Recap: Seattle Seahawks Clinch A Playoff Spot With Last Night’s Win Over the Rams

Lee Vowell

The Seahawks defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Seattle on Thursday 24-3. Seattle clinched the National Football Conference West division for the third time in four seasons with the win. If the Seahawks can win both their next two games, at home against the Arizona Cardinals and in San Francisco against the 49ers, and the Detroit Lions manage to lose one of their remaining three, Seattle will have a bye in the first week of the playoffs and at least one home playoff game after the bye.

The Stories: Quarterback Russell Wilson, receiver Tyler Lockett and the defensive line.

After most probably his worst game as a professional, Wilson had a good game against the good defensive front of the Rams. Except for one late throw that was intercepted by linebacker Alec Ogletree – a pass that was very reminiscent of some of Wilson’s throws against the Packers; completely unclear why Wilson forced the ball into a surrounded Jermaine Kearse with the Seahawks safely ahead – and another shorter pass that might have gone for a touchdown to fullback Marcel Reece that was well underthrown, Wilson was on target and throwing with confidence. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns. His quarterback rating was 122.1.

Sure, the Rams defensive backfield has multiple injuries, but Los Angeles’ front seven usually makes a much bigger difference when playing Seattle. The Rams sacked Wilson twice for only minus-two yards. Plus, as much as the Seahawks always seem to struggle against the Rams, a 24-3 win over Los Angeles almost feels like a 40-7 win over almost any other team.

Wilson’s best receiver was Lockett. Seattle got Lockett involved early in the game and when the Seahawks do this usually good things happen. Lockett’s speed was a difficult matchup for the Rams secondary. Lockett was able to catch short passes and midlevel throws and then had this…

According to Pro Football Focus, Lockett a wide receiver rating of 158.3 on targeted throws against the Rams; that is a perfect score. Lockett finished with seven catches on eight targets for 130 yards and the touchdown.

Finally, a pass rush for the Seahawks that had generated one sack in the last three games had five versus the Rams. End Cliff Avril had one-and-a-half sacks and now has 11 ½ on the year. End Michael Bennett had one and then did his post-sack dance. (For doing so the officials threw a flag. Bennett has done this same celebration for years and has not drawn a flag. The officials were once again inconsistent – some of the spots were atrocious – and the National Football League needs to start addressing the officiating problem, otherwise their product is going to start coming into question.) Frank Clark also had a sack-and-a-half and now has nine on the season.

The Rams also could not sustain any type of running game. Running back Todd Gurley finished with just 38 yards on 14 carries for a 2.7 yards-per-carry average. Take away his long run of 22 yards and Gurley ran for 16 yards on 13 carries.

The Rams finished with just 183 yards of total offense. The Rams offensively are completely terrible, of course, but Seattle’s defense made sure Los Angeles stayed that way.


Power Rankings: Who’s making a late-season push?

Winners and Losers:: The playoff picture narrows

Mailbag:: Is it fair to worry about Gronk’s long-term future?

MVP: Tyler Lockett

We posted the question of who should be the Seahawks Most Valuable Player against the Rams on Twitter after the game. After most of the votes were in it was clear the readers were deciding the M.V.P. was Lockett. Maybe because of this kind of night…

Play of the Game:

The Seahawks play some bizarre games. This play by Jon Ryan may have been one of the strangest in recent Seahawks-dom…

Ryan, unfortunately, suffered a concussion at the end of the play. Ryan at least has time to rest as the Seahawks do not play again for nine days.

Tweet of the Week:

The week has been an interesting one for cornerback Richard Sherman. He called Thursday night football games a “poop fest” (for the record, he is not far off; many of the games are horrid). He has lately been seen on the sidelines being very animated towards the offensive coaching staff. Sherman has always been one to speak his mind, of course, but showing his displeasure with some of the offensive play calling has seemed to have grown recently. One wonders if this is starting to become a rift between he and head coach Pete Carroll…

Sherman on the field is still the player who can do this, however…

Next Up:

Saturday December 24th vs Arizona Cardinals
1:25 PM PST
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington

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