That Is How You Win The West!
Coming into the season the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks were expected to be the cream of the NFC. The two teams didn’t disappoint.
It was fitting that going into the final day of the regular season we knew one of those two teams would hold be the number one seed by the time the afternoon games were over. In the battle to become the NFC West Champions the Seattle Seahawks had the upper hand.
All they needed to do is win and the crown was theirs to win.
The 49ers on the other hand needed to keep one eye one the scoreboard while they were trying to beat the Cardinals in hopes to see that the Rams would beat the Seahawks.
Much to their dismay the Seahawks took care of business and are the 2013 NFC West Champions. Since re-joining the NFC West in 2002 the Seahawks have won the league 6 times. That is twice as many titles as anyone else in the league.
Prior to Seattle’s 27-9 victory over St. Louis on Sunday this years team hadn’t accomplished anything. Now not only can they say they are division champs but that they tied the franchise record for wins in a season. The only other team in franchise history to finish 13-3 went on to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Many players set career marks this season but we will get into that another day.
In true Seahawks fashion the game was dominated by their defense. From the very first snap it was clear that the Rams were not going to run for 200 yards like they did in St. Louis earlier in the season. By the time the final whistle blew the Seahawks defense had given up just 13 yards on 18 attempts.
It wasn’t much easier for the Rams’ passing game. Through the air St. Louis only managed 145 yards.
Those stats are actually a bit inflated. Nearly half of the Rams yardage came with less than 8 minutes to play in the 4th quarter, after the Seahawks had already wrapped the game up. Before that point St. Louis only had 6 rushing yards and 92 passing yards.
The Seahawks defense didn’t give up a third down conversion until the Rams final drive of the game, the drive in which St. Louis scored their only touchdown.
The Seahawks offense may not have scored on their first drive but the Seahawks defense score on the Rams’ first drive when Malcolm Smith returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown giving the Seahawks a lead that they would never relinquish.
The offensive struggles continued for the Seahawks.
The offensive line had trouble with the Rams defensive line, especially the matchup between Russell Okung and Robert Quinn. Quinn may have only had one sack in the game, he had three in the first meeting, but he forced Okung to make mistakes throughout the game that hampered Seattle’s ability to move the ball.
The Seahawks line did a better job run blocking then they had in the previous meeting between these two teams. Marshawn Lynch had 97 yards, the most since the game against the Falcons, and averaged over 4 yards-per-carry, also the most he has since the game in Atlanta.
Offensively Golden Tate stole the show with his 8 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown. Typically Russell Wilson spreads the ball around pretty evenly but on Sunday Tate accounted for 39% of Wilson’s passing attempts, 53% of Wilson’s completions, 74% of the total receiving yards and the Seahawks only receiving touchdown.
The only other player to have more than one reception was tight end Zach Miller who finished the game with 3 receptions for 21 yards.
Penalties have a tendency to cost the Seahawks but on Sunday they were actually under their season average.
The shoe was on the other foot on Sunday as the Rams completely collapsed in frustration. I disagree with the officials throwing out defensive end Kendall Langford for contacting an official because it was incidental.
Where he really went wrong was taking his helmet off and throwing it on the ground. He can be expecting a letter from the league offices for that one.
That concludes your regularly scheduled season Monday Morning Quarterback. Lucky for me the post season is right around the corner so I get to continue producing these, and hopefully I get to write three more before the post-season is over.
Next week the Seahawks have a bye but the following week we will have a special edition of Sunday Morning Quarterback as the game is set for 1:35 Pacific on Saturday, January 11.