Hard to take seriously a team that manages 135 yards of offense and 83 lost to penalties. Harder still is that as Seahawks await a return the health, Wilson gets beaten to a pulp.
Seahawks 14, at St. Louis Rams 9
When the best thing to be said about an NFL offense is that the quarterback is learning how to cover up the ball while being sacked, the conversation is about a dead team walking. But no.
The Seahawks at the season’s midpoint have the best record in the NFC at 7-1 largely because they have a remarkable talent for making something out of almost nothing. Definition of almost nothing? Let’s try 135 yards of total offense minus 83 yards from 10 penalties. AND THEY WON THE GAME because the Rams were slightly more oafish.
The Monday Night Football game in the sparsely populated Edward Jones Dome was, for both teams, a big pile of nothing. But the Seahawks prevailed because they made one good offensive play – an 80-yard touchdown bomb from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate – and one good goal-line stand. Most of the rest can be set curbside in the morning for pickup by the big green trucks.
Stripped bare were Seattle’s replacement tackles, Michael Bowie and Paul McQuistan. Rams defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn each had three sacks, and QB Russell Wilson went down seven times. The Seahawks coaches came up with no credible alternatives to the St. Louis pressure, leaving the outcome in doubt for the entire 60 minutes.
But, after playing their fourth road game in the past five weeks, they won. Remember this game in late December when it comes time to calculate playoff tiebreakers. The Seahawks are 3-0 in the division, and play Arizona and St. Louis again in Seattle.
Bad game? Yes. Big win? Yes.
FISTS TO SKY
PALMS TO FOREHEADS
On defense’s final stand: “The whole time the defense was out there I completely believed they would stop (the Rams). The defense really stepped up. It’s always a team effort.”
On the 80-yard touchdown pass to Tate: “He was the last guy in my progression (of reads), and he was one-on-one. He waved at the guy, which he didn’t need to do. But he made a spectacular catch.”
On the Rams defense: “They’re one of the best we will face this season. Their ends really brought pressure; how active their front seven are; how they stopped the running game. But not turning the ball over was huge for us. We’ll fix (the protection). Michael Bowie is a rookie going against one of the best (Long) in the game. He and (Robert) Quinn are as good as they get.”
On avoiding sack fumbles: “I was really conscious of it, making sure I got down. We talked all week about, if it’s not there, you have to surrender and protect the football.”
The long-known problems on the Seahawks offensive line have settled into a serious vexation that, thanks to two nationally televised games, are known to polar bears on the North Slope. There appears to be nothing immediately to be done about it, because if there were, certainly Carroll would have deployed it Monday night before Wilson gets pulled apart as if he were in medieval prison.
Even with veterans Zach Miller and Michael Robinson in the lineup, the offense was helpless against a very good Rams rush. With Marshawn Lynch held to 23 yards in eight attempts, there was no alternative weapon. The Seahawks had 40 offensive plays and 10 penalties for 83 lost yards.
The goal-line stand to end the game was memorable, but the main reason Seattle won was St. Louis’s offensive incompetence. Backup QB Clemens did a decent job, compromised on both interceptions by receiver failure, not Seattle craftiness.
The 7-1 mark is hard to take seriously when an offense at midseason generates 135 yards, 80 in one play. And while a return to health will help, the wait may cost them Wilson, who is taking a beating like no other starting QB in the league.
The primary salvation is the next three opponents are a combined 3-18 and there’s a bye in there. But they still are NFL teams, and unless the protection is fixed to help save Wilson, the Seahawks are pretenders.