LOS ANGELES — So, the first thing to remember is that Seattle still controls its destiny when it comes to the NFC West.
If the Seahawks win out, they are assured of taking the NFC West because winning out would mean beating the 49ers again and having the tiebreaker on San Francisco.
But the margin for error got a lot slimmer with the 28-12 loss to the Rams on Sunday night that was rarely competitive — the Rams outgained Seattle 455-308 and led 21-3 at halftime, by which time the game seemed over.
It was a rather stunning end to Seattle’s five-game winning streak, as well as its six-game winning streak on the road.
“We’ve got to come to play every game, every single week, especially when you’re 10-2,’’ said defensive tackle Jarran Reed. “You’re going to get everybody’s best game. They took it to us tonight. We just gotta take it on the chin and go back to the drawing board.’’
Seattle is now 10-3 and fell a game behind the 11-2 49ers.
Seattle now is the No. 5 seed in the NFC after entering the game having a chance to be atop the conference. That will sting some.
But this also was always going to be a tough game going on the road following a Monday night game at home against Minnesota.
On to some grades.
A late interception led to a bad passer rating for Russell Wilson at 69.8. But he was hardly the reason for this defeat — he was under pressure quite a bit and sacked five times.
Still, a Wilson pass to a momentarily open Tyler Lockett on a go route late in the second quarter appeared to hang in the air a little bit with Rams cornerback Troy Hill able to recover and break it up — Hill probably should have had an interception.
It was that kind of night.
Wilson didn’t throw a touchdown for the first time since playing against Minnesota last season, a span of 15 games.
Lost in the misery is that Chris Carson moved past the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second straight year — he now has 1,057.
But that was hardly a salve on a night when the Seahawks might have lost Rashaad Penny for the season to an ACL injury (Pete Carroll referred to it as a “significant’’ ACL sprain afterward).
The early loss to injury of Penny meant that Seattle had to go with C.J. Prosise as its backup tailback. Prosise had not been active for a game since Oct. 20.
After a fumble in the second quarter when Prosise didn’t seem to know if he should take the ball from Wilson, he never carried the ball again.
There wasn’t a lot of room for the receivers on a day the Rams dominated, but two big drops early helped send the game the direction of the Rams.
Malik Turner dropped a pass that would have converted a fourth-and-one at the Rams 24 midway through the second quarter.
Tyler Lockett 43 yards on four catches and looked a little more like his usual self, but no one really looked good overall.
DK Metcalf was shadowed most of the night by Jalen Ramsey and got a personal foul in the third quarter for tussling with Ramsey.
Metcalf downplayed it later, but it showed the kind of tactics opponents will likely attempt to keep him in check.
Luke Willson missed his third consecutive game with a hamstring injury, with Jacob Hollister again filling in as the starter.
Hollister has been reliable, but had a bad drop on a third-down play on Seattle’s fourth series of the game, forcing the Seahawks to punt.
The Seahawks got little done on offense with just 308 yards against a tough front.
Seattle again used George Fant substantially as an eligible tackle — and on one play in the first half it paired Fant with Jamarco Jones, giving Seattle two eligible tackles and seven linemen.
But unlike last week, the Seahawks couldn’t really move it.
There was no real pressure on Jared Goff all night — he was never sacked and Seattle had just four quarterback hits, two by Quinton Jefferson who was about the only player up front who seemed to play well.
Playing without Ziggy Ansah didn’t help, but Seattle seemed slow up front all night.
Cody Barton got the start at strongside linebacker, but this was a tough game for everyone. Bobby Wagner had 14 tackles, which spoke in part to how easily the Rams were getting the ball downfield.
The impact Quandre Diggs has had on this team continues to be mind-boggling.
In just his fourth game with Seattle, he had two interceptions, including the pick-six that gave Seattle life in the third quarter. He had another interception later in the quarter at the 3-yard line to stop another Rams drive.
He has four turnovers in four games with the Seahawks.
But otherwise, this was a really tough night as the Seahawks seemed confused in the secondary by the Rams’ misdirection plays.
Seattle appeared to have some miscommunication on a 33-yard pass from Goff to Tyler Higbee on a third-and-nine play that set up the Rams’ first touchdown.
Jason Myers missed a PAT that seemed like it might be a big deal. Seattle covered returns OK, but had a late fumble on a punt that it was lucky to get back.