August 1, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Rams can’t clinch playoffs in loss as Seahawks win NFC West

The Rams’ defense was tough, as it had been all season.

But the offense could not get it done.

The Rams failed to score a touchdown and lost another opportunity to clinch a playoff spot in a 20-9 defeat by the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle.

Russell Wilson tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jacob Hollister with less than three minutes left to seal a victory that gave the Seahawks (11-4) the NFC West title.

The Rams (9-6), who lost to the previously winless New York Jets last week, have lost two games in row for the first time this season, and the nine points Sunday were their fewest in more than a year. They still can earn a playoff spot if they defeat the Arizona Cardinals in the season finale next Sunday.

The Rams, postseason spectators last year, could have clinched a playoff berth if the Cardinals had defeated the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, or if the Chicago Bears had lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday morning. But neither scenario played out, leaving the Rams’ fate in their hands against the Seahawks.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who played through a third-quarter thumb injury, completed 24 of 43 passes for 234 yards with an interception. Wilson completed 20 of 32 passes for 225 yards and touchdown, and also rushed for a score.

The Rams had defeated the Seahawks, 23-16, on Nov. 15 at SoFi Stadium. But at that point, the Seahawks were one of the worst defenses in the NFL and were without running backs Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde.

Both defenses dominated in the first half, each team managing only two field goals.

The Seahawks had the first possession of the second half, and Wilson made several key plays, including a 45-yard pass to David Moore. Wilson improvised to complete an 18-yard pass to Hyde and then scored on a four-yard run for a 13-6 lead.

The Rams answered by driving to the Seahawks’ six-yard line. But running back Darrell Henderson suffered a leg injury on a four-yard gain. The Seahawks stopped Goff on a sneak from the one-yard line on third down and then stuffed Malcolm Brown to deny the Rams.

The Rams got the ball back later in the quarter and drove into position for Matt Gay’s 33-yard field goal that pulled them to within 13-9.

But the Rams could not generate another scoring drive after getting the ball with 9:19 left.

The Seahawks started a drive with 7:20 left and finished it with Wilson’s touchdown pass to Hollister.