By John Boyle
A few quick thoughts from my couch on the Seahawks 17-point win in St. Louis today…
The way Seattle won this game wasn’t pretty. Not even close. And really, that makes the victory that much more impressive. No, the Rams aren’t a good team, and no, this win won’t make Seattle a playoff contender all of a sudden, but this win was another sign of progress for a young team that appears to be growing up in the second half of this season.
Bad opponent or not, a double-digit win two time zones from home is impressive for Seattle. Even more impressive is that the Seahawks won despite a sloppy offensive performance that featured two Tarvaris Jackson interceptions on his first two attempts, four sacks allowed, and a ton of penalties once again. Seattle committed 13 penalties for the second week in a row, a total that included three false starts by Paul McQuistan, who was starting in place of injured right guard John Moffitt.
But while the offense struggled for most of the day, the defense was outstanding, holding the Rams to 185 yards while sacking Sam Bradford five times and forcing three turnovers. DE Chris Clemons, who has been quiet of late, had a monster game, recording three sacks, two of which also forced fumbles. No play was bigger that the sack and forced fumble he had in the third quarter while Seattle was clinging to a 10-7 lead. That led to a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run, and not long after the rout was on.
After St. Louis scored on a short field in the first quarter following Jackson’s second interception, the defense took over. Here is how the Rams remaining possessions ended following that touchdown: punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, fumble, punt, punt, punt, interception, fumble, end of game. Also worth noting is that the Seahawks have not allowed a rushing TD since their Week 4 loss against Atlanta.
And now this season has a little bit of a different feel to it, doesn’t it? Eight days ago, the Seahawks were 2-6, had lost three in a row and were about to play a tough Baltimore team. But after pulling off that upset, and after winning comfortably on the road, Seattle is now 4-6 with three straight home games coming up against teams that all have losing records (Washington, Philadelphia and St. Louis). And let’s not get carries away, the Seahawks aren’t going to catch San Francisco, which improved to 9-1 Sunday, nor are they realistically in the wild card chase short of winning every remaining game, but based off what the Seahawks have done the last two weeks, there are certainly a lot more signs for optimism not just for the rest of this season, but next year as well.