Seahawks best in so-so West
For all their flaws, the Seattle Seahawks are back where they always expected to be — in the postseason, as champions of the NFC West.
“I think it’s a huge significance in terms of consistency,” coach Pete Carroll said after watching his Seahawks whip the Los Angeles Rams 24-3 on Thursday night.
“It’s something that we take great pride in because of the implications for the playoffs.”
Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, including one to Tyler Lockett, who finished with 130 yards receiving.
The Seahawks claimed their third division title in four seasons, assuring themselves at least one home game in the playoffs and keeping the pressure on the Detroit Lions in the competition for the No 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye.
Seattle also snapped a three-game losing streak to the Rams and became the first team in the NFL to clinch its division — thanks to a season in which no team in the NFC West was particularly good.
The Seahawks have their shortcomings — which were obvious against the Rams — but they simply have more tools to compensate than anyone else in the division
It wasn’t a completely smooth evening for Seattle.
Richard Sherman was seen yelling at his coaches on the sideline in the third quarter, moments before Doug Baldwin’s one-yard touchdown catch.
Sherman said he was voicing his displeasure toward Carroll over his instruction to Wilson to throw on first-andgoal — a pass that was nearly intercepted.
“We’ve already seen how that goes. I’m sure you guys have seen that play enough times,” Sherman said.
It wasn’t an impressive display by the Seahawks (9-4-1), but was far better than their previous game — a blowout loss to Green Bay that saw Wilson throw five interceptions.
Wilson was good enough against the listless Rams. After slogging through the first half, he hit Baldwin late in the third quarter for a 17-3 lead, then put the game away with a 57-yard TD strike to Lockett on the second play of the fourth quarter.
Wilson finished 19 of 26 for 229 yards, but also threw a careless interception at the goal line midway through the fourth quarter.
Seven of his passes went to Lockett, whose previous career high was 104 yards. Luke Willson also had an 8-yard TD catch.
A mostly forgetable game was made at least somewhat more entertaining by the Seahawks and their gaudy green uniforms, which drew wild opinions all over social media.
Dubbed “Action Green,” the uniforms inspired very little action in the first half, before a second-half effort that assured another banner would be raised at CenturyLink Field.
A tumultuous few days for the Rams (4-10) after the firing of Jeff Fisher as head coach culminated in their fifth straight loss and first under interim coach John Fassel.
The Rams’ defensive front caused problems for Seattle in the first half, but LA’s offense provided zero help.
“It’s just a lesson for me that you always have to be ready to adapt and take on responsibilities that you didn’t anticipate,” Fassel said. “But it’s an experience I’ ll never forget.”
Seattle Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett lunges for a touchdown in front of a pair of Los Angeles Rams defenders during the second half of Thursday’s NFL clash in Seattle. Lockett had 130 yards receiving as the Seahawks clinched the NFC West title with a 24-3 victory.