Another Mare FG makes it 16-6
The Seahawks added another score, and just as importantly ate up a lot of clock in the process, likely putting this game away. It’s now 16-6 with 1:37 left, and the Rams are out of timeouts.
Barring some sort of crazy comeback, this will be it for the
blog until after the game. Thank you all for reading.
Seahawks now lead 13-6 and are driving
Sorry for the slowdown in updates, but with a night game I’ve got to start working on stuff for tomorrow’s paper. But a quick update before I get back to that, Seattle now has a seven-point lead after another Olindo Mare field goal, and is driving again thanks to Will Herring’s first career interception. As well as the Seahawks defense is playing, one more score would probably put this game away as the clock ticks under three minutes.
Holy cow, a run game!
It’s now 10-6 Seahawks after a rare appearance from the rushing game. After gaining just 22 rushing yards in the first half (and 19 of those were on Charlie Whitehurst scrambles), the Seahawks moved into Rams territory thanks to a 24-yard run by Marshawn Lynch and a 21-yarder by Justin Forsett.
Also, failed to note this earlier, but Russell Okung is back in at LT with Polumbus moving back to guard. Chester Pitts, who came in at LG when Okung was out, is out with a head injury and will not return. That means backup C Chris White is the only healthy and active backup lineman.
Lynch fumble leads to another Rams FG
RB Marshawn Lynch has had some problems with hanging onto the ball this season, and he had another costly fumble early in the second half. After Seattle’s defense forced a punt to start the half, Lynch fumbled on the Seahawks’ first play, giving the Rams the ball at Seattle’s 21-yard line. The defense did its job, however, holding the Rams to a field goal to make it 7-6.
And yes, it’s safe to say that this game, so far anyway, is living down to expectations.
Not a ton of offense from either side other than one long drive for each team, and Seattle currently has a 167-121 lead in yardage. Charlie Whitehurst has completed 15 of 20 passes for 145 yards and a score, good for a 111.5 passer rating, while Sam Bradford is 10 of 16 for 93 yards.
Other that Whitehurst, who has 19 rushing yards on four carries, the leading rusher for Seattle is Justin Forsett, who has four yards on one carry. Marshawn Lynch has been held to negative-one yard on six carries.
Ruvell Martin has two catches for 77 yards to lead Seattle, including the 61-yarder on the game’s only touchdown drive.
Steven Jackson leads the Rams in receiving–three catches, 35 yards–and rushing–seven carries, 32 yards.
Okung limps off
LT Russell Okung went down on the Seahawks’ last possession, then slowly limped off the field with a left ankle injury. Okung has battled ankle problems all year, and Pete Carroll admitted this week that Okung hasn’t really been at 100 percent all year.
His return is questionable according to the team.
Josh Brown (remember him?) makes it 7-3
Former Seahawk Josh Brown made a 32-yard field goal to make it a 7-3 game with 8:54 left in the second quarter. That capped an impressive drive for the Rams, who started at their own 3-yard line.
Brown, of course, was heartily booed when he came on for the kick. In case you’ve forgotten why fans dislike Brown so much, it’s not just because he signed with a division rival after the 2007 season, but also because of comments he made in radio interview after the signing when he said he was no longer “a slave to the business man.” Nothing will sour fans to a player than a comment like that, particularly from a guy getting paid more than $2 million to kick a football.
Defenses taking over
Since the Seahawks’ opening touchdown, neither team has done much offensively, including a pair of three-and-outs for Seattle on its last two possessions. Seattle’s defense, which has struggled mightily for most of the season, particularly of late, is playing very well right now. One odd stat: despite the fact that Rams QB is 6-foot-4, the Seahawks have tipped three passes at or near the line of scrimmage already.
Charlie Whitehurst is showing good poise, but if the Seahawks can’t get some sort of rushing attack going–they had just 13 yards on the ground in the first quarter, and nine of those were by Whitehurst–it’s going to be a tough day for the offense.
Whitehurst comes back to earth a bit
The Seahawks drove into Rams territory again, but Whitehurst missed an open Justin Forsett on third-and-7 to force a punt. It appeared that Forsett had more than enough room to pick up the first down had the throw been on target.
The good news for Seattle, however, was that Jon Ryan’s punt was fair caught at the 10-yard line, which should give the defense a chance to make something happen.
Defense forces a three-and-out
A good start got even better for the Seahawks, who forced the Rams to punt on their first possession. This is easily the loudest this stadium has been this season, and despite the two teams’ records, this is very much a playoff atmosphere here at Qwest Field.
Whitehurst (not Hasselbeck) leads the Seahawks to an early TD
The Seahawks kept it a secret all the way up to kickoff, but Charlie Whitehurst got the start, even with Matt Hasselbeck healthy enough to be active.
And on the game’s opening drive, Whitehurst made Pete Carroll look pretty smart for making that decision, leading the Seahawks on an 87-yard touchdown drive to give Seattle a 7-0 lead.
Whitehurst went 5 for 5 for 85 yards on the drive, which ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams.
The Seahawks and Rams are 30 minutes from kickoff in a game that, like it or not, will determine the NFC West. Both Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst are warming up, and we still haven’t been told who will get the start.
One bit of news regarding the playoffs–the league just announced that the winner of this game will host New Orleans on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. PT, so if you’re an optimistic Seahawks fan counting on a win for tonight, start getting ready for a Saturday game next weekend.
Back with more once the game gets going.