“Give us a blade of grass, and we’ll defend it,” Carroll said. “We were in full-on attack mode.”
That attack mode materialized on offense in spurts on Sunday, as Russell Wilson escaped the Rams’ pressure just enough times to lead two second-half touchdown drives, running for one score and throwing another to Jacob Hollister with 2 minutes 51 seconds remaining.
In clinching the division title, Seattle assured itself of earning at least the No. 3 seed in an N.F.C. playoff bracket that, bizarrely enough, might not even wind up including the Rams.
Even in this week-to-week league, they are as trustworthy as an email from a Nigerian prince. Just as they were approaching stability, winning four of five in a stretch that began with a Week 10 victory against Seattle, they faltered at home against the winless Jets. Put another way, after beating Bill Belichick’s Patriots on a short week, Sean McVay had 10 days to out-coach Adam Gase and could not.
The Rams, denied a postseason berth for the second consecutive week, can secure a wild-card spot by beating Arizona in Week 17. But they might have to play without Goff, whose status was imperiled after he appeared to dislocate his right thumb, on his throwing hand.
Even before Goff got hurt, he struggled. The first half unfolded as an extension of both teams’ recent fortunes, all middling offense and suffocating defense with a modicum of scoring. Had the field been shortened to 60 yards, Seattle and Los Angeles might not have noticed: Neither ran a play in the red zone.
The Rams’ forays into Seahawks territory produced two field goals and an interception that defied justification. On first-and-10 from the 29-yard line, Goff, flushed right, tottered toward the sideline, where a sliver of open space welcomed him. Instead of running, he floated a pass across his body into an area the size of a city park but absent any receivers.