Seahawks 24, Rams 7: The Aftermath

by Joe on November 21, 2011

I am sure the first minute of the game was the same for you as it was for me.

Jackson hands to Sidney Rice on an end around. Crap, they got this sniffed out. Wait!!! He is gonna throw. He might actually catch that! SWEET! Perfect throw for 55 yards from Rice to Williams. What a great start to the game. He couldn’t have thrown that better! This is awesome. Seahawks are in scoring range. Let’s punch this into the endzone.

Tarvaris drops back to pass, looks left and throws. Crap. Interception. This sucks. What a waste of a good play. We were already in field goal range and had the Rams on their heels but we just gave them back all the momentum.

It is amazing how quickly we fans can go from pure excitement and hope to disappointment and despair.

But that was only the first minute. After Tarvaris Jackson got the interceptions out of his system and after Seattle gave up a touchdown to Brandon Lloyd they took control of the game on both sides of the ball.

This wasn’t a beautiful offensive performance by the Seahawks but the defense did an awesome job in this game. They were able to keep the Rams from ever getting any real momentum on offense, they got the Rams off the field on third down, and were able to dictate the pace of the game.

So let’s get into the good and bad of this game:

The Good

1. The Seattle defense was able to keep the Rams from putting together any real drives. If you look at the drive chart the longest drive for the Rams was an 8 play, 42 yard drive that resulted in a punt. There was a 6 play drive in the second quarter that took 3:31 but 11 of the Rams drives 15 drives were 2:08 or less. By keeping the Rams offense off the field Seattle was able to have a 10 minute advantage in time of possession. This kept the defense rested and allowed them to make big plays late in the game.

2. The Seattle defense came up with some big plays. Early in the game the Seattle D was doing everything they needed to do but later in the game is when the big plays happened. Chris Clemons had 3 sacks, Leroy Hill had 1 sack , and Red Bryant and Roy Lewis shared a sack. Brandon Mebane had two awesome tackles for loss, Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman both had some great pass deflections, and Seattle was able to force two fumbles by Sam Bradford. And let’s not forget Big Red Bryant’s interception and stiff arm. That was a great play.

Seahawks beat the Rams

Pretty much the scene all day yesterday

3. The Seattle defense was able to take Steven Jackson out of the game.
After yardage totals of 128, 130, and 159 rushing in the previous three games Seattle held Jackson to only 42 yards on 15 carries. That is only 2.8 yards per carry. That will win you games. Last week I talked about how the key to this game would be to stop Steven Jackson and the Seahawks defense did that. Take away Jackson’s 19 yard carry on 3rd and 26 in the second quarter and that gives him 23 yards on 14 carries.  

Here is how Jackson’s carries went this game: 2, -3, 0, 3, 2, 1, 19, 3, 1, -3, 1, 1, 3, 9, 3. That is a whole lot of nothing for very good running back. Awesome job by Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, and the rest of the defensive front for the Seahawks.

4. Seattle committed to the run again. I know as an offensive coordinator and head coach it would be tough running the ball when you are only averaging 3.3 yards per carry but Seattle once again stuck to the run and ended up having success. In earlier games it seemed like every first down would be an incomplete pass, second down would be a run for no gain and then the Seahawks were left in third and long. But over the past two games when Seattle ran the ball consistently they would get 3 yards on first down, 3 on second and leave a much more manageable 3rd and 4 or whatever.

Seattle isn’t getting huge chunks of yards in the run game but they did run the ball 39 times for 126 yards. Many of those runs were late in the game when Seattle needed to kill the clock but Seattle had 7 rushing first downs while the Rams only had 1. When you can move the chains on the ground like that you can control the game.

5. Seattle scored TDs in the red zone. Last week Seattle got to the red zone a lot but only came away with field goals. Today they were able to score 3 TDs in the red zone. OK, so technically Forsett’s TD was from the 22 but the Marshawn Lynch run and pass to Sidney Rice came in the red zone. A team like Seattle needs to take advantage of every scoring opportunity and they need to come away with TDs when they can.

The Bad

1. Penalties. This is really the only bad thing in this game. Seattle had 13 penalties for 100 yards and many of them were just lame penalties. I can totally accept penalties like Browner’s holding penalty or even Kam’s crushing hits but the false starts and offsides penalties are terrible. Most of these penalties weren’t killers and they only gave St. Louis 2 first downs due to penalties but it is frustrating when week after week we keep seeing dumb penalties like this.

Right now Seattle is 4-6 and have won their last two games. As we look at the rest of the schedule how many wins should Seattle finish off with? Let’s take a look at some of these games:

  • Nov 27th – Washington – The Redskins have been pretty dreadful over their recent 5 game losing streak. This should be a victory for Seattle at home.
  • Dec 1st – Philadelphia – Before the season started this game looked tough. But Philly has totally underperformed this year. Seattle can win this one but I would guess a loss here.
  • Dec 12th – St. Louis – The third straight home game. And the Rams look pretty terrible. Victory for the Seahawks
  • Dec 18th – At Chicago – Quick, who is Chicago’s backup QB? I didn’t know either and had to look it up. With Jay Cutler’s injury that leaves Caleb Hanie (14 career regular season attempts) and Nate Enderle (No NFL experience) as the QBs for Chicago. This game just got a lot easier and Seattle should win.
  • Dec 24th – San Francisco – I still don’t know how San Fran keeps winning. Their D is playing great and they are forcing turnovers but do they really seem like a 9 win team right now? Pretty sure the Niners will have the division wrapped up by this point so we could be seeing some backups. And it is at home. Hoping for a great Christmas present and a Seahawks victory.
  • Jan 1st – At Arizona – Arizona is in shambles at QB. They are looking pretty horrible right now and Seattle should get a win here.

Out of those 6 games we have 4 at home and there really are only two that scare me: Philly and San Fran. So the Seahawks could finish 8-8 pretty realistically and have a shot at 9-7. Heck, if they can play the way they have the last two games but get rid of some penalties and turnovers they could run the table. But I will temper my expectations a bit and predict 8-8.

What do you think? How many victories will the Seahawks finish the season with?

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