The Seahawks defeated the Los Angeles Rams 16-10 in a defensive slugfest on the road, but Pete Carroll nearly cost Seattle it’s first road win of the season with one crucial mistake.
With the Seahawks leading the Rams 13-10 late in the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson and company faced a 4th and 2 deep in Rams territory. Blair Walsh had been on the money all game, and was ready to put the Seahawks up six, which he did, after a false start by Seattle on 4th down to create the final score.
But let’s not forget that Cooper Kupp, the Rams rookie receiver who was one of the few Rams to do much of anything offensively against the Seahawks in this defensive masterpiece by Kris Richard, dropped what would likely have been the game-winning touchdown with seconds left on the ensuing Rams possession.
I was trying to tell Carroll through the TV to go for it on 4th and 2 inside the Rams’ 20 yardline with just over a minute left. At first, I thought he listened to me. He sent the offense out, but their attempts to draw L.A. offsides turned into a false start.
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In this situation, with the Rams out of timeouts, the Seahawks essentially needed two yards to get a first down and end the game. If they converted on fourth down, they would have been able to kneel the rest of the clock away. If they failed on fourth down, the Rams would still have had to drive over 40 yards just to set up a game-tying field goal. By kicking and extending the Seahawks’ lead to six points, they forced the Jared Goff and the Rams to be aggressive and go for the game-winning touchdown instead of leaving a conservative go-for-the-tie and extend-the-game option on the table for Sean McVay.
Now, I understand that that 4th and 2 was no gimmie. The Seahawks only averaged 2.5 yards per rushing play in the game and lost yardage on three of their 25 rushing plays. Of their 15 first downs in this game, only three came on rushing attempts. For the most part, the Seahawks’ offensive line didn’t open many running lanes for their ball carriers in this game.
But, even with the Seahawks struggling to run the ball (a throw in that situation is silly), and even with L.A. loading up the line to stop the run on 4th and short, an NFL offense should manage two yards with the game on the line. Call me overly aggressive, but a bit of aggressiveness in that situation may have ended the game before Kupp dropped the game-winning touchdown.