seahawks

Seahawks Still Struggle To Stymie St. Louis

Turnovers, Penalties, Sloppiness Returns

The Seattle Seahawks had to keep winning to ensure the number five seed in the playoffs.  Their luck ran out when the team that always seems to give them fits came to town, the St. Louis Rams.

The worst part of the loss is that Seattle lost the game, the Rams did not win it.

Mistakes, penalties, fumbles, miscues, all of the things we thought the Seahawks had put behind them a month or so ago, came back with a vengeance as the Seahawks fell 23-17 to the Rams.

The O-Line

The Seahawks offensive line had been playing nearly perfectly over the past five games or so.  Russell Okung had to sit out with a calf injury.  I don’t know that you can blame all that went wrong for this unit on his absence, however.

The Seahawks O-line in pass protection was marginally better than a spaghetti strainer.  They allowed four sacks of Russell Wilson and he was pressured virtually on every drop back. 

Russell Okung

It’s pretty difficult to believe that Okung’s absence impacted the O-line this much.

They weren’t any better trying to run block either.

The best any Seahawks running back could muster was Fred Jackson who had two carries for 11 yards.  Bryce Brown had nine yards.  Christine Michael, the starter, had just six yards on six carries. In fairness, Wilson did have 39 yards running the ball, but mostly he was running for his life rather than for yards or first downs.

The Seahawks have long since said goodbye to their starting center Drew NowakPatrick Lewis had been doing a miraculous job since taking over the snapping duties, at least until this game.  Lewis had two of the most bizarre snaps I have ever seen from a center.

The first one was in the first half.  Lewis snapped the ball 15 feet, almost straight up into the air.  Fortunately, Michael was able to fall on it but it was still a drive killer.

The other one killed the Seahawks shot at a TD on a promising drive that could have cut the Rams lead to six.  Lewis snapped the ball and it skidded its entire way back to Wilson who was again in the shotgun.

Lane had a tough time making tackles. Would Shead be the better option at this point? (Photo: seahawks.com)

Lane had a tough time making tackles. Would Shead be the better option at this point? (Photo: seahawks.com)

The Defense

All in all, I thought the defense did a really good job.  They held the Rams to 23 points when the offense set the Rams up for easy scores on three separate occasions with turnovers.

Tackling seemed to be an issue for the guy who got the start at corner this week, Jeremy Lane.  The miss that stands out most too me was the first play following the Seahawks first possession.  Lane had Austin dead to rights after he caught a quick out but somehow allowed Austin to walk around him for a 16 yard gain.

Still, the defense was solid.  Case Keenum only had 103 yards passing.  The Rams managed 104 yards on the ground.  Any kind of offense from Seattle and those numbers lead to the Rams losing more times than not.

Penalties

Unofficially, I had the Seahawks with nine accepted penalties.  That’s more than they had in any game since their winning streak started.  While they were able to overcome some of them, most of them killed drives and essentially took points off the board.

Enough already.

Enough already.

The Seahawks can ill afford to revert to the once plentiful penalty ways.  It’s too much to ask of any team to repeatedly convert on 3rd and 31 which the Seahawks somehow managed to do in this one.

Looking Ahead

The final regular season game for the Seahawks is on deck and it’s no picnic.  Seattle must travel to Phoenix to face the NFC Division winners, the Arizona Cardinals.  Winning there is something they need to do if they do not want to settle for the six seed in the NFL playoffs.

A six seed would mean a playoff game against the NFC North Champion, likely Green Bay or Minnesota.  Earning the five seed would send the Seahawks to Washington to face the Redskins, a much easier task to start the playoffs with.  The scenarios to get the five seed are pretty straight forward.

Thanks to a Vikings win Sunday night, the Seahawks must beat the Cardinals and have the Vikings lose next week to hang onto the five seed.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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