Seahawks vs Rams Grades


It’s time to hand out grades for the Seahawks 34-31 overtime loss to the Rams yesterday. I know, I know….. EVERYONE GETS AN “F”!!!!!!!!!!  Well, just as sometimes things aren’t always as good as you thought in a win, not all is doom and gloom in a losing effort.

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How is this not an F? I get it, the images of Aaron Donald knifing through the line time and again and causing havoc in the Seahawks backfield won’t easily be forgotten, but A) when handing out grades you have to account for degree of difficulty, and the Rams may have the best D-line in all of football right now. B) The Hawks rushed for 124 yards with a 3.9 average per carry, threw for 251, and possessed the ball for 37:28. This wasn’t a case of 3-and-out after 3-and-out. Jon Ryan only punted 4 times. Drew Nowak in particular held his own, and a case could be made that some of the poorest performances yesterday came from our two most experienced linemen, J.R. Sweezy and Russell Okung.

There are better days ahead for this group. Yesterday wasn’t great, but it also wasn’t the unmitigated disaster many people are trying to describe today.


I’ve heard a lot of anger being thrown Wilson’s way today, but most of it is of the ignorant “he’s-making-$20 million-a-year-now-he-should-be-better-than-this” variety.

Stay in school kids, and drugs are bad mmmmmmmkay?

The game plan against the Rams defensive front was to call for lots of short passes, requiring Wilson to make quicker decisions and get rid of the ball faster. This hasn’t always been his strength, and you may have heard from me on a number of occasions how he holds the ball too long in an attempt to let a bigger play develop downfield. I thought he was as good at getting the ball out yesterday as I’ve seen him.  I’m sure many of you would have liked to see more shots taken deep down the field, but would you have been as happy if he’d been sacked 10 times instead of 6? That would likely have been the outcome.

As far as the sacks go, the ones on third down were killers, he should have gotten rid of the ball in those instances. But I was encouraged by the fact that he seemed like he was looking to climb the pocket as it was collapsing, more than I’ve seen him. Typically his first instinct when pressured is to bail out and try to break the pocket. It didn’t work any better, but that doesn’t mean it was the wrong thing to do. If this becomes a trend it could result in a lot more big plays down the road against lesser defenses.

The interception……. was just bad. Bad decision, bad throw, bad result. Without it he would have gotten a B from me.


They did a decent job against the run (allowing only 76 yards) but surrendered 7 plays of 20+ yards, and most shocking was their inability to harass QB Nick Foles despite 2 rookies starting on the Rams offensive line. Foles threw for nearly 300 yards and was only sacked twice, it’s fair to expect more from this unit.


He was asked to stay in and block more than any of us would like to see, but wasn’t as terrible as advertised. In fact on one play he did a nice job of shoving the rushing end past Wilson to help keep the play alive at the time. In the first half he didn’t get much to work with, catching one short pass.

In the 3rd quarter we got a chance to see more of what Graham could mean to this offense. First he caught a 19 yarder down the seam, and then corralled an 11 yarder in the 4th quarter with safety T.J. McDonald draped all over him. He made his 7 yard TD catch with 12:08 remaining look like easy pickins.


Not only did he run back his first regular season NFL punt return for a touchdown, he caught 4 passes for 34 yards and looked like a polished veteran. As Pete Carroll said in his press conference today: “He’s a wide receiver who returns kicks, not the other way around.”


Why not an F? The strip-sack by Williams and forced fumble (to go with 9 tackles) by Earl Thomas can’t be ignored. The rest of their performance, however, should be quickly forgotten.


They had the right plan in place on offense, focusing on quicker, shorter passes, and the decision to go no-huddle in the third quarter was a good one and one that I hope we see more of. But their inability to adjust on defense to the Rams screen game and use of TE’s down the field was a critical shortcoming.

I don’t have a problem with the call on 4th and 1 at the end, it just didn’t work. And on the short kick to begin overtime, well……. that all comes down to whether you want to believe it was a botched pooch kick or a misguided onside attempt. What has gotten lost in much of the discussion I’ve seen was the choice to go for it on 4th down and 1 from the Rams 31 on their first drive. They got the first down but then lost yardage on a sack and a penalty after that, ultimately having to punt it away. On the road, in a place you’ve always struggled….. let your kicker knock in the 48 yard FG and take the points. I didn’t like the call before the play, and I still didn’t like it after…. even though it worked.

Next: Pete Carroll Monday Press Conference Highlights

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