Report Card: Seattle Seahawks’ Top Performers in Playoff-Clinching OT Win vs. Los Angeles Rams
Propelling themselves into the playoffs with the help of the Detroit Lions, the Seattle Seahawks finished their regular season with a thrilling 19-16 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field.
Securing a winning season and the final NFC Wild Card spot, Seattle had some stars shine on both sides of the ball as it completed its first regular season sweep of Los Angeles since 2013. Here’s a look at my top five grades good and other notable performances from a Week 18 playoff win as the Seahawks prepare to face the San Francisco 49ers for the first game of the postseason on Saturday.
Overall Grade: 89.0 (Run Defense 90, Tackling 86, Pass Rush 90)
Statistically, Nwosu didn’t have his best game of the season in terms of tackles or sacks. But an argument can be made that the fifth-year quarterback has never been more disruptive than he was against the Rams, consistently crashing the party in the backfield as a running back and pass rusher. As he prepares for an uncertain future in free agency, Baker Mayfield may have nightmares about No. 10 in the coming months after Nwosu racked up 10 quarterback pressures and four sacks against the former Heisman Trophy winner. He beat right tackle Rob Havenstein multiple times with a variety of speed and power rhythms, displaying his full arsenal of pass rush moves with everything from rip and dive combinations to bull rushes to rotational movements. While only credited with half a sack, he was a step up from some others and helped his teammates get sacks in the middle of the offense while adding a pass deflection. Far from rushing the passer, he wrestled running back Cam Akers for a five-yard loss early in the fourth quarter and later teamed up with Shelby Harris to bring down Mayfield on a designed quarterback run for a five-yard loss , putting an exclamation mark. points on a dominant performance in all phases.
Overall Grade: 88.0 (Run Defense 86, Tackling 84, Coverage 94)
Now a full year removed from breaking his ankle in the 2021 season finale, Diggs seems to be hitting his stride at the perfect time. Recording his second interception in as many games on the Rams’ only possession of overtime, the Pro Bowl safety showed that he still possesses elite wheels and ball-handling instincts, lighting up the back posts out of his backfield to caught a deep ball thrown by Mayfield, intended for receiver. Van Jefferson for the election. Seattle quickly marched down the field for a game-winning field goal thanks to his efforts, and another opposing quarterback received a stern reminder not to test Diggs from his home office on the field. Along with his key fumble, the veteran linebacker recorded six tackles, including teaming up with rookie cornerback Coby Bryant to knock down Brandon Powell wide of the sticks on the opening play of the fourth quarter to force the Rams . If not for a missed tackle early in the game that allowed the Rams to get a first down, he would likely sit at the top of the class on this report card.
Overall Score: 87.0 (scoring 90, “Run Blocking” 70*)
Back in action after undergoing hand surgery and missing part of the Week 17 win over the Jets with a bruised leg, Lockett made the most of his somewhat limited opportunities against a stout Rams defense. Recording four catches on six targets, the wily veteran returned three of those receptions on first downs, including a seven-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter and beating former teammate Bobby Wagner up the middle on a crossing pattern for a decisive first to the end. scored Myers’ game-winning field goal in overtime. But Lockett’s biggest play came on Seattle’s first possession of the second half, as he showed off his fine body control and route-running skills to help spark a 13-run game. After an outside release from the slot, he gained inside leverage against cornerback Troy Hill on a weak post, and once Geno Smith saw the quarterback pick off DK Metcalf on a crossover, he promptly dropped a perfectly placed 36-yard bomb. yard straight to the breadbasket. for his receiver to wrap up in a phenomenal over-the-shoulder catch for six points. The reception pushed him past 1,000 yards for the fourth consecutive season, joining Steve Largent as the only two players in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
Overall Grade: 86.0 (Run Blocking 82, Pass Blocking 90)
Looking refreshed and healthy after sitting out a game with a sore patellar tendon in his knee, Lucas built an impenetrable wall in front of Smith all afternoon, giving up no pressures, no hits and no sacks with excellent defense in 37 reps that block passes. When opponents tried to rush the bull, he set a strong anchor and did not allow them to topple the pocket. When linebacker Leonard Floyd and others tried to rush him, he fluidly moved into his slide and washed them down the field with ease. Lucas also held his own in the running game, successfully navigating the secondary and picking off linemen on several occasions to help Ken Walker III rush for over 100 yards for the third straight game. His score would have been even higher if not for going down like a bowling pin on Seattle’s last goal, which ironically happened on a 20-yard run by Walker that went right.
Overall Grade: 84.5 (Run Defense 86, Tackling 84, Pass Rush 85, Coverage 75*)
*Based on two cover clips
Earning a top-five finish for the third time in six games, Mafe finished his rookie season with his best performance yet. Playing nearly 50 percent of Seattle’s defensive snaps, he recorded three quarterback pressures on just nine pass rush attempts, including beating left tackle Ty Nsekhe with an explosive first step on a rush and eventually brought down Mayfield for a sack after initially failing to shut him down. up. On another occasion, he forced Mayfield to shovel a pass down the field by following him on a one-footer down the sideline. Staying strong against the run, as he has been all season, Mafe recorded a pair of tackles while establishing a solid lead all afternoon. His most notable run stop came in the third quarter when he kept his outside shoulder free on a designed keeper, deflecting Tyler Higbee’s blocking attempt by tossing him aside like a rag doll and stuffing him. Mayfield for a one-yard gain. The second-round pick continues to shine every week and the coaching staff is rewarding him with increased playing time heading into the playoffs.
Other notable performances
While his pass blocking wasn’t as sharp as Lucas with two pressures allowed, Charles Cross closed out his rookie campaign with a stellar outing and earned one of the highest grades as a run blocker, receiving an 83.0 grade. Right behind him, guard Damien Lewis didn’t allow a pressure and made several tackle blocks in the run game, earning an 82.0 rating. Continuing to improve as a run blocker, Colby Parkinson helped Walker run for 20 yards and also added a 32-yard reception, earning an 81.0 grade. Contributing as a receiver, run blocker and special teams punter, Dareke Young produced a pair of first down receptions and a tackle in coverage to earn an 80.0 overall grade. Out of the backfield, Walker used his underrated slip and strength to rack up 90 yards after contact as a rusher, but a missed catch on a blitz in the pass defense dropped his grade to 78.5. For the second straight week, Metcalf endured a rough afternoon catching three passes on eight targets with one drop, and an argument can be made that Smith’s first pick wouldn’t have happened had he taken a sharper route . For the second week in a row, he scored 68.0 overall.
Quietly creating an excellent defensive tackle, Shelby Harris finished second on the team with six tackles, and one of his pressures led directly to teammate Darrell Taylor’s sack, giving him an 83.0 grade. Continuing a rough stretch as an interior pass rusher, Quinton Jefferson pressured Mayfield four times and made a key tackle on him to force a third-down incompletion for an 81.5 score. Anchoring the middle of the defense without Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton made a critical third down to keep Akers out of the end zone on the Rams’ first possession and also recorded a pass breakup in coverage, earning an 80.5 grade. Rushing back Bruce Irvin led the team with 1.5 sacks and generated three pressures, but he was caught offside on several perimeter runs, lowering his grade to 77.0 overall. In the secondary, cornerback Tariq Woolen allowed 47 yards on two catches, but he also dropped a pass intended for Jefferson and didn’t lose a tackle, saving 75.0. Across from him, Mike Jackson abandoned the container on a 32-yard run by Akers, overshadowing an otherwise solid game for a 72.0 grade.
Hey, 12 years old! Get your Seahawks tickets from SI Tickets … HERE!
Want the latest news and inside information on the Seahawks? Click here to subscribe to the AllSeahawks.com Newsletter.
Follow All Seahawks.com on Twitter and Facebook
Be sure to subscribe to our daily @lockedonseahawks podcast today! Click here to listen.
Want even more Seattle Seahawks news? Check out the SI.com team site here.