Seahawks’ Instant Reaction: 19-16 OT win over Rams keeps hopes alive
Jan 8, 2023, 5:10 PM | Updated: 5:31 pm
(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
The Seahawks can still make the playoffs after their wild 19-16 overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams – so long as the Detroit Lions knock off the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football.
Such is the reality of the tiebreaker situation in the NFC, as Seattle (9-8) has the advantage over the Lions (8-8), who the Hawks beat head to head this season, but not the Packers (8-8), who Seattle did not meet and would have a worse in-conference record than if Green Bay wins Sunday.
With that in mind, let’s get to the instant reactions from the voices of Seattle Sports 710 AM, as we do after every Seahawks game. See what they have to say about Sunday’s win over the Rams below, and be sure to catch much more reaction and analysis all day Monday on the station including with The Pete Carroll Show at 9:30 a.m.
Bob Stelton – Wyman and Bob (2-7 p.m.)
It definitely wasn’t pretty but the Seahawks were able to pull off the OT win at home, and as a result their playoff hopes remain alive.
It was the third game in a row that rookie running back Kenneth Walker III rushed for over 100 yards (114 on the day), and he also goes over 1,000 yards for the season! The Hawks desperately needed that rushing attack as it was not a great day for the passing of Geno Smith, who went 19 of 31 for 213 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
The defense did a nice job of limiting the damage by allowing just 16 points through four quarters and OT, but the biggest play comes courtesy of safety Quandre Diggs when Rams QB Baker Mayfield had his receiver Van Jefferson wide open and underthrew him, allowing Diggs to come up with the interception that set up the game-winning drive.
THAT'S OUR BALL! THANK YOU NINO!
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 9, 2023
Now we wait and see what the Lions can do against the Packers. Playoffs or not, a nine-win season is decidedly better than most anybody expected out of this Seahawks team this season.
Stacy Rost – Bump and Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
The Seahawks didn’t make it easy on themselves. But then again, when have they ever done that?
After a solid win over the Jets last week, Seattle needed to beat the Rams to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Seahawks hadn’t swept the Rams in a season series in 2013, but it’s what this situation called for thanks in part to four Hawks losses to the NFC South.
Those four losses still haunt Seattle; it’s why the Packers (who have one more conference win) can get in with a win over the Lions tonight. But for now, the Seahawks are alive.
Give credit to the defense in this one. There were gains surrendered on the ground and at least one costly miscommunication on a pickup by Rams running back Cam Akers. But the Hawks got a stop on LA’s final possession of regulation and got an interception on what could’ve and should’ve been a touchdown from Baker Mayfield to Van Jefferson in overtime.
A couple plays saved the season: first, a 9-yard run by Ken Walker on fourth-and-1 during what became a game-tying field goal drive in the fourth quarter. Next was Quandre Diggs’ pick in OT. You’d love to see more — more touchdowns and fewer picks from Geno Smith, more conversions by the offense — but tonight what they had was enough.
Mike Salk – Brock and Salk (6-10 a.m.)
On a day where absolutely nothing was going Seattle’s way around the league, the Seahawks controlled the one thing they could: their own performance. And while it wasn’t their prettiest win of the year, it was enough to beat the Rams, giving themselves a winning record and a chance to make the playoffs.
I liked that it featured heroes both obvious and surprising. Geno Smith got another game-winning drive. Quandre Diggs made the defensive play of the season after a subpar year by his standards. Kenneth Walker III continued to show the ups and downs of an incredibly talented rookie with big, big things ahead of him. But it was also Nick Bellore getting his first carry in years, Dareke Young with two big catches, and Colby Parkinson with the biggest catch of the season to set up the game-tying field goal.
Regardless of whether the Lions pull it off, this has been a successful and surprising season. The Seahawks went from rebuilding to virtually rebuilt overnight. And there is plenty of credit to go around.
Dave Wyman – Wyman and Bob
— Seattle Sports (@SeattleSports) January 9, 2023
Mike Lefko – Wyman and Bob
It took about a half longer than expected, but when the Seahawks woke up, they showed why they are deserving of a playoff berth.
We knew the Rams would treat this as their most important game of the year – Bobby Wagner mentioned earlier in the week he relished the chance to “spoil a season” and that it was personal for a team that “gave up on him” – and the Seahawks weren’t able to match the intensity from the Rams in the first half.
For the rash of bad and questionable calls that have gone against the Seahawks this season, perhaps it was a karmic change that a running into the kicker penalty gave new life to a drive that would ultimately lead to the game-tying field goal and a further non-call against DK Metcalf after he went to protect Geno Smith and got in Jalen Ramsey’s face.
A shaky performance early on from Smith could now ignite an offseason of speculation and discussion about the best course of action for the Seahawks at quarterback, yet when the Seahawks absolutely needed him, Smith delivered. Whether it was the touchdown pass to Lockett on the first drive of the third quarter, where he was 3 for 3 for 74 yards, or the big conversions and chunks of yards picked up on the ground late in the game, Smith helped move the offense down the field in must-win situation.
Ultimately, it was another big day on the ground for Ken Walker, who with 29 carries for 114 yards proved that, when healthy, he is the key to winning games with the way this team is constructed. Credit to the defense as well for the five sacks of Baker Mayfield and the timely game-saving interception by Quandre Diggs.
The Seahawks got the win, which is all they could control this week. There will be understandable disappointment if they don’t make the playoffs now, but a nine-win season is undeniably a success after where the expectations were before the year began.