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Seahawks grind out 24-7 win over Rams
Posted By Erik Olsoy On Nov 21 2011 @ 4:51 pm In Seattle Seahawks | No Comments
The Seahawk defense held the Rams to just 185 yards, and dominated the game from start to finish. The Rams were able to strike first when quarterback Sam Bradford hit newly-acquired receiver Brandon Lloyd for the game’s first touchdown. However, they weren’t even able to get far enough into Seahawk territory during the rest of the game to even attempt a field goal, let alone score another touchdown. In what was (in my opinion) their best performance of the season, the Seattle defense held the Rams to just 42 yards rushing, and recorded five sacks. The Seahawk offense wasn’t amazing, but was able to manufacture more than enough points for the win.
It was NOT a pretty game. Seattle was called for 13 penalties that cost them 100 yards. Furthermore, Tarvaris Jackson had two interceptions, and the offense could only muster 289 yards of total offense. This said, it was a typical Seahawk win: tough, physical defense, some scary special teams moments (including a muffed punt), just enough offense, and a close game until the very end. Pretty or not, it appears that this is the Seahawks’ identity.
The new offensive formula appears to be similar to that of the New York Jets’ “ground and pound” style. Yesterday, the Seahawks attempted 25 passes and 39 runs. The week before against the Ravens, Seattle attempted 27 passes and 42 runs. Marshawn Lynch’s consistent gains on the ground (he’s also scored a touchdown in the last 6 games he’s played) have become the bread and butter of the offense. Along with solid kicking from Steven Hauschka and a stingy defense, this new game plan has been quite successful. With the relatively easy schedule remaining for the Seahawks, I think they can rely on this strategy for continued success.
I need to take a moment now to talk about the Seahawk defense. They are so much improved from last year that it is like watching a completely different team. Pete Carroll has built them into an extremely physical and imposing unit, and they have established a reputation as being one of the toughest teams to run against in the league. By making opposing teams one-dimensional (they can’t run, so they pass), they can sit back and focus on not getting beat by deep passes. The only way to get down the field on them is by completing a bunch of short and medium length passes. Very few teams have the capability of doing this on a regular basis, and what we’ve seen is a defense that gives us a CHANCE to win almost every game. Rams star running back Steven Jackson was nearly invisible yesterday, rushing for just 42 yards on 15 carries, forcing quarterback Sam Bradford to carry the Rams offense. He was just 20 for 40 passing – obviously not enough to lead his team to a win.
Against the Rams, Chris Clemons recorded a season-high 3 sacks, bringing his total to 8. He is in the top 10 in the league in that category, and is the main threat in the Seahawk pass rush. Kam Chancellor was also able to play despite sustaining a concussion against the Ravens the week before. His presence in the secondary is crucial, as he is the “enforcer” back there. Receivers coming across the middle know that they’ll be feeling the pain if they try to haul in a pass anywhere near him.
All in all, Sunday’s win over the Rams was actually a big one for the Seahawks. They proved that they ARE actually a team that deserves to win games (not just winning flukes or on opponent’s off-days). With remaining games against the struggling Redskins, Rams, Cardinals, and Eagles, I see no reason why the for the Seahawks not to finish close to 8-8 this year. If they had only won their winnable games against the Browns and Falcons, we might be talking playoffs.
I like what Pete Carroll has done with this team. As one of the youngest teams in the league, they will only continue to improve moving forward. As I keep saying this year, there is reason to be optimistic about the Seahawks’ future.
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