News & Analysis

NFL Week 16 PFF ReFocused: Seattle Seahawks 20, Los Angeles Rams 9

Dec 27, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister (86) celebrates with quarterback Russell Wilson (3) after catching a touchdown pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What could have been perhaps dismissed as just a bad day at the office a week ago now has the look of something more systemic for the Los Angeles Rams‘ offense. They failed to fire once again and ceded their chance to take the NFC West with a 20-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story of the Game

The Rams' defense largely held up its end of the bargain, frustrating Russell Wilson for the second time this season and holding the Seahawks to just 20 points. But it turned out that was more than double what they would need to secure the win given Los Angeles' problems on offense.

Jared Goff had another ugly performance, making multiple turnover-worthy plays — including an interception — and producing an inefficient passing game for the second week running. The Rams' passing game actually averaged negative expected points added per play, effectively digging themselves an ever-deeper hole the more they threw the ball.

A week ago, the story was that the Rams' interior offensive line was destroyed by the Jets, and when that platform for the offense is eroded, they simply can’t fire. While Austin Blythe didn’t have a great game at guard, that doesn’t explain the disaster this time around.

You don’t exactly emerge from this game with a huge degree of confidence that either team has what it takes to run the table in the NFC and take it to the best teams in the league, but the Seahawks will at least host a playoff game having secured the division with this win.

The Rams still have to secure a wild-card spot, but they will also be spending some pretty significant time trying to identify what’s gone wrong with this offense in recent weeks and whether it can be put back together by the time the playoffs start. 

If things go as expected, this will also likely prove to be a repeat matchup in the first week of the postseason, giving the Rams a quick chance at redemption.

Rookie Watch

Wideout Van Jefferson played 14 snaps on offense for the Rams, dropping the only target thrown his way to somewhat typify the entire offense’s day. On defense, Jordan Fuller remains a starter at safety, seeing 61 snaps of action and making six tackles. None of those six tackles were defensive stops, and he was beaten for a touchdown in coverage.

Terrell Lewis played 15 snaps on the edge but was largely absent of any kind of impact.

For Seattle, Jordyn Brooks had one of his best games in the NFL at linebacker, playing 28 snaps and making several key contributions, including a critical fourth-and-goal stop late in the third quarter that was a potential huge swing in the game. Had the Rams been able to punch the ball in there, the game could have been much different, but Brooks combined with K.J. Wright to keep Seattle in the lead.

Alton Robinson played 18 snaps on the defensive line and had a pair of defensive stops.

On offense, Damien Lewis is a starter at guard and struggled in pass protection against Aaron Donald, in particular. Lewis allowed a couple of quick pressures.

Freddie Swain played 23 snaps at wide receiver but didn’t see a single target come his way.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts, and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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