LOS ANGELES – A crowd of 91,046 filled the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Rams' first home game since their relocation from St. Louis, and if those fans were expecting a high-scoring shootout, well, they haven't been watching the Rams and Seahawks play each other very often. Once again, it was a low-scoring defensive battle, with the Rams prevailing 9-3 in a game that left Seahawks coach Pete Carroll feeling "really disappointed."
"It was tough," Carroll said. "A tough day. Those guys did a nice job. They held onto the ball well, they played a good solid football game, and that's all it took today. We got in our own way."
Here are five rapid reactions to Seattle's Week 2 loss:
1. It's always hard against the Rams.
The Seahawks are now 4-5 against the Rams since 2012, and seven of those nine games have all been settled by one score. The Seahawks actually out-gained the Rams 306-283, but lost the turnover battle and were just 4-for-13 on third down. A big part of Seattle’s offensive struggles also had to do with field position, which brings us to…
2. The offense struggled to overcome bad field position.
The Rams defense has long been a tough matchup for the Seahawks, and that was again the case Sunday. Making things worse for the Seahawks is that they were consistently pinned deep to start drives all afternoon long. Of Seattle's 10 possessions, seven started inside the 20-yard line, while the other three started at the 25.
The Seahawks did put together a long field goal drive early, but that was the extent of their scoring.
"We have not been able to shift the field position in our own favor," Carroll said. "And when you don't get turnovers, you can't change what's happening. This is a fine punting team and they did a nice job on us, so we had to overcome that, and we weren't able to overcome that today."
3. Michael Bennett and Frank Clark had big games.
Seattle's defense again played well, limiting the Rams to 283 yards and a 3-for-12 conversion rate on third down, and in particular defensive ends Michael Bennett and Frank Clark had impressive performances.
A week after registering Seattle's first sack of the 2016 season, Clark was disruptive again against the Rams with two more sacks. Clark also drew a pair of flags for holding, and while he didn't get credited for the tackle, he was in the backfield to blow up a running play that turned into a loss. Bennett, meanwhile, had one sack and was especially dominant against the run, recording three tackles for loss in addition to that sack.
"Frank is doing great," Carroll said. "Just like we had talked about, we had hoped we could keep moving him around and putting him in positions, and he is really taking advantage of it. He's doing a fine job."
4. Injuries took their toll on the offense.
Coming into the game, there was a lot of focus on Russell Wilson's injured ankle, but while the Seahawks quarterback appeared to make it the through the game without further issues, a pair of other injuries limited the Seahawks on offense, with Tyler Lockett coming out the game with a knee injury and Thomas Rawls leaving with a leg injury. Rawls had started the game at running back, and with C.J. Prosise inactive (wrist), the Seahawks had to finish the game with just Christine Michael and rookie Alex Collins at running back. Lockett did return to the game in the fourth quarter and had a 53-yard catch to give him a team-high 99 receiving yards. Wilson noted that having just three active receivers while Lockett was out limited the ability to go up-tempo as much as they'd have liked.
Lockett's absence also affected the Seahawks in the return game, with Paul Richardson taking over on kick returns and Richard Sherman handling punt-return duty.
5. Jimmy Graham had a bigger role as expected.
After being limited to just 17 snaps and one target in the first game, the expectation was that tight end Jimmy Graham would be more involved this week, and indeed Graham got the start and was on the field a lot more. Graham was also more involved in the passing game, hauling in three catches for 42 yards.
Asked about his knee after the game, Graham said, "I feel fine. I feel the same."
The Seahawks fall 9-3 in their first road game of the 2016 season against the Los Angeles Rams.