Seahawks get completely outclassed by Rams in 42-7 beating

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, left, talks with Seahawks strong safety Delano Hill (42) as Frank Clark, right, and D.J. Alexander, second from left, look on, after Hill was ejected from an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams following a scuffle on the field in the second half Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE (AP) Pete Carroll was short and curt, and felt no need to try and provide explanations for the most lopsided loss in his Seattle Seahawks tenure other than the most obvious.

”No, there is nothing to be happy about. That was a really dismal performance by us,” Carroll said.

With a chance to take the division lead and have control over their playoff fate, the most important game of the season became a one-sided embarrassment the Seahawks were left to explain after a 42-7 pummeling at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams.

Instead of Seattle overcoming its long list of injuries and putting forth the same kind of effort as two weeks ago when it knocked off Philadelphia, the Seahawks were completely overmatched against their division rival and for at least this season appear to have been knocked off the pedestal atop the NFC West.

The Seahawks weren’t simply beaten. They were outclassed, outcoached, out-everything. The Rams led 34-0 at halftime and 40-0 midway through the third quarter.

There was no point where it seemed the Seahawks were even going to threaten the Rams and that might be most troublesome of all for a team that has prided itself on the ability to compete to the final second.

”Today is not a representation of us,” safety Bradley McDougald said. ”It was embarrassing and humbling. I don’t think anything that happened today is going to carry over to next week.”

Seattle still has slight playoff hopes, both for the division and a wild-card berth, but the most direct route to the postseason was beating the Rams.

Battered by key injuries, the Seahawks needed their stars to show up, yet they became part of the problem.

Russell Wilson was not at his best early when Seattle was struggling to get anything started offensively. Whatever brief MVP campaign Wilson had going finally ended with his only value turning out to be a third-quarter touchdown pass to Luke Willson that kept the Seahawks from getting shutout.

Wilson was 14 of 30 passing for 142 yards and a touchdown. He fumbled trying to spin out of a sack and threw a backward pass that lost 23 yards trying to avoid another.

Wilson did get sacked seven times even though Seattle knew slowing the Rams pass rush was perhaps the biggest key. Doug Baldwin had one catch. So did Jimmy Graham – for minus-1 yard.

”The game kind of got out of hand really quickly,” Wilson said.

The lack of offense in the first half never allowed Seattle to switch field position. The Rams scored on six possessions in the first half that started at midfield or in Seattle territory.

The Seahawks beleaguered defense was constantly faced with defending a short field and couldn’t stop the Rams from getting points.

Todd Gurley had 144 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the first half. The Rams averaged 5.7 yards per carry for the game.

The strife in the Seahawks locker room appeared to spill over to social media following the loss. After the game Earl Thomas questioned whether injured linebacker Bobby Wagner should have been playing with a hamstring injury and believed Wagner should have been pulled from the game earlier than he was.

Wagner appeared to take issue with the comments and responded with a series of posts on Twitter that he later deleted. Wagner played at less than 100 percent, and the Seahawks were without four defensive starters from the start of the season: Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and K.J. Wright, who suffered a concussion last week and did not recover in time.

”To be totally honest, I think the guys that played, you’ve got to give your hats off to (Wagner) and a couple guys that played. But my personal opinion, I don’t think they should have played,” Thomas said. ”The backups would have done just as good. The injuries, Kam, (Richard Sherman), K.J., it definitely hurt today.”

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