Missed tackles and poor special teams play was enough to cost the Seahawks against the Rams. Los Angeles defeated Seattle, 33-31, to remain undefeated. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:
The Seahawks secondary was dealt another blow last week when Earl Thomas broke his left leg. The losses in the secondary have been noticeable as the Seahawks now rank in the middle of the pack in terms of completion percentage against and yards per attempt, categories where they normally hover around the top of the league. Seattle has also struggled tackling on the back end, which caused them precious yards after the catch against the Rams. A bright spot for the Seahawks has been rookie cornerback Tre Flowers (6'3, 194), a converted safety out of Oklahoma State, who against the Cardinals forced a fumble and then broke up a pass against the Rams that led to a Frank Clark interception. Head coach Pete Carroll got his start as a defensive backs coach and he will have to continue to mold the young players in the secondary if Seattle wants to return to its defensive glory.
Rams depth at receiver
Starting receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp are currently in the concussion protocol after suffering concussions against the Seahawks on Sunday during the first half. Head coach Sean McVay has impressed early in his coaching tenure because of his ability to put his skill players in positions to be successful. Second-year receiver Josh Reynolds and rookie KhaDarel Hodge combined to fill in for 53 yards on three catches. The Rams should be fine in the short term because as running back Todd Gurley showed in the first quarter, he can take a swing pass and pick up 17 yards to convert 3rd down and long. Gurley is a workhorse running back who draws so much attention that it will force the opposing defenses to cater to him leaving room for the receivers on the outside to work. If Kupp or Cooks miss Sunday’s game against the Broncos, look for the Rams to run the ball early and often as McVay finds more creative ways to get Gurley the ball in the passing game.
Seahawks running game
Russell Wilson’s dual-threat ability is the foundation of the Seahawks offense. However, in order to truly be successful on the offensive end, Seattle needs production at running back. Chris Carson and Mike Davis have stepped up over the last two weeks. Carson rushed for 116 yards on 19 carries against the Rams and Davis added 68 yards on 12 touches after rushing for 101 yards against Arizona a week before. The Seahawks rely on bootlegs, RPOs (run-pass options) and play actions but in order to draw the defense in, the Seahawks have to establish a threat from the running back position. Currently sitting at 2-3, the team will have to continue to groom its running backs in order to enter the playoff conversation by December.