By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
SEATTLE — Through the first 15 games of the regular season, the Seattle Seahawks had not given up more than four sacks in a single game. Only twice had they given up more than two sacks.
But in Sunday’s regular-season finale against St. Louis, the Seahawks gave up three sacks in the first quarter, two more in the second quarter and finished with six for the game.
Galling numbers, according to Seattle center Max Unger.
“That was a poor job by the offensive line,” he said frankly. It was, he added, “definitely a tough game.”
Give some credit to the Rams, said Seattle fullback Michael Robinson. “(The Rams’) front seven is up there with some of the best in the league.”
Also, some of the sacks were due to quarterback Russell Wilson scrambling in the backfield as he tried to buy time rather than throwing the ball away.
But regardless, Unger said, “you just can’t have that.”
At halftime, Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable “was pretty matter of fact,” Unger said. “We totally got beat in the first half, there’s no question about that, and he just put it on us to fix it. We knew exactly what we needed to do. It was just a matter of calming down and executing … and figuring out what we needed to do to get it fixed.”
“We did not handle the pass rush well today,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. It was, he added, “a real good pass rush. And it seemed like we held the football a little bit, we got covered up a little bit, we missed a pick-up a little bit, so it’s just a little bit of everything. It wasn’t one thing.”
It was a disappointing game for Seahawks tight end Anthony McCoy, who was called for two costly penalties.
In the first quarter, Wilson passed to tight end Zach Miller who was wide open behind the St. Louis secondary. Miller trotted to the end zone for an apparent 28-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead, but it was called back because McCoy was called for offensive pass interference on the play.
In the fourth quarter, Wilson passed 49 yards to wide receiver Doug Baldwin for an apparent first down at the St. Louis 16. But this one was also called back, this time because of a holding call on McCoy.
On both possessions, the Seahawks ended up having to punt.
By the numbers
Sunday’s victory gives the Seahawks a 11-5 regular-season record, the third-best total in franchise history. Seattle went 12-4 in 1984 and 13-3 in 2005, the latter the team’s Super Bowl season.
The Seahawks were also the only NFL team to go undefeated at home this season. “That’s big for us,” said safety Earl Thomas. “We take pride in protecting our home field.”
Marcus Trufant was back in action after missing the previous four games with a hamstring injury. The veteran cornerback returned to his role as the team’s nickel back in passing situations. And while he struggled at times to stay with speedy Rams slot receiver Danny Amendola, Trufant did have two pass breakups, including one third-quarter pass intended for Amendola in the end zone. The Rams ended up settling for a tying field goal two plays later.
“It’s always good to be back on the field after you miss a little bit of time,” Trufant said. “I’ve had injuries and missed time in the past, and it’s always good to get back out on the field. The guys have been playing outstanding the last few weeks, so it’s just good to be out there and be a part of it.”
Jeremy Lane started his third straight game at right cornerback, but Byron Maxwell also saw playing time at that spot. Brandon Browner, Seattle’s usual starter at right corner, is eligible to return this week after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league policy on performance enhancing substances.
Seattle came out of Sunday’s game with no significant injuries, according to Carroll.
Before the game Wilson was presented with the Steve Largent Award trophy, given every year to the player who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks. The award, which is determined by a vote of the players, is named for the former Seattle Hall of Fame wide receiver, who was the first recipient in 1989.
Wilson is the first rookie to win the honor. In addition to his on-field accomplishments, has been active in numerous community and charitable activities, including weekly visits to Seattle Children’s Hospital.