Notes and quotes after Seahawks’ loss to Rams
A few notes and quotes from the Seahawks’ 9-3 loss to the Rams:
• Coach Pete Carroll’s opening remarks: “Really disappointed to come down here and play in this opportunity to start the season and all, have a chance to get to 2-0. To come out and play like that and not give us a real shot to get ahead was tough. Tough day. Those guys did a nice job. They hung onto the ball well, played a good, solid football game and that’s all it took for them today. I don’t know how we had all the pass-interference penalties on offense, but we did, and they were very disruptive in the game. It was going to be a tight game. I thought the defense played really well again and held them down for the most part, but they did make some plays and did enough to get their field goals. Gotta hand it to them. On the other side of the ball, I never could have thought that we would go the first couple weeks and not score but one touchdown. I’m just surprised at that, and we’re better than that, and we’re going to go back to work and zero in. It’s early in the year. We’ve got a lot of stuff that we can get better at and improve, and we’re going to do that.”
• The Seahawks were called for 13 penalties, 10 of which were assessed. Three of those were for offensive pass interference, which was called twice on Jermaine Kearse and once on Tyler Lockett. The OPI call on Lockett wiped out a 40-yard gain in the second quarter while the second one on Kearse negated a 13-yard gain in the fourth. Carroll was maybe as irate as he’s ever been on the Seahawks’ sideline following that second call against Kearse. Asked about it afterward, Carroll stopped short of saying it was a bad call: “I just thought the official was in a difficult position to call what he called. I didn’t think it was – but I’m going to gripe about calls all the time. That was one of them.” Said Kearse: “I don’t think we’ve had OPI one time since I’ve been in this league. So you’ve just got to continue to just watch film and see if we can do something differently, do something better and just move on.”
• Running back Christine Michael on his fourth-quarter fumble, which ended Seattle’s comeback bid: “It was just a great play by those guys. They played a tremendous game today. I’ve just got to do better holding onto the ball in those situations and come back and get better.”
• The Seahawks rushed for only 67 yards against the Rams and are now averaging 89.5 per game over the first two weeks. That’s a steep dropoff from the last four seasons, when Seattle averaged between 136.8 and 172.6 rushing yards per game.
• Carroll said the offensive line was not the main issue Sunday. He pointed to third-down conversions and noted that the Seahawks didn’t stay on schedule, meaning they didn’t do enough on first and second down to leave themselves with manageable distances on third down. Seattle was 4 of 13 on third down Sunday. Only three of those 13 plays required 5 yards or fewer to convert. The average distance was 8.6 yards.
• The announced attendance at the Los Angeles Coliseum for the first NFL game in that city in 22 years was 91,046. Carroll said crowd noise wasn’t a factor. He acknowledged that it was hot; the official game-time temperature was 88 degrees. General manager John Schneider told the pregame show that the Seahawks brought extra staff to help with that, noting that the team learned its lesson from a scorching September game in San Diego in 2014.
• As well as Seattle’s defense has played while allowing only one touchdown over the first two games, it has zero takeaways, leaving the Seahawks at minus-four in turnover differential. The Rams pushed the ball down field more Sunday than they did last season against Seattle, but there still weren’t many opportunities for takeaways. “We’ve got to get the football better than we are,” Carroll said.
• Defensive end Frank Clark had two of Seattle’s three sacks, one of them coming on a play in which he lined up inside and shot through the offensive line on third down. On the other, he cleaned up after the pocket collapsed around Rams quarterback Case Keenum. Michael Bennett predicted eight sacks this season for Clark, which seemed like a lot at the time considering he’s a situational player. But with three in two games, he’s on his way.