Hawksplaining: Did Seahawks play a dud or did Rams expose their issues?

Dec 8, 2019, 10:02 PM

Seahawks lose to Rams, Tyler Higbee...

Rams tight end Tyler Higbee gave the Seahawks trouble all night. (Getty)


Hi Hawksplainers. It’s me, Paul.

Rams 28, Seahawks 12 | Penny hurt | 3 key moments | Reaction

I have a problem. I keep not listening to you. And despite all the reminders after this prediction

• “PAWL, you must be new here. [Smug chortle] The Seahawks don’t blow teams out.”

• “Pawl, you just don’t get it. [Raises pinky from cup of tea in their left hand] The Rams just have our number.

… I keep jumping head first through plate glass windows predicting Seahawks blowouts.

BZZZT. Wrong.

In the future, I’ll try to be mindful of your deservedly condescending reminders. Maybe I’ll even listen to myself.

What’s the appropriate gut reaction after the Seahawks’ 28-12 loss to the Rams?

1. This was a one time thing. The Seahawks we know just didn’t show up!

The offense never clicked and is still waiting for Tyler Lockett to be 100% again. The defense. down key players Mychal Kendricks and Ziggy Ansah (after the past few weeks, he counts as a key player), didn’t have the horsepower to stick with this Rams attack. They also seemed bamboozled by LA’s no-huddle. And while the coaching staff was out-maneuvered, Sean McVay and Wade Phillips are pretty good at what they do. Yeah, it was an ugly loss. But this happens to every team in the NFL a few times a season.

2. This team has some major holes and the Rams exposed all of them.

Remember when we thought the Seahawks’ defense had taken major strides over the past month? Maybe they didn’t take any. Sure, Quandre Diggs made himself known in his Hawks-Rams debut with two interceptions and Seattle’s only TD. But the rest of that unit looked almost exactly as it had against Los Angeles earlier this season.

The suddenly better pass rush? It mustered no sacks and just four QB hits against an offensive line that a week before made the Cardinals’ pass rush look like an interdimensional squid monster. When the Rams ran the ball outside, they did so with ease. And how many plays saw Tyler Higbee, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp or Todd Gurley wide open in the middle of the Seahawks defense?

While the defense figured itself out (somewhat) in the second half, Brian Schottenheimer and Seattle’s offense never did. Rashaad Penny’s injury was a bummer, but you can’t blame the offense’s lackluster day on his absence. After all, Chris Carson still averaged over 5 yards a carry on the game.

Russell Wilson is a great ace in the hole when the Seahawks find themselves literally in one. But the Rams flustered him with a brilliant gameplan to keep him from scrambling. Their complete dominance of the Hawks’ suspect pass protection won them the game. They sacked Wilson five times and forced him to settle for far too many passes towards Jacob Hollister and Malik Turner. That resulted in a couple of drops from each and a brutal “never saw the pass” moment by Turner near the end zone.

The little recurring things were there too. Eight penalties for 64 yards. An unreliable punt returner not named Tyler Lockett muffing a punt. A missed extra point.

The appropriate reaction is somewhere between answers 1 and 2. But the stench of this dud sure has me leaning towards the latter.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Paul Gallant on Twitter.

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Hawksplaining: Did Seahawks play a dud or did Rams expose their issues?