The Seahawks played an entertaining game against the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but it was ultimately a disappointing finish for the 68,893 in attendance at CenturyLink Field, as the Rams came out on top to win 33-31.
After the two teams played to a 17-17 tie at halftime, the Seahawks twice drove down the field to score go-ahead touchdowns, only to see the Rams respond with touchdown drives of their own. Eventually, the Rams got a stop, and then took the lead for good on a Cairo Santos field goal.
Here are five rapid reactions to the Seahawks' loss to Los Angeles:
1. Seattle's offense is trending in the right direction, but couldn't come up with one final drive.
If anyone was looking for evidence of just how far Seattle's offensive line has come in recent weeks, they only need to look at Sunday's game and compare it to recent games against the Rams in which Aaron Donald and company have wreaked havoc on Seattle's offense.
Donald and the Rams still made some plays in Sunday's game, but Seattle's offensive line more than held its own, and as a result, the entire Seahawks offense functioned as well as it has in a while against the Rams, and looked as good as it has this season.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, however, the Rams defense came up with some big stops on Seattle's two fourth-quarter possessions after the Seahawks moved the ball so effectively through three quarters.
Behind a physical, impressive performance by the line—hopefully everyone caught D.J. Fluker's pancake block on Ndamukong Suh on Mike Davis' 6-yard touchdown run—Seattle's run was very effective, with the Seahawks rushing for 190 yards on 32 carries. Back from a 1-game absence, Chris Carson topped 100 yards for the second time in three weeks, and Mike Davis added 68 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, a second straight strong showing for him.
With the running game going, Russell Wilson and the passing game were efficient, particularly in hitting two big play-action-pass touchdowns, a 39-yarder to Tyler Lockett and a 30-yarder to David Moore.
Wilson finished the game an efficient 13 for 21 for 198 yards, three touchdowns and a 132.5 passer rating, and Seattle's offense went 7 for 12 on third down, including 4 for 4 in the third quarter, one week after going 0 for 10 on third down. But again, the offense wasn't able to get it done on those final two drives of the fourth quarter.
2. Chris Carson is living up to the preseason hype.
Throughout offseason workouts and training camp, one of the players earning the most praise from coaches and teammates was second-year running back Chris Carson, who by all accounts came back from last year's leg injury bigger, faster and in better shape than before. And while Carson and the rest of Seattle's running game didn't get a lot going through the first two games, he has been very impressive in his last two starts.
After coming up with his first 100-yard game two weeks ago in a win over Dallas, Carson was held out of last week's game with a hip injury. This week, Carson and Davis provided an impressive one-two punch, with Carson leading with way, rushing for a physical 116 yards on 19 carries, marking the third straight game the Seahawks have had a 100-yard back after failing to accomplish that once last season.
3. Tyler Lockett and David Moore came up with some big plays.
While the Seahawks will no doubt want to get Doug Baldwin going more than they have in his first two games back from injury, it has been encouraging the way other receivers are stepping up and making big plays. Second-year receiver David Moore, who has seen his role in the offense increase over the past two weeks, had three catches for 38 yards, including the first two touchdowns of his career.
Tyler Lockett, meanwhile, once again showed he is a big-play threat both on offense and special teams, and did so in the span of a few minutes during the second quarter. After the Rams took the lead early in the second quarter, Lockett played a big role in Seattle getting it right back. First Lockett returned a short kickoff 42 yards to midfield to give the Seahawks good field position to start the drive, then just four plays later, Lockett blew past Rams cornerback Marcus Peters, making himself wide open for a 39-yard touchdown pass.
In the fourth quarter, Lockett again got open after Wilson bought time with his legs, and the two connected for a 44-yard gain, giving Lockett 98 yards on three catches.
As much as the Seahawks' offensive performance was led by a physical running game, the big plays by Wilson and his receivers were an important part of this performance as well.
4. Frank Clark didn't look like he was sick all week.
Defensive end Frank Clark didn't practice all week due to illness, and was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report, but Clark didn't just play in Sunday's game, he came up with huge plays for Seattle's defense.
Clark started his day by stripping the ball from Jared Goff's hands on third down on the Rams' first possession, and while the quarterback was able to recover, he had to rush an errant throw, leading to a punt. The next time the Rams had the ball—this time with a short field because of a blocked punt—Clark and Tre Flowers teamed up to make a huge play, with Flowers breaking up a pass attempt at the goal line and Clark catching the tipped ball for his first career interception, then returning it 26 yards. That play, along with Tedric Thompson's interception at the end of the first half, gives the Seahawks nine interceptions and 11 takeaways this season.
Clark added one more big play in the fourth quarter, making a tackle for a loss on a running play, helping stop a Rams drive that ended in a field goal.
5. It was an eventful game on special teams.
It just wouldn't be Seahawks vs Rams without some strange happenings on special teams, and Sunday's game was no exception. The Seahawks had a disastrous start on special teams, with Michael Dickson's first punt getting blocked, then returned to the 12—though Clark's aforementioned interception kept that from hurting Seattle. Both teams created good field position with some long returns; the Rams, who are without regular kicker Greg Zuerlein, saw his replacement Cairo Santos miss an extra point, but bounce back to make a go-ahead 39-yard field goal in the fourth quarter; and perhaps most strange of all, Dickson took over kickoff duty from Sebastian Janikowski after Seattle's kicker hit two short kickoffs early in the game, with the punter drop kicking the rest of Seattle's kickoffs.
Former Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Red Bryant raised the 12 Flag prior to the team's Week 5 game against the Los Angeles Rams at CenturyLink Field.