Penalties didn't kill the Seahawks, but they sure put them on life support
Penalties. There weren't a ton - seven by each team - but the Hawks committed a trio of ridiculous penalties. With Seattle trailing 17-13, Tre Brown was flagged for hands to the face of his receiver away from the ball. The Seahawks had stopped the Rams one third down and forced a field goal attempt, but that penalty set up Los Angeles with first and goal at the eight. They scored to go ahead 24-13 with 9:45 left in the game. So of course the Hawks coaches panicked and never ran the ball again until that final mercy run by Charbonnet.
The second atrocious penalty, and to me, the worst, was on the Seahawks first drive after the Rams went ahead 27-13 on another field goal, with 4:57 left in the game. After an eight-yard pass to Colby Parkinson - yes, Geno completed one, yay - the Hawks had second and two at their own 43. For some reason, DK Metcalf decided this was a great time to shove a Rams defender to the turf, well after the play.
Of course, he was flagged 15 yards, and rightly so, too. He says he has a target on his back, and I agree with him, he does. All the more reason for him to grow up. Now the Hawks were facing second and 17, and the Rams knew they were going to pass, as that's all they had done for the entire half anyway. Next play, sack, then on the next play, sack. Hawks punt.
There was still a chance, however slight for the Hawks. Then of all people, Quandre Diggs jumped aboard the stupid train. With 2:31 on the clock, Seattle had stuffed Cam Akers for a loss, setting up third and ten at the Los Angeles 43. But Diggs decided he needed to get his own smacks in. So the chains moved 15 yards and Los Angeles was in Seattle territory. Absolutely the stuff of leadership there. At least with Diggs, it was in the midst of play. With Metcalf, it was far from the action. That was inexcusable.