam Chancellor playbook. Love watching him play. One of the few joys in a near-joyless campaign.
  • Rashaad Penny flinched. Sorry, y’all.
  • Dee Eskridge put up a goose egg, which more or less confirms just how thin the Seahawks receiving corps truly is without Tyler Lockett. And it’s also why some of us have been banging the drum for the Seahawks to invest far more into WR than they actually have over the years. There will hopefully be better days from the rookie but otherwise his impact in games played has been minimal.
  • That clock management on Seattle’s screwjob of a final meaningful drive was abysmal. They had 5 minutes left when they got the ball and took off 2 minutes to go 4 yards and Wilson wasted a timeout to avoid delay of game. That is pathetic. The Seahawks managed that drive like they needed a field goal to win and not a touchdown to tie. There needed to be the right amount of urgency to score and they didn’t show any of that. I’m tired of watching Pete Carroll teams manage the clock in the clumsiest ways imaginable.
  • For as much as the refs had a major hand in Seattle losing, the offense didn’t play a remotely good enough game to win. It’s not just this week, it’s the whole damn season. Now the season is definitely over and we’ll be watching the team play for pride and play for jobs over the final three weeks. Then we await a potentially franchise-changing offseason, and there is no particularly compelling reason to just run it back with the same main characters again.