The idea the Seattle Seahawks would score 31 points and lose used to be unfathomable with Pete Carroll in charge.
It’s happened now twice this season, both times to the division-leading Los Angeles Rams. And by the end of the season those two games of being unable to slow down the Rams could end up being the difference between Seattle finding its way into the playoffs and being left home for the second straight year.
“I’m not a moral victories guy. A loss is a loss,” Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “We need to grow from it. It’s only good if we learn something from it and do better. We’ve got to do that. We have to apply that to the rest of the season.”
Seattle has little time to make corrections with Green Bay visiting on Thursday night in a matchup with major wild-card implications in the NFC. Seattle has dropped two straight, falling to 4-5 and can’t afford a third straight loss if it wants to remain in the playoff race.
Carroll believes there is still time for Seattle to make a playoff run. But its defense must improve starting this week.
“We’ve got to go. We’ve got to take these one week at a time and start piling up some wins. I like our style and I like our style in playoff mode. I’d like that opportunity,” Carroll said on Monday.
“We’ve got a lot of ball to play, there are a lot of games coming at us, lot of opportunities at home and we should have nothing but the thoughts that we should build on where we are right now and have a chance to get going and get better. Hopefully we can stay healthy and give us a chance to play with the same guys.”
For the second straight week, Seattle was terrible at stopping the run, especially in the first half. A week earlier against the Chargers, it was Melvin Gordon running wild as that Los Angeles franchise rolled up 160 yards rushing and averaged more than 7 yards per carry.
It didn’t get better against Todd Gurley and the Rams. Gurley rushed for 120 yards on just 16 carries and the Rams averaged 6.5 yards per carry. It was the third time this season Seattle has allowed its opponent to average more than 6 yards per rush — it happened just seven times in the previous eight seasons.
“We’ve just got to play better and not allow the big plays to happen,” Carroll said. “It’s just consistency. That’s the common denominator, the consistency at the line of scrimmage.”
The Rams are the only team this season to score 30 or more points against the Seahawks, but what was a rarity under Carroll’s regime has become more of an issue in the past two years.
From the middle of the 2011 season through the end of the 2016 season, the Seahawks allowed 30 or more points eight times, including none in the 2012 season — a span of 89 games.
In the past two seasons, including Sunday’s 36-31 loss to the Rams, the Seahawks have given up 30 or more points seven times in a span of 25 games.
Injuries can be blamed for some of the problems, but clearly the Seahawks defense is far more vulnerable than they’ve been in the past.
“We gave up too many plays, particularly early. It took us a while to zero in on what we needed to do to stop the running game. I really thought that was the key,” Carroll said. “They did a nice job again. They continue to just keep rolling on offense and we weren’t able to slow them down enough.”
NOTES: Center Justin Britt declined to comment about a postgame confrontation with Rams’ DT Aaron Donald. Donald rushed Britt near midfield at the end of the game and the players had to be separated. … Carroll was unsure the status of LB K.J. Wright who left Sunday’s game with a knee injury. Wright had knee surgery in August that caused him to miss the first six games. … Carroll said he expects RB Chris Carson and G D.J. Fluker to be able to play against the Packers. Both players sat out Sunday’s game in the hope of being able to play against Green Bay.
Source: The Associated Press