The Seahawks have scored 15 points in two games and have scored one touchdown in 22 possessions this season. “Yeah I’m real surprised about that. I never would have anticipated that happening starting the season,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
LOS ANGELES — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll thought receiver Tyler Lockett was done for the day after suffering a sprained knee in the second quarter.
But with the game on the line Sunday, there Lockett was, having convinced Seattle coaches he was healthy enough to play.
“I’ve got to be in a coffin for me not to come back,” Lockett said.
Seattle racked up 10 penalties for 114 yards
The Rams had nine penalties for 78 yards
And for a brief moment, it appeared his 53-yard catch with just less than two minutes left might be enough to bring the Seattle offense back from the dead with a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter for a second consecutive week.
Instead, a Christine Michael fumble three plays later put a fitting capper on a 9-3 defeat against Los Angeles — Seattle’s third consecutive loss to the Rams in three different cities.
It was the fewest points the Seahawks had scored since a 6-3 defeat at Cleveland on Oct. 23, 2011, and the first time Seattle had been held without a touchdown since a 13-6 loss at San Francisco on Oct. 18, 2012 — the seventh game of the Russell Wilson era.
And it means the Seahawks have scored just 15 points in two games with just one touchdown in 22 possessions.
“Yeah, I’m real surprised about that,” Carroll said. “I never would have anticipated that happening starting the season. I thought we would be ahead of that.”
Adding to the concern on this day was a mounting litany of injuries.
Wilson gamely played quarterback on a high ankle sprain that Carroll said made him “a little bit limited.” The good news is that he made it through and said he anticipates being better next week.
Lockett missed most of the second half with his knee injury while running back Thomas Rawls sat out all of it after being kicked in the lower leg, which Carroll indicated is not serious. Receiver Doug Baldwin also said afterward he felt “like crap” after taking a number of hard hits, and said he will have his knee examined Monday.
The injuries factored into almost everything Sunday.
Knowing the Rams would seek to tee off on Wilson — whom they have sacked 37 times in the past nine games — the Seahawks hoped their running game could drive the offense.
Instead, it barely got out of neutral. Rawls and Michael had just 10 yards on 11 carries in the first half and Seattle finished with 67 yards on 24 carries.
“It took us awhile to figure out what we needed to do the way they were playing us,” Carroll said. “The way they were attacking the line of scrimmage. They were really good. We needed to make sure we figured it out and it just took us a while — not soon enough. We weren’t able to stay with it long enough to really develop it in the second half.”
With Lockett out, Seattle had just three receivers for most of the second half, which limited the ability to play up-tempo — the strategy that had worked well in two scoring drives against Miami.
The new injuries to skill-position players only exacerbated that the Seahawks continue to play with a rebuilt and still-needing-to-prove-itself offensive line that also had to go with J’Marcus Webb at right guard for a second consecutive week in place of first-round draft choice Germain Ifedi.
Seattle also got called for three offensive pass interference penalties, including two on Jermaine Kearse, that helped stall drives.
The Seahawks moved it consistently only once — a 14-play, 71-yard drive the second time they had the ball, and that was aided by three penalties against the Rams.
But after reaching the 4, the drive stalled and the Seahawks were forced to settle for a 23-yard Steven Hauschka field goal.
The Seahawks never again got past the Los Angeles 43 until the final drive, when Michael fumbled at the 27 with 45 seconds left with Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree recovering.
That was enough to allow the Rams to win even though their offense had just three field goals and moved inside Seattle’s 20-yard-line only once.
The Seahawks defense, though, didn’t force a turnover for the second consecutive week and the Rams moved it just enough — five of 10 possessions lasted eight plays or longer — so that the Seahawks never began a series outside of their own 25 and had an average drive start at the 17-yard line.
“I feel like we could have done a better job of giving them better field position,” said middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. “We could have gotten them (the Rams) off the field a couple of times, too.”
That was the general sentiment of a defense that didn’t appear ready yet to levy any frustration at the offense.
“We played great defense,” said Michael Bennett. “We’ve just got to do better as a team and we will do better.”
Lockett thought they were on the verge after his catch, which came on first-and-10 from the 12. Lockett beat Troy Hill to get open, but lamented he couldn’t then break free.
“I was thinking that I should have kept my knees up so I could have broken the tackle,” Lockett said. “But I thought we still had a chance.”
A few plays later, when that chance evaporated, what became certain is that the Seattle offense has even more work ahead than anybody could have anticipated.