Tyler Locketts punt-return touchdown was spectacular.
Tyler Lockett's punt-return touchdown was spectacular. Seattle Seahawks

I’m pretty sure the Seahawks used to be boring. Not all the time, mind you. Just sometimes. I remember back in the ’90s the Hawks would run out Kitna, Huard, Mirer, or Dilfer and get blown out sometimes. Even Matt Hasselbeck would make some shockingly weird decisions and the Seahawks would find themselves down by 20.

That’s not how the Seahawks roll anymore. By a number of standards, they should have been blown out yesterday in the opening salvo of their Quasi-Sufferable Road to Revengening and Reclamining the Super Bowl. Instead they almost won the goddamn game, losing 34-31 in overtime to the Rams after an accidental onside kick was followed up with a failure to convert 4th and 1 despite handing the goddamn ball to Marshawn.

The Seahawks blow out teams sometimes. They win close games sometimes. They lose close games sometimes. But, with zero double-digit losses during Russell Wilson’s tenure, they never, ever let things get boring.

Let’s breakdown Sunday’s loss:

• Of all the Seahawks footballing guys who got paid a lot of money this offseason, Bobby Wagner worries me the most. At least Russell Wilson dealt with a ferocious pass rush, going 32/41 with one turnover. The turnover was bad, but it was forced by massive pressure. Pressure is what the Rams do well (they have one of the two best defensive lines in the league, alongside Buffalo), and dealing with pressure is what the Seahawks don’t do well (having a comparable offensive line to Buffalo, which is not a good thing).

Wagner, on the other hand—yeesh.

The story of this game was the Rams were successful in the passing game. This would suggest the Legion of Boom was in disarray, but despite a fantastic Nick Foles strike over Richard Sherman, and one big Tavon Austin play, the wideouts weren’t doing damage. Instead, it was the other guys: running back Benny Cunningham had 77 receiving yards; tight end Jared Cook had 85; other tight end Lance Kendricks had 42.

And, while it goes without saying that much of that damage is due to the absence of Kam Chancellor (especially Kendricks’s touchdown), Bobby Wagner is being paid to be among the best coverage/tackling linebackers in the league. We shouldn't be one Kam Chancellor injury/holdout away from making the Rams look like a great passing team. But we were on Sunday because Wagner was mediocre. The linebacking corps as a whole wins my award for “Most Disappointing Unit of the Week,” which has yet to be sponsored by Cialis, but you know, fingers crossed.

• Rookie wide receiver, kick returner, and demigod Tyler Lockett is legit. His punt-return touchdown was spectacular. It didn’t look like the Rams had a prayer of stopping him. His kick returns were also great. He busted off a 35-yarder that was made by a slight hesitation early in the return that allowed a Seahawks blocker to chip the Rams’ gunner. That’s a savvy veteran play from a rookie. He was also terrifyingly good in the passing game, elusive as a route runner with elite breakaway speed.

A favorable early projection for Lockett was that he would be the Golden Tate replacement we needed. But now it’s looking like he could be even better. I’m not going to say Antonio Brown, but stay tuned…

• The Seahawks’s other top rookie, Frank Clark, did not have much of an impact in the game. This was not ideal for two reasons: One, moral flexibility was required to even consider drafting the guy, so it would have been good if he was instantly dominant; and two, it means that former top draft pick Greg Robinson is finally coming into his own for the Rams. Given how good Nick Foles can be when he has time to operate, an elite right tackle could make the Rams less of a Missouri-based annoyance for the Seahawks and more of a serious problem going forward.

• Newly acquired tight end Jimmy Graham was good. He had a somewhat quiet first half and everyone was like, “why is Jimmy Graham broken?” But then he caught a touchdown and was good. While integrating him into the offense will take some time, in the meantime he can just be a really good version of Zack Miller.

Marshawn Lynch is still the truth despite the end of the game. The Rams’s defensive line is so fucking good, and it’s so annoying that the Seahawks have to face Aaron Donald twice a year for the foreseeable future, but Lynch turned a lot of plays that should have been disasters into non-disasters. God, he takes a ton of hits though. I’m starting to realize as Lynch gets older that the real magic of Beast Mode is that he is not dead. Let’s never speak of this again.

This game was so annoying. Why did Pete Carroll call a timeout before the two-minute warning? Why did Steven Hauschka? With Good Jimmy Graham around, how did Luke Dubstep Willson bring his show back to the end zone? How did we not win a game where we got a strip-sack touchdown on a cornerback blitz to go up seven with four minutes left? How did the Cowboys, whom I think pose Seattle’s biggest obstacle to a potential third straight Super Bowl appearance, also win?

My biggest takeaway from this game, however, is that everything is okay (maybe). The Rams are a brutal matchup for this Seahawks team. I cannot emphasize enough how much better their defensive line is than our offensive line. Accordingly, our offense was mostly based around quick drops for Russell, which eliminates the most dangerous parts of his game. And yet he was still pretty good—and more importantly, we don’t play another team this year close to St. Louis in terms of pass rush.

As for the defense, we had fluky games of terrible linebacking last year, too. We went to San Diego and got punched in the mouth. Same thing in Kansas City. And again last year in St. Louis. If you threw Kam Chancellor into yesterday’s game, the Seahawks would’ve won, and if Bobby Wagner played better, they would have won comfortably. There’s a healthy dose of uncertainty around this team, but there’s no reason to think they aren’t very good.

It just kind of sucks that the Seahawks now have to go to Green Bay. I sense a totally understandable concern that this team is snakebit after last year’s thing I’ve blocked out of my mind forever. And if they start 0-2 absent their defensive leader, it will take some doing to stay positive. But I’m staying positive, and I’ll stay positive even if we lose a close one next week. I still think this Seahawks team is a good bet for some Super Bowl reclamation.