Just as they did the first time these two teams met at CenturyLink Field last month, the Seahawks and Rams duelled, but Seattle fell short. Still, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll chose to focus firmly on all the silver tarps he could find.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Seahawks have played 120 of the most powerful and mentally challenging minutes possible this season against the team with the best record in the NFL: the Los Angeles Rams.
They gained 463 yards running against the Rams, scored 62 points and were tied for or ahead by all but 28 minutes and 21 seconds of the two games that had 12 major changes of leadership.
They also lost twice, each time they watched the Rams make a play on the fourth down in the final two minutes – one on the attack, one on the defense – to finally seal the win.
RAMS 36, SEAHAWKS 31
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But if the big figure in the standings is a 4-5 team with a difficult run for the playoffs – and no realistic shot at NFC West (the Rams need just two more victories to win it, regardless of what Seattle does) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll preferred to see another big picture after the most recent one the team could have done.
After the 36-31 loss to the Rams on Sunday in Seattle, Carroll opened his post-match press conference saying, "I really loved this football game today."
Because the Seahawks never backed down, Carroll said, going from a 12-point deficit with 5min49s to the Rams with just 26 seconds left and one last kick to take the lead and maybe get a win.
"I think the whole stadium was nervous, to be honest with you, at the end of them," said Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.
Carroll loved Seattle running for 273 yards without even starting the tailback Chris Carson and getting the right goalkeeper DJ Fluker – the highest number of yards since he got 350 against the Giants in 2014, and the biggest ever in a Seahawks. Carroll also loved how the defense got one last stop when it learned that the Seahawks' strike needed to take the last kick with the ball.
"There's nothing negative coming out of this thing," Carroll said. "There is always the opportunity to do better and we have to figure out a way to capture them. But that is not the essence. The essence now is to fight and believe and know that we can do it. "
Maybe you can see this as just Carroll perpetually positive, seeing no choice but to turn the positive with another game on Thursday against Green Bay. (A team that preaches "no time to live" really does not have any now.)
But Carroll spoke with excitement that contrasted sharply with the disappointment of last week's loss to the Chargers, encouraging Seattle not to let the frustrating defeat color the way it played against Rams.
The Seahawks piloted 75 yards for the touchdowns the first two times they played the ball on Sunday and was triggered by a running game of rookie running back Rashaad Penny who had 108 yards and 12 carries.
"There was no one on the field who did not break his ass today," Carroll said. "Everyone did."
But, as Carroll allowed: "We have to make (this effort) win for us now."
Maybe the effort has resulted in a & # 39; W & # 39; on Sunday if only one of a few moves had gone to the other side.
Among the most critical:
- After Seattle regained the lead at 21-20 at the end of the third quarter, he forced the Rams to have a third and 15 of his own 46. Inexplicably, receiver Robert Woods opened against the Seattle area to pick up a 35-yard pass – the second time in two weeks, Seattle gave up a third and 15 or more – leading to a touchdown two plays later that put the Rams ahead forever.
"Oh, we just spoiled the fall of the area," Carroll said. "Just broke the drop. Bit on the wrong route. Just a fundamental mistake. Just messed it up. This should never have happened, but it did.
- After heading to kick a field basket that cut the lead to 26-24 with 9:56 left, the Seahawks tried to catch the Rams off guard with a head kick. Only Sebastian Janikowski basically kicked the ball directly to Los Angeles catcher Josh Reynolds.
"Let me tell you this, if it looked like during the week, we would never have called," said Carroll. "It looked great all week, I never missed it once. That was not the ball we should hit. … We thought we had a great chance of surprising them. '
The Rams used the present to drive through a field goal that made it 29-24 with 7:39 left.
- In their next race, the Seahawks faced the third and third with 32, going with an empty backfield. Dante Fowler of The Rams who kept two Seattle passages alive early in the game with personal foul penalties (one of which came after the whistle) ran to the left to attack Wilson while he was playing and forced a fumble Fowler received credit for recovering in the 9-yard line.
"I thought I had a pretty good lock on him," Brown said. "I thought I had him deep down in the field. … Great move for him. Sucks. Sucks. Put them in a good position. They marked the next game. So this can not happen. … I have to do something better.
In fact, the Rams took a 36-24 lead in a 9-yard race for Brandin Cook in the next game that seemed to put the game away with 5:49 to the left.
- But not so fast. Seattle drove 90 yards in 12 games against an admittedly soft Rams defense, cutting the lead to 36-31 with 1min56s on Wilson's third touchdown pass – this for 3 yards for Mike Davis.
Seattle's defense came, forcing their only three-and-out to get the ball back at 25 with 1:24 left. The Seahawks then used a Wilson pass for 29-yard Tyler-Lockett and a Wilson run to reach 35 with 39 seconds remaining.
Just like last week against the Chargers, the Seahawks suddenly seemed poised to turn a double-digit deficit into an unlikely win.
"There has never been a doubt in our minds," said Nick Vannett. "As long as Russ has the ball in his hands."
But nailing the ball to stop the wasted clock down first, then the incompletudes for David Moore and Vannett made the fourth and last chance with 26 seconds remaining.
Wilson attempted to escape a heavy blitzing run from Los Angeles linebacker Samson Ebukam and Aaron Donald, but as Donald closed around 35, Wilson fired and threw wildly over Lockett's head in about 15.
"I think Aaron was chasing me," said Wilson, who posted 92 yards in the high season. "I was going to run, but I did not think I could get it because someone was coming … Just trying to make a move before being approached. It did not work out.
The Rams celebrated frantically as the ball fell on the pitch – their jubilant way reminiscent of another post-game frenzy after they converted a quarter to a 33-31 victory over the Seahawks last month in Seattle.
But if the Rams were victorious, Carroll insisted the Seahawks were not defeated.
"The fight we've shown, the competitiveness we're involved in, will give us a chance to do something really special if we keep waiting and continue to believe," said Carroll. "And that's the message here."