2022 NFL Season, Week 13: Winners and Losers of Seahawks 27, Rams 23

The Seattle Seahawks (7-5) needed a win against the Los Angeles Rams (3-9) to put their playoff fate under control. All in all, that wasn’t a very good performance against a Rams team that was so undermanned and a shell of themselves. Then the injuries piled up and it looked like an embarrassing loss was imminent.

Geno Smith and DK Metcalf had other ideas.

A win is a win is a win, although that 27-23 win wasn’t pretty and far more frustrating than it should have been. I think that’s just how it is when the Seahawks play the Rams, regardless of era or QB.

Time for winners and losers!


Geno Smith

Wanted a Geno comeback ride in Q4? You have it. Smith had several other opportunities, all of which ended in losses. When the Seahawks desperately needed Smith to get through in the clutch, he delivered. Despite acknowledging Aaron Donald’s absence, Smith’s 28/39 for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns (with 1 interception and one lost fumble) was fantastic. No one has thrown for more yards in a game against the Rams this season than Geno.

Smith was the clutch, making smart decisions and plenty of accurate shots at all distances. What a phenomenal performance, especially with the team in dire need of a win. The lack of a running game meant offense fell on Geno’s shoulders and he rose to the occasion.

Seahawks Watch Management

Yes. This two-minute exercise was performed almost perfectly. The first goal for the Seahawks was to get into field goal range, which they did. The primary goal was to go for a touchdown and the win, and second, to give the Rams as little time as possible to react in regulation. I know Seattle had all three timeouts, but it was very good to be able to run down the clock with the field goal attempt in their back pocket, and the only timeout they used was after Marquise Goodwin put the Seahawks in a goal -to-go situation.

That was smart use (or non-use) of timeouts, meaning the Rams only had 36 seconds to respond and they never had much of a chance in a direct dropback situation.

DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett

It sure helps Geno that he has two stud receivers. Metcalf had 8 catches (on 8 goals) for 127 yards and the winning touchdown. Lockett had 9 catches for 128 yards and Seattle’s opening touchdown. Those were stellar performances from one of the NFL’s best receiving duos, and while Lockett’s excellence has been a staple of Seahawks football for eight seasons, it’s Metcalf’s performance that fans should enjoy. This is the kind of outing you want your prospective long-term franchisee to have, and the icing on the cake was getting the winner for Jalen Ramsey.

Noah Fant

Slowly but surely, it looks like Fant is now the top receiving target among the three tight ends. The former Bronco caught 4 passes for 42 yards and a touchdown in the back corner of the end zone. Fant has at least three receptions in four straight games and looks a little more like what the Seahawks presumably expected of him as a pass-catching TE.

Tariq Woolen

By my count, Woolen just gave up a 23-yard catch to Van Jefferson and that was it. He had his sixth interception of the season on a bad back pass from John Wolford, and Woolen saw it all the way. Woolen had defended three passes including one to Tutu Atwell which could have been a big play but Woolen’s long arms and closing speed can wipe out being beaten by a few snaps. Defensive Rookie of the Year? Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Uchenna Nwosu

After back-to-back games without a sack or anything really impactful, Nwosu recorded two sacks and helped Ryan Neal with a run stop by slowing Cam Akers in the backfield before Akers was brought down by Neal. He also had a tackle against Wolford in the open field, otherwise he would have run to a first down in the 3rd quarter. Nwosu now has nine sacks this season and remains the only reasonably consistent pass rusher for the Seahawks.

Darrell Taylor

Taylor’s snaps were deservedly reduced for his smashing performance that year, but with the Rams still in with a cry for a game-winning touchdown, he effectively wiped out any hope for Los Angeles with a first-down sack from John Wolford.

Jason Myers

Another perfect game for Myers, who hasn’t missed a kick since a PAT against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5.

Bobby Wagner

I’ve never used opposing players in W&L, but I have to make an exception with a Seahawks Legend. He had two sacks on Smith and is now a career high in a season at five. I don’t really think he should have intercepted, but it was reminiscent of a choice he made against the 49ers in 2017. Seeing Wagner play well but still getting the Seahawks the W was really the ideal outcome for me and I suspect a lot of other Seahawks fans too.


perform defense

This is such a terrible group right now and really for most of the season. The Rams picked up 171 yards from the ground, a season high by some considerable distance. This front seven is really struggling to get into the backfield, and the defensive line is blocked even by backup offensive linemen. Sean McVay chose plenty of creative runs with gadget receiver Brandon Powell, and it felt like the Seahawks were confused.

Too many edges aren’t set or the back doesn’t contain er… contain. Bruce Irvin in particular had a rough day when his leverage was used against him. It can not go on like this. Luckily, the Seahawks will call up Jalen Carter next year to solve both the running and pass defense problems…right?!

Running blockage of the offensive line

The offensive line is tasked with allowing four sacks, but I pin two of them to Geno Smith, who is holding the ball too long/unable to find anyone open. There was some other allowed pressure on Smith and certainly Abe Lucas and Charles Cross had some ugly reps but it’s the run blocking that is so weak. Kenneth Walker III had a 30-yard run on his opening carry and the remaining 19 running back carries totaled 57 yards. Andy Dickerson’s group is struggling at the attack point.

The Seahawks screen pass game

Today it was Will Dissly’s turn. It got 4 yards and might as well have been a waste of a down. What does this team need to create competent looking screen passes?

Michael Jackson

Not one of Jackson’s better days at the office. He rotated frequently with Tre Brown, but Jackson had a few difficult reps. The entire Seahawks defense tried hard for play action, but Jackson seemingly failed on the game’s opening drive and was lucky Wolford saw and threw it late enough that it wasn’t a touchdown. In the coming weeks, I’d like to see the breakup even out a bit more, although Jackson has been solid in reporting.

Seattle running back depth chart

Poor Tony Jones Jr. He should never have gotten that much playing time but the multiple injuries put him in this predicament. As he did so, he had a drop, an interception (which probably shouldn’t have been) when Bobby Wagner snatched the ball out of his hands, a huge blow to the head that resulted in a penalty and putting him out of the game took. Overall, with a limited understanding of the playbook, he only had 14 yards on 7 carries.

To update: And he was basically playing blind! What a situation.

Kenneth Walker III’s injury was bad enough, but not having Travis Homer was really huge in the context of that game. Because that depth has collapsed in 2019-like fashion at RB, I suspect Seattle will dive into its practice team or scout for free agents.

Closing remarks

  • DeeJay Dallas really gutted him playing on a hurt foot, and before that he had a great lightning pickup on the Lockett TD. Kenneth Walker’s potential absentee numbers are huge as he is more capable of making something out of nothing than the others on the depth chart.
  • Jordyn Brooks got his first sack of the season while Cody Barton ended the game when Wolford failed to flick the ball near a Rams goal. I don’t have a strong assessment of the two men’s overall performance, but I would love to see Brooks send more lightning bolts.
  • Like I said, it wasn’t a very good performance. The flu outbreak can provide some cover I think, but the fluctuations, broken orders and other errors have been a problem all season. Such is life with a young team that lacks too many established great players. But at 7-5 as of today, the Seahawks are in the postseason and that’s a lot better than what this season could have been. A playoff berth AND a potential top 3 draft pick isn’t what any of us envisioned, and yet it could happen.
  • Carolina may be 4-8, but they’re still reasonably in the NFC South race and their rushing attack, led by D’Onta Foreman, has proven impressive. I don’t take this game lightly, and with the way the Seahawks have handled the “soft” portion of the schedule, this could very easily turn into another upset. Let’s see if the Seahawks can maximize having four of their last five games at Lumen Field. If they can, maybe they just win the NFC West and at least make it to the playoffs. If not… well, two picks in the top 20 is still great!

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