Seattle Seahawks Can’t Complete Comeback, Lose To St. Louis Rams


Coming off a big loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Seattle Seahawks knew they had work to do. They shipped an underperforming malcontent out of town and got about drafting a plan to help stabilize a shaky offense that had seemed way out of whack. Expectations for this game were mixed: would the St. Louis Rams present a pushover opponent and an opportunity for a statement win, or was this just another recipe for disaster? Turns out the game was way whackier than anyone could have expected.

The Seahawks lost this one by a score of 28-26, dropping to .500 and casually throwing thousands of fans off the bandwagon. The game ended on a crazy note and featured a Russell Wilson performance of historic proportions, but a strong second half couldn’t save Seattle from the hell that was the first thiry minutes. It’s hard to say exactly how Seattle lost this one. But man, did they ever lose it.

So, Wilson. Before today, no NFL quarterback had ever passed for over 300 yards and run for over 100 in the same game. With 313 and 106, Wilson set the mark that is the new standard for defining his dynamic skillset. Want to know what kind of a quarterback Wilson is? Those are the numbers you look at. Win or lose, Wilson’s just amazing, and probably catapulted himself back into MVP discussions with this game.

But it goes down as a loss, the second in a row and the third out of just six tries. That’s as many games as they lost a year ago en route to a Super Bowl victory, and so maybe you’re freaking out. Lots of people are freaking out, and it’s not like it’s for nothing. This team was supposed to at least be the equal of last year’s squad, but instead they’ve been decidedly mediocre. Now they’ve lost to the Rams, and the Rams are bad.

So what of Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin, the receiving corps who were supposed to step up in the absence of traded star Percy Harvin? Baldwin had a nice little nine yard reception for a touchdown, and even threw a maybe-jab at Harvin in his post-score celebration. Kearse’s most notable game action was when he was the target of a failed two-point conversion. So, um, yeah, the Seahawks are in the market for a wide receiver, still, as expected.

Seattle crapped the bed in the first half, going into the midway mark down 21-6. The Rams’ last touchdown of the half was utterly remarkable, as the team orchestrated a picture perfect fake punt return. Never seen one of those before? You’re not alone. Tavon Austin was on the right side of the field and successfully faked pretty much everyone into thinking that he was going to receive the ball. But Stedman Bailey actually grabbed the punt and ran virtually unopposed down the left side of the field for an improbable touchdown. It’s a longshot to stick in anyone’s playbook, but it definitely put the world on notice.

The Hawks got themselves a touchdown in the third quarter, thanks entirely to the legs of Russell Wilson. The Seattle quarterback rushed 19 yards to find the endzone for the first time all day. This came after a 19 yard pass to Baldwin that gave Wilson the field position he needed to make his dash. Baldwin had three catches for 19 yards on the dash, so at least he, unlike Kearse, made his presence felt.

A 91 yard drive that ended with a 19 yard completion to Cooper Helfet started the fourth quarter, bringing the Seahawks to within two. Wilson had a fantastic career-high 52 yard run on third-and-nine that really sparked the drive. Then came the missed two point conversion, and then another St. Louis touchdown. But Seattle wasn’t done, answering with a touchdown of their own, this one to Baldwin.

This game essentially ended on a fake punt, with Seattle’ defense forcing a three-and-out only to see special teams outsmarted in form of a 20 yard completion from Johnny Hekker, former Bothell High School quarterback and current Rams punter. 28-26. That’s it and that’s all.

So what went wrong? A lot of things. Namely, the Seahawks reserves weren’t able to step up in place of injured starters on both sides of the ball. The offense wasted a ludicrous game from Russell Wilson and the defense couldn’t stop an opposing offense that falls well short of imposing. This sucked. Everything about this, except for Russell Wilson, totally sucked.

But you know what, there’s still no reason to think the Seahawks are meaningfully worse than we expected them to be. This is a bummer, for sure. It’s always a bummer when a team that seems like they should be awesome isn’t. But just as last year’s team surely overperformed a little, this year’s team is likely underperforming. By how much, it’s hard to day.

One thing we can tell, however, is that this team isn’t as special as the 2013 squad was. They’re a year older now, and the mix of players is decidedly different. Chemistry is such a weird thing to talk about from an analytic standpoint, but it’s clear that there’s something amiss with this squad. They’re not in their groove, whereas last year’s Hawks were never not in their groove, ever. It’s unquantifiable, which can be frustrating. All we can say for sure is that something’s not right.

There will be soul-searching in the days to come as this team tries to discover who they really are. They may not be Super Bowl favorites anymore, but they’re hardly a .500 team on talent. Time to turn things around, for real this time.