Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on Seahawks’ 23-16 loss to Rams
The Seahawks are no longer in first place in the NFC West, falling all the way to third after a 23-16 loss on the road to the Los Angeles Rams.
Seattle is now 6-3 on the season, like both the Rams and Arizona Cardinals, but because the Seahawks have lost to both of them so far this season, they’re below them in the standings.
As we do after every Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of 710 ESPN Seattle’s voices to the loss. This is just a taste of what you’ll hear all day Monday on the station beginning with Danny and Gallant at 7 a.m. and The Pete Carroll Show at 9:30.
Bob Stelton – Wyman and Bob
I asked this question on Twitter: Did anybody on this Seahawks team play well today? The most popular answer, BY FAR, was kicker Jason Myers. That tells you all you need to know about this one.
This was the worst game I’ve seen from Russell Wilson in quite some time. Two more interceptions along with another fumble, and that’s 10 turnovers in the last four games from him. I can’t help but think he’s feeling the pressure to get it done on every play because of how poorly this defense has been playing. That’s not me making an excuse for him. His decision-making on these interceptions have been mind boggling. There is no excuse for them, especially from a player as smart and as clutch as Wilson has been throughout his career.
It was a collective effort of bad for the team in this one. That includes Pete Carroll. In the third quarter, the Hawks were facing a fourth-and-inches situation, and after failing to draw the Rams offsides with the hard count, they elected to take a delay of game and punt the ball, putting it in the hands of their defense. That’s the worst defense in the league, by the way.
Predictably, the Rams drove 88 yards on 14 plays for a touchdown, chewing up 6:45 of time off the clock. I have no idea why Pete made that call, but it just seemed to fit the way this team has been playing.
The Seahawks have now lost three of their last four games. The MVP talk for Wilson should should disappear now, but they still have a chance for that No. 1 seed because there doesn’t appear to be a dominant team in the NFC. If they don’t get things figured out immediately, though, that conversation will disappear as rapidly as the MVP conversation has.
Stacy Rost – Jake and Stacy
That was ugly.
We knew it would be a tough one for the offense. The Rams came in allowing just 19 points per game (second fewest in the league) and boast one of the league’s best players in Aaron Donald (nine sacks). I thought the Rams’ defense would test the NFL’s highest-scoring offense, forcing them into hard situations. Something had to give. I expected Seattle’s lowest-scoring game of the season. But what I didn’t expect was that Seattle’s offense would give this one away.
Russell Wilson’s ball security has been a strength throughout his career, but he now has 10 turnovers in the last four games, with seven of those coming in the last two losses. That’s been without Chris Carson. Without Carlos Hyde. Today it was without their starting center, which contributed to a fumbled snap.
That doesn’t explain Wilson’s mistakes, but the return of Carson and an easier schedule on the horizon against the NFC East should give fans some hope the Hawks can add to the win column.
Wilson’s MVP campaign is gone. But the Seahawks’ hopes – slim as they may feel now – are not. That said, there’s a lot that needs to be changed if this team wants to make a deep postseason push, and it’s become clear that quite a few of those need to be mental, rather than physical, adjustments.
The Groz – 710 ESPN Seattle host emeritus
One thing we know about the Seahawks is they need Russell Wilson to play well to win, and that didn’t happen in the 23-16 loss to the Rams. The Rams are good defensively and the Seahawks were again without a running game and also without starting center Ethan Pocic, but Wilson made mistakes that had nothing to do with either.
Wilson was unable to get DK Metcalf involved even though he was single-covered much of the game. He fumbled and threw two bad interceptions. The fact of the matter is he hasn’t looked much like the MVP for the past couple of weeks.
The Seahawks were better on defense than they had been, especially in the second half, and a franchise-record 61-yard field goal by Jason Myers was impressive, but unless Wilson can turn it around, a season that had such high hopes will hit the rocks.
No longer in first place, the Seahawks have a short week to prepare for Arizona in a game that has suddenly turned into a must win. Since Arizona beat them once already, the game will go a long way towards determining if the playoffs are still a possibility.
It’s a little hard to believe that the season could feel like it’s on the line when just a few weeks ago you were flying high looking at a No. 1 seed, but such is life in the NFL. And no one knows that more than No. 3.
D.J. Wilder – Producer, Danny and Gallant
Nothing went right for the Hawks as Russell Wilson continues to be off. With two more interceptions today he now has 10 turnovers in his last four games, and most of those picks have been mind-numbing. In a game where the defense really buckled down in the second half (only six points scored by the Rams), the offense was a no-show.
I really hope that the return of either Chris Carson or Carlos Hyde is on the horizon because this offense needs balance. As much as the “Let Russ Cook” people might hate reading that, every quarterback needs some sort of running game.
Looking ahead, the Cardinals have won four of their last five, and now the Seahawks face their biggest challenge of the season this Thursday.
Paul Gallant – Danny and Gallant
This game provided me with some frustrating realizations.
1: In a little over a month, we’ve collectively gone from believing that Russell Wilson is the obvious MVP to feeling hopeless with the Seahawks down two scores. And it’s all due to some extremely careless play by Russell Wilson.
For his entire career, Russ has been one of the league’s most trustworthy QBs when it comes to not turning the football over. Three of the last four weeks, he’s been Daniel Jones-esque. Interceptions into clear coverage. Fumbles. I’m struggling to understand why it’s happening.
2: Pete Carroll deserves a lot of credit for changing his stripes this season. For one, he’s put the offense firmly in the hands of Russell Wilson. Out of necessity he’s even started blitzing, though to mixed results. And it seemed like he’d become more aggressive in fourth down situations. Then today happened.
After throwing a challenge flag on a spot of ball call – a type of challenge that is RARELY overturned – Pete sent his offense back on the field for a fourth-and-short. But instead of going for it, Pete just tried to draw the Rams offsides, took a delay of game penalty, then punted the ball to LA’s 12-yard line. Unfortunately, the Rams marched down the field 88 yards for a touchdown, just as they’d done (except driving 97 yards) on the Hawks’ previous punt.
The #Seahawks have punted the ball 33 times this season. After those punts, this has happened:
Field Goals: 9
Missed Field Goals: 1
Turnovers on Downs: 2
End of Halves: 2
— Paul Gallant (@GallantSays) November 16, 2020
3: In the NFL, you are what your record is. To an extent. More so, you are you’ve beaten.
I didn’t buy into the Cardinals, Bills, or Rams based on the schedules that they’d played this season. So I’d be a total hypocrite if I didn’t give the Seahawks the same treatment. Their wins over the Falcons, Patriots, Cowboys, and 49ers don’t tell us much about them. Their resilience against a suddenly frisky Vikings team taught us a little bit. But they’ve lost to the three likely playoff-bound teams they’ve played this season in games marked by more defensive issues and sloppy play by Russell Wilson. They haven’t beaten anyone of consequence.