The Seahawks defeated the Rams 20-9 on Sunday with a defense that was championship-worthy.
My goodness, 12s. If you fell asleep after week five and just woke up to watch the Seahawks play the Rams in week 16 you have missed a bunch. Yes, Seattle is still a winning team but the difference between week five defense and week 16 defense is quite a lot. In fact, Seattle’s defense could be the reason that the Seahawks make a deep run in the playoffs.
Seattle trailed 6-3 with 9:39 left in the second quarter but this was no fault of the defense. Seattle’s offense once again struggled – or, at least, Russell Wilson seemed to be struggling once again against the Rams – and could not do much against the Los Angeles defense. Seattle’s offense was outgained, outscored and out, um…time-clocked? But after 9:38 was left in the second quarter, things slowly changed.
Seattle eventually took a 13-6 lead on a Russell Wilson run from 4 yards out and the game didn’t seem to be in doubt after that. Why? Well, not because of the offense. This game seemed about as close to the Legion of Boom days as anything since. I never thought the Rams could come back because the defense wouldn’t have let them.
It helped early on that Jared Goff was Jared Goff and threw a terrible interception and also made a dumb-headed play where he scrambled for what should have been a first down but slid a yard short. The Rams had to punt. But this game was much more about Jarran Reed and Jamal Adams and company than Jared Goff’s bad play.
Russell Wilson wasn’t great but he improved and seemed to gain confidence as the game went on. And, seriously, surely you 12s felt it too. When Wilson completed the fourth quarter throw with 4:29 left to tight end Jacob Hollister for a touchdown, this felt a little like 2013 and 2014 again. We knew the Rams were going to get the ball back but we also, for the first time in years, felt like because of the Seahawks defense no team was going to get close to winning the game.
The second half
The Rams did outgain Seattle, mostly because of Seattle’s not-great offense in the first half, and had more time of possession but the second half, when the game was determined, was different. Seattle won the second half 14-3 and outgained the Rams. It also helped that the Seahawks had no turnovers in the game and Goff had the bad pick.
By the end, it simply seemed that the Seahawks might actually be able to win a Super Bowl. But not because of Russell Wilson, but because the Seattle defense has changed and is really good and Jarran Reed, Jamal Adams, Carlos Dunlap, Shaquill Griffin and friends can beat you. And, in fact, they will.