Russell Wilson, Seahawks' offense stifled in decisive loss to Rams

LOS ANGELES -- The best thing you can say about the Seattle Seahawks' loss to the Los Angeles Rams? It might not matter much.

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Seahawks still have a 99% chance to make the playoffs, a 31% chance to win the NFC West, a 21% chance to earn the NFC’s No. 1 seed and a 30% chance to earn one of the conference’s top two seeds plus the first-round bye that comes with it.

Everything is still within their grasp, even with the San Francisco 49ers winning Sunday, reclaiming a one-game lead in the division and grabbing the No. 1 seed in the NFC with three games to go. Unless the Seahawks lose one of their next two games and the Niners win the next two, the Week 17 game between Seattle and San Francisco will determine the division champ and go a long way in determining the conference's No. 1 seed.

But the Seahawks (10-3) didn't exactly look like a team ready to make a deep playoff run with all the issues that did them in during their 28-12 loss to the Rams. They included ...

  • A defense that was gashed on four long touchdown drives -- they ranged from 75 to 96 yards -- and never sacked Jared Goff.

  • Pass-catchers who couldn't catch critical passes.

  • A lack of explosive plays on offense.

  • The combination of poor pass protection and Russell Wilson holding on to the ball too long that resulted in five sacks and 11 hits against Seattle's quarterback.

Including playoffs, the Seahawks had lost only five games by double-digit points with Wilson at quarterback entering Sunday. Make that six after a forgettable performance the Seahawks will need to flush out of their systems before heading to Charlotte next week to play the Carolina Panthers.

Pivotal play: Take your pick between either of the two drops that killed first-half drives. Malik Turner had one on fourth down. Jacob Hollister had one on third down. Both appeared entirely catchable. On another third-down play in the fourth quarter, Turner got open near the goal line but didn't seem to be expecting Wilson's pass.

QB breakdown: Wilson finished 22-of-36 for 245 yards, no touchdowns and an interception on a late desperation heave. It was the first time since Week 1 of the 2017 season at Green Bay and only the sixth time in Wilson's 125 career starts that the Seahawks failed to score an offensive touchdown. Wilson's longest pass play and the Seahawks' longest play from scrimmage was a 35-yard completion to DK Metcalf. Josh Gordon's 23-yard reception was the only other play that gained more than 20 yards.

Silver lining: Quandre Diggs continues to make an impact on the back end of Seattle's defense. His 55-yard pick-six gave the Seahawks life in the third quarter, and he followed it with another interception on the Rams' next possession. His numbers in four starts: three interceptions, one touchdown, a forced fumble that he recovered and several big hits that, if you ask Carroll, have given opposing receivers something to think about.