The Rams faced the division-rival Seahawks and lost, making it their first loss to the Seahawks at home since 2017. The team kept it close with John Wolford leading a scoring drive to take the lead in the fourth quarter. It ultimately came down to a Geno Smith game-winning drive with a strike to DK Metcalf to win. Although they ended up losing it was another tough battle for this team. Let’s review the good the bad and the meh from another battle with the birds.
In the absence of Aaron Donald, someone had to step up and Hoecht was that guy. Hoecht had his first career sack on Geno Smith and followed it up with another one. According to PFF “Michael Hoecht has an 89.5 grade on first review, the highest single-game grade of his career by over 15 points. The third-year undrafted free agent recorded five pressures — and a couple of sacks — for a 15.6% pressure rate.” It’s unclear why Hoecht has taken this long to get playing time and get in the rotation, but he’s certainly earned a spot now. Hoecht summoned the power of Aaron Donald and was a game-wrecker on defense.
Brandon Powell might be one of the hardest-working players on this roster. From returning kicks to making plays on offense the former UDFA pickup has done so much for this team. Powell had the longest rush today of 20 yards beating every other true running back on the roster. He’s being used as a true gadget player on offense and it’s been fun watching the different ways McVay gets him the ball. Powell isn’t the most talented player on offense, but he makes use of his agility and athleticism to his advantage.
The Bobby Wagner revenge game went exactly as planned with him filling up the stat sheet. Wagner was a force on defense and proved that he’s still got all pro talent. He had seven tackles, two sacks, two QB hits, three tackles for loss, and an interception. Wagner was all over the field on defense and was the field general middle linebacker the Rams signed him to be. Games like these make his contract worth it as he continues on a great season.
Atwell had yet another good game when starting. It’s great to see a player that has been so disrespected by the fanbase and media prove the haters wrong. His deep-threat ability and speed are a welcome addition on the offense. Brandon Powell and him are used pretty similarly and both of them allow McVay to scheme up jet sweeps and clearing routes when going deep. Even with bad quarterback play, he was the leading receiver and should be the WR1 for the rest of the year.
Ability to Capitalize on Turnovers
This is something the Rams have struggled with all season, but this time it might have cost them the game. They couldn’t capitalize off of the big forced fumble by Hoecht going three and out. One of the main reasons Seattle won was their offensive efficiency and Geno’s ability to manage the game. Even after a huge interception by Bobby Wagner, the offense ended up settling for a field goal. Matt Gay had his work cut out for him against the Seahawks as the offense stalled in the red zone at times.
The secondary was pretty bad on Sunday with the main culprits being David Long and Derion Kendrick. Kendrick has been starting for a few weeks due to injuries and lately has been picked on by opposing quarterbacks. Between last week in Kansas City and this week against Seattle, Kendrick has been the weakest link on the back end. In the second half, he gave up a 40-yard reception to DK Metcalf because of a coverage breakdown. Ramsey also hasn’t been as strong recently due to the burden he has to shoulder on defense. David Long also wasn’t too great, with him in coverage during Noah Fant’s touchdown. Overall, the secondary is the weakest link on defense, a main reason why they drafted so many defensive backs this year.
Although Akers had the most touchdowns in a game of his career, his performance otherwise was pretty lackluster. The Rams leaned a bit more on the run game to take pressure off of Wolford resulting in Akers getting 17 carries. Usually when a back gets that many opportunities it means they’re having a great game, but for Akers. He frequently gets stuffed for no gain and it really shows that he needs to work on breaking contact. It’s great to see improvement from him but there’s still more to be desired.
John Wolford might be the definition of meh. He had some pretty good throws this game including a deep shot to Tutu and a sideline dart to Skowronek. For every good throw though, it was usually followed by a couple of bad ones including a forced interception while targeting Kyren Williams. It’s now pretty obvious why the staff likes Wolford over Perkins, as the offense had much more life this game. Another factor could be the fact that Wolford has a similar playstyle to Stafford making it easier to plug and play. Overall though he played as expected coming from a backup quarterback.