The Seattle Seahawks lost to the Los Angeles Rams 20-10 in Week 15. Here are three quick reactions from a loss that basically ends Seattle’s season.
Before I get into the three takes, I want to say this. The NFL needs to fix its officiating problem. I am not blaming this loss on the refs completely. But we have seen some atrociously officiated games in 2021, not just with the Seahawks, The Bears and Steelers game earlier this year was egregious. This game was close to that.
The problem for the NFL is that an outsider might view this kind of thing that is intentional when it comes to the league trying to help determine the outcome of games. Los Angeles is a big city that the NFL wanted to get teams into for years. It would financially be good for the NFL to have a good team in the second-largest media market in the United States.
This game late featured two awful calls that shouldn’t have been called. Seahawks cornerback Bless Austin was called for a hold on third and long for the Rams deep in their own territory in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t a hold and this allowed the Rams to maintain control of the ball and eventually they scored to go ahead 17-10.
Seattle Seahawks fall to 5-9 with a loss to Rams in Week 15
On a fourth and 6 for the Seahawks on a drive that could have tied the score, a Rams defender clearly ran into intended receiver DeeJay Dallas that should have been called pass interference and wasn’t. It was one of the worst non-calls I have ever seen. The play would have set Seattle up near the Rams 30 yard line with over three minutes left.
The NFL looks very guilty of shaping a game late in the season. Enough said. Here are three other quicker takeaways.
Seahawks play-calling has been bad at key moments during the entire season
Before the non-call of pass interference, Seattle was called for an illegal motion. It was a good call. But on third and six, Seattle decided to run a sweep to Rashaad Penny that gained nothing. A run up the middle in that case would have been better than drawing up a play that takes time to develop against a defense that has the speed to stop plays run wide.
Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron was a bad hire and bringing him back in 2022 doesn’t make the team better. In fact, if Pete Carroll does bring Waldron back in 2022 then next year should be Carroll’s last season in Seattle.
Carlos Dunlap proved he has been ill-used all year
Carlos Dunlap was a monster in Week 15. He finished with 3 sacks, 3 tackles-for-loss and 3 quarterback hits. Ken Norton, Jr. thought it would be funny (I guess) to use Dunlap more as an outside linebacker this year. It didn’t work. In the last few games, Dunlap has played more at his natural defensive end position and has produced. Dunlap is signed through next year and if he comes back needs to play full-time at end. Seattle has wasted his 2021 season.
DeeJay Dallas looked strong as a main running back
Dallas did something I didn’t think he was capable of. That is, consistently run strong and carry linemen with him to get extra yards. He might not end up being the number one back for the SEahawks in 2022 but he proved he should get more carries. 41 yards on 8 carries and a touchdown is no joke.
Yes, he had a costly penalty by kicking the ball after he didn’t get the pass interference call in his favor. But the NFL wasn’t going to let the Seahawks win this game anyway. And at least Dallas’ emotion showed he cared about the game and the team.