The Seahawks defensive front was once again able to generate pressure in the Wild Card round. Although they didn’t create any turnovers, they did help in getting the offense back on the field by forcing three and outs. Jared Goff struggled with throwing due to his thumb injury and thus, the Rams called a conservative game. Their run-heavy offense was able to keep them afloat. The Seattle defensive line struggled upfront in stopping certain rushing packages.
They receive a B+ simply because they did their part. In the second half alone, they gave the offense ample opportunities of tying the game. They were able to create stops on third down and even earn themselves a couple of sacks. DT Jarran Reed — who was on the injury report throughout the week — had himself a game in this one. He has proved he was worth the contract he received in the offseason. But, DE Carlos Dunlap — who turned this defensive line around — might have just played his last game as a Seattle Seahawk.
All year long, the one strong suit of this Seattle defense was their ability to stop the run. In fact, in Week 16, the Seahawks did an exceptional job of containing this Rams rushing attack. But, they did not have Cam Akers in that game. Akers had himself a day in the Wild Card round. Now, the linebackers do deserve some credit as they contained Akers for the majority of the first half. Outside of the big passing play to Akers, the Seahawks defense was able to create punts.
But, in the second half, Akers was able to earn first downs and help this Rams team continually eat clock. This was quite frustrating for 12s as many knew Jared Goff was going to struggle in the passing attack. Sean McVay called a conservative game primarily because he wanted to protect Goff. Knowing the run was coming late in the 2nd half, this defense failed to stop it. Maybe it was fatigue. I will say moving forward, I am excited about LB Jordyn Brooks.
First and foremost, all-pro safety Jamal Adams deserves a lot of respect. He will be undergoing at least two surgeries this offseason to repair a torn labrum and broken fingers. He did his best to be out there with his teammates in the biggest of moments throughout this season. The Rams hit two big plays in the passing attack. One to Cooper Kupp down the field and the other to Cam Akers on a broken play. Other than that, the Seattle secondary held its own.
CB D.J. Reed and Shaquill Griffin did their part in coverage whenever they were targeted. The Rams passing attack was relatively held in check as they relied upon the run game. The secondary certainly can’t be blamed for the outcome of this game. Obviously, it would have been better if they were able to create some turnovers, but the Rams really didn’t take any shots down the field. The lack of aggressiveness made it easier for this secondary to cover.