BY SPNW Staff 09:38PM 10/28/2013

Seahawks Stand Preserves Ugly 14-9 Victory

The Seahawks are 7-1 after an ugly 14-9 victory over the St. Louis Rams Monday at the Edward Jones Dome, and extremely fortunate to have finished the first half on a positive note. Seattle needed a goal line stand on the game’s last possession to close out a night when its offense was almost non-existent.

The Rams ran seven plays in the red zone in the final 1:23, including five inside the Seattle six-yard line, but couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. The final play, in which Seattle executed an all-out blitz, was a pass from quarterback Kellen Clemens intended for WR Brian Quick that sailed over his — and cornerback Brandon Browner’s — head as time expired.

“The defense did a huge job there, coming up with that stop,” said Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.

The victory marked Seattle’s 15th in its last 17 meetings with the Rams, its 14th win in 16 games overall, and extended the best start in franchise history, which includes a 3-0 record in the NFC West. But it also showed that the Seahawks cannot get back starting tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini soon enough.

The Rams sacked Wilson seven times, a career high, three each by ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long. The pair so overwhelmed backup tackles Michael Bowie and Paul McQuistan that the Seahawks were limited to seven first downs and 135 net yards of offense, 80 coming on one play — a touchdown pass from Wilson to Golden Tate in the third quarter that was the game-winning score.

Wilson also threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Tate, but overall hit on 10 of 18 passes for 139 yards. Wilson couldn’t even scramble, gaining 16 yards on three carries.

“Their defensive ends were just coming all day,” said Wilson, who survived an 11-hit clobbering aside from the seven sacks. “Their defensive line just kept making plays. But we were able to come up with that big play at the end.”

Snapshot of Wilson’s night: In one sequence in the first half, Wilson dropped to pass five times and was sacked four times. Snapshot of the Seahawks’ offense: In their first 31 plays, they gained only 42 yards.

Marshawn Lynch might as well have not bothered to fly to St. Louis. He had only eight carries for a net of 23 yards, his weakest effort — through no fault of his own — since he gained 11 yards on six carries against Pittsburgh Sept. 18, 2011.

Seattle’s defense made the big play at the end and also came up with a pair of interceptions, but uncharacteristically allowed the Rams to rush for 200 yards, including 134 by rookie Zac Stacy.

The Seahawks were also flagged 10 times for 83 yards, including a taunting call on Tate that rated a sideline chewing out from head coach Pete Carroll.

“It’s not always going to be pretty,” said cornerback Richard Sherman. “You have to be able to win ugly.”

In the first quarter, Kicker Greg Zuerlein capped a seven-play, 30-yard drive with a 33-yard field goal, giving St. Louis a 3-0 lead. The Rams a chance to add on the next possession, but LB Bruce Irvin made his first career interception as the first period ended with Seattle having done nothing offensively. The Seahawks registered minus-one yard of offense in the opening quarter, the lowest in any first quarter since 2007.

Richard Sherman made his fourth interception at 8:18 of the second quarter, setting up the two-yard TD to Tate. Wilson had a 17-yard run during the drive, which St. Louis abetted by getting flagged three times on one play.

From the one-yard line, Wilson twice — inexplicably — ran read-option keepers with Lynch in the backfield.

Quinn dominated the first half with three sacks and a tackle for loss. The three sacks came up one shy of the NFL record for a half. Wilson completed six of 11 passes for 37 yards, and Lynch ran four times for eight yards. The Seahawks had 38 yards of offense while St. Louis had 131.

Zuerlein booted a 28-yard field goal at 4:01 of the third, slicing Seattle’s lead to 7-6, but Wilson then made the biggest play of the game, hitting Tate with an 80-yard touchdown. Tate was so jacked over the offensive breakthrough that he taunted the Rams DBS for the final 30 yards after his catch and received a 15-yard penalty, assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

Zuerlein kicked his third field goal, a 27-yarder, ending a drive that Seattle absurdly extended when a holding penalty on Browner on third-and-16 on play gave the Rams a first down. But in the Rams next-to-last possession, Zuerlein, after 14 consecutive makes this season, missed his first, from 50 yards wide right, meaning St. Louis’s last possession required a touchdown to win.

Starting from their own 3, they made it 95 yards. They needed 97.

NOTES: The Seahawks return to CenturyLink Field Sunday to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7), thrashed 31-13 in their last outing . . . Wide receiver Sidney Rice suffered a knee injury and and a blow to the head in the second quarter. He did not return to the game, and there was no immediate word on his condition.


YourThoughts

  • Kage McClued

    We didn’t win ugly… we won stupid. The OC should be smacked… and your point about Lynch is on-point. And why didn’t we have tight-end help for the obviously over-matched tackles?

    We won. But we sucked… and almost anyone else would have crushed us tonite.

    Tate should be suspended for that idiocy. And the penalties?

    Why don’t the players seem to give a damn?

    • tedsfrozenhead

      Have to agree with you Kage. Seahawks took a big step backwards with this one even though it was a win.

      All these showboaters, not just Tate, should get penalized for every dance they do when they make a tackle, catch a ball or run for a first down. It makes them look like ego driven children.

      • K.j. Hinton

        The lack of discipline reeks. And undisciplined teams don’t bring home the hardware.

    • Eric K

      Yeah, but you know what is worse than winning ugly? Losing pretty. Which Stanford game do you think the Huskies prefer, the ugly win last year in the CLINK or this years loss at Stanford?

      The problem the Hawks have on offense is simply lack of the starting tackles, They’ll both be back before the stretch run off tough games. Being 7-1 with the O-Line situation is amazing, and Harvin adds a huge weapon. We need the offense to be clicking at the end of the year, this stretch is just about survival and banking Ws.

  • tedsfrozenhead

    Perhaps the most undeserved win in Seahawk history….

    I have said all season that the Seahawk offense rarely shows up for an entire game and tonight they barely showed up at all. The tackles were horrendous and should have received a little help. When Russell Wilson not getting sacked is a small victory your team has troubles. If not for the defense this game would have been an embarrassing loss.And the penalties….what is wrong with this team and the personal fouls, taunting and stupid infractions? Carroll needs to see this as a reality check and make the adjustments needed to get this team back on track.

    As it is, the blueprint for beating the “Hawks was revealed by the friggin’ St. Louis Rams

    • Hammtime

      Agreed. The Hawks Achilles heel has been exposed. Stack the box to stop the run and crash the ends – the offensive line can’t stop the pass rushers.

      • Eric K

        it wasn’t exactly a secret, everyone has been putting pressure on them with the starting tackles out, not every team has the ends the Rams do though.

  • Will

    A while back I sorta rooted for Tate but after tonight’s dumbness I’ll be rooting for Pete to trade him.

    And if they don’t start protecting Wilson he’s going to prematurely suffer memory loss just like what Brett Farve says he’s experiencing.

    • Hammtime

      Yeah, I was actually embarrassed for Tate after that play. Put your hand down, shut up and play the damn game!

  • Hammtime

    I’m also not impressed with the defense. It felt as if the Rams could run or throw the ball at will. They had a backup journeyman quarterback out there and he drove the Rams downfield on that last drive like a hot knife through butter. What happened to our pass rush? What happened to our outstanding DBs? If Zuerlein makes that 50 yard field goal (as he usually would), the Rams go on to win this game.

    • Matt712

      The Rams, rushing yards was a bit of a surprise, but the Seahawk defense won the game – they were gassed the last drive and still didn’t let them in the end zone. Rams time of possession was almost double the Seahawks.

      By mid 3rd qtr I was actually kind of hoping the Hawks would win this without going over 100 yards of total offense – in much the same way they made the playoffs a couple years ago with a losing record.

      • Hammtime

        Yeah, I’ll give the D credit in that despite giving up the 200 rushing yards they did hold the Rams to only field goals and I believe 0 for 4 in the redzone. Also didn’t help that the offense couldn’t sustain any drive (7 first downs and only 40 offensive plays).
        Still, with a backup QB, I didn’t think the Rams would be able to move the ball as easily as they did.

  • Matt712

    Random Thoughts:
    1. The Seahawks were embarrassed and outplayed by a more physical, more inspires, it fortunately less talented team.
    2. Except for the score, this game was a loss. Thank heaven the score is the only stat that matters at the end if the game/season.
    3. Russell Wilsom continues his mastery of the X-factor. Any other QB (given his protection) would have made some sort of game altering mistake. He did not.
    4. It finally took an elite speedy D-line to expose Seattle’s O-line as the chink in the Team’s armor.
    5. No Mike Rob? WTF?!
    6. Golden Tate should be benched or trade. What is is he, like 14 years old?! I’ve seen enough. No excuse.
    7. Any more rhetoric about bringing Percy Harvey along slowly or “the right way” should be summarily dismissed. This offense needs him. Now!

  • RadioGuy

    The on-field woofing and penalties we’ve been seeing from the Seahawks are not helpful because that sort of stuff only works against you. For all the talent Seattle has (and this is a Super Bowl-quality roster), lack of discipline may be their undoing in the postseason because they’re going to be facing the best teams in the NFC and one of them may figure out how to take advantage of that. And don’t think the referees are loving the show, either. Anybody want to get on THEIR wrong side?

    At some point, Pete Carroll is going to have to ditch the Norman Vincent Peale act long enough to get in his players’ collective grilles about cutting the woofing, cutting the penalties and just playing the game. All the talent in the world does you no good if you’re doing things to beat yourself.