LA-SEA grades: Seahawks produce big plays on both sides of ball in win

Seattle dominates Rams in Week 15 victory, clinching the NFC West.

| 5 months ago
(Otto Gruele Jr., Getty Images)

(Otto Gruele Jr., Getty Images)

LA-SEA grades: Seahawks produce big plays on both sides of ball in win

Seattle Seahawks 24, Los Angeles Rams 3

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Seattle’s 24-3 win over the Rams in Week 15:

Seattle Seahawks

Quarterback grade: Russell Wilson, 71.0

Even in win, Wilson still misses more throws than usual

Wilson’s stat line may look night and day from last Sunday, but the improvement was far less significant than that. The Seahawks quarterback still missed a more throws than we’re used to seeing. The fourth down underthrow to Marcel Reece would have been a far larger deal had he not gotten bailed out by a penalty, and his interception – albeit in garbage time – was a complete head-scratcher. In the end, Wilson still finished with an adjusted completion percentage of 82.6.

Top offensive grades:

WR Tyler Lockett, 78.6

TE Jimmy Graham, 74.5

RB Thomas Rawls, 71.0

WR Doug Baldwin, 68.9

C Justin Britt, 60.8

Run-blocking is non-existent

As is almost always the case when these two teams meet, the Seattle offensive line was manhandled. On 22 carries, running back Thomas Rawls gained a total of -10 yards before contact. That is not a typo. It was as dominantly as we’ve seen a defensive line move the line of scrimmage all season long. Rawls had to average 1.9 yards after contact per attempt to get to a measly 1.5 yards per carry. Thankfully, that’s the last Seattle will be seeing of the Rams defensive line this season.

Top defensive grades:

DE Michael Bennett, 86.6

LB Bobby Wagner, 83.3

CB DeShawn Shead, 82.4

S Kam Chancellor, 81.7

CB Jeremy Lane, 80.5

Defense bounces back on short rest

Just four days after giving up 38 points to the Packers, the Seattle defense looked much better against Los Angeles. The Seattle defensive ends had a field day, with the four players combining for 13 pressures, including five sacks. Thursday night was Michael Bennett’s highest pass-rushing grade of this season, and Cliff Avril’s best pass-rushing game since Week 9. However, three missed tackles in the run game and an offsides penalty brought down his overall grade. It was a little bit of a down night for Richard Sherman compared to his typical level of play. He gave up two first downs on crossing routes in man coverage and was called for a defensive holding penalty.

Los Angeles Rams

Quarterback grade: Jared Goff, 67.1

Jared Goff and the rest of the Rams’ offense had their work cut out for them going up against a good Seattle defense on a short week and just days after firing former head coach Jeff Fisher. That said, it wasn’t a great night for Goff. He didn’t turn the ball over at all, but he had issues with accuracy on several occasions, including missing on what should have been a wide-open touchdown, and didn’t handle pressure well. On 13 dropbacks under pressure, he completed just two passes for 19 total yards and was sacked five times.

Top Offensive grades:

C Tim Barnes, 79.7

LG Rodger Saffold, 71.5

WR Kenny Britt, 71.2

WR Tavon Austin, 70.0

WR Pharoh Cooper, 65.2

Offense gives Goff little help

While Goff wasn’t great, neither was the rest of the offense. Goff was under pressure on 43 percent of his dropbacks, with the tackles being the biggest offenders. RT Rob Havenstein had his lowest-graded game in pass protection of his career, as he allowed seven total pressures, including three sacks. The run game didn’t go much better, as Todd Gurley was given little room to maneuver and averaged -0.2 yards before contact on his 14 carries.

Top defensive grades:

DT Aaron Donald, 90.6

DE William Hayes, 84.9

LB Alec Ogletree, 82.6

S T.J. McDonald, 79.5

DT Cam Thomas, 77.7

Backups predictably struggle

There is a reason why Cody Davis, Troy Hill, and Michael Jordan haven’t been starting all year for the Rams, and we saw why Thursday night. Hill was absurdly toasted on a fade route where he wasn’t within shouting distance of Doug Baldwin in the end zone. Jordan got picked on to the tune of six catches on six targets for 70 yards and a touchdown. And Davis got into the act by dropping to the deep middle of the defense, while everyone else played Cover-2 allowing Tyler Lockett a walk-in deep touchdown. It’s a shame that it had to spoil such a dominant performance up front.

PFF Game Ball: Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Shoutout to all the guest

    I really hope Aaron Donald leaves the rams when he hits free agency. Dude plays way too good to be on that team.

    • crosseyedlemon

      He won’t be a UFA until 2018 and the Rams will certainly either tag him or match any other offer that comes his way.

      • Shoutout to all the guest

        End decision is his if ue wants to stay or leave

        • crosseyedlemon

          He is having great success where he is and there are no indications he isn’t getting along with the FO or teammates so why would he want to leave?

          • Shoutout to all the guest

            To win a superbowl in his lifetime

          • eYeDEF

            What team with a better shot at a championship will even be in position to pay him the JJ Watt money he’ll want when he hits FA? That’s an easy one. Probably none. There are no guarantees he’ll have a better shot if he leaves than the Rams have of turning things around. And there are a ton of benefits that he now has playing in the LA market that he didn’t enjoy previously.

          • Shoutout to all the guest

            We’ll see

          • crosseyedlemon

            Your definitely right about the no guarantees. Players that went to the Panthers and Cardinals during this past off season probably anticipated being Super Bowl bound but look how badly those hopes were dashed.

  • k e1k

    jeremy lane sighting, this guy gotta be one of the biggest flip floppers week to week

    • David Stinnett

      He switches from slot to outside… he’s better as slot…I don’t know if that’s what’s going on

  • Mike J.

    I hope Goff has more in the tank than that. A very disappointing performance, esp. by today’s (remarkably high) rookie standards.

    • eYeDEF

      If you watched Goff at all in the preseason, this performance shouldn’t surprise you. It’s entirely in line with what he demonstrated he was capable of and the driving reason behind Fisher’s decision to stash him at the end of the bench to begin the year.

    • Eric

      67.1 seems like a remarkably generous grade for Goff. I saw a guy that held on to the ball too long, missed open receivers badly (including a easy throw under no pressure to Brian Quick who was wide open in the end zone), fumbled once, and threw a ball that should have been intercepted by Sherman. His overall numbers would have been better if Mike Thomas caught the well thrown bomb in the first half, but overall his performance was FAR below average for an NFL QB.

  • AKjester

    It was odd to watch how horrible the Hawks were at run blocking, while they were pretty solid in pass blocking. (Note – I am a Hawks fan and I likely have a pretty low threshold for solid in pass blocking).

    • gomer_rs

      This is the first Cable line that’s going to grade better at pass blocking over the season than run blocking.

    • eYeDEF

      I really don’t think previous lines were all that much better at running blocking. I think beastmode’s broken tackle abilities just made them look like they were.