Seattle Seahawks 24 St. Louis Rams 19
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
Play Of The
Day: With just
25 ticks left on the clock and trailing the Seahawks by five points, the St.
Louis Rams faced fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. Despite having both
Seattle and St. Louis timeouts called back to back before the play, backup quarterback
Gus Ferrotte fumbled the snap and was tackled for
a loss by Daryl Tapp, effectively ending the game.
Handouts to the Standouts: Patrick Kerney finished the game
with three sacks, one forced fumble, seven tackles and an interception, one
week after finishing a game with three sacks, one forced fumble and five tackles.
Marcus Trufant picked off his fourth pass of the season while blanketing Tory Holt
on an out route in third quarter. The turnover would be the turning point
in the game for the Seahawks, who would go onto to score 17 unanswered points
to win the game.
Josh Wilson probably wasn’t supposed to field the kickoff in the second quarter,
but the Seahawks are glad he did. Wilson ran through the Rams kick coverage unit
like there weren’t there en route to an 89 yard touchdown return. During
the return, Wilson not only read his blocks well, but read
the defense well and cut back against the grain for the final 20 yards of
Things That Made Me Go “Blech”: I’m tempted to just say “the first
half in its entirety” and move on, but that would be letting the team off
of the hook so … (deep breath) here goes:
Seahawks' first drive ended on two consecutive sacks … both by Will Witherspoon.
On the first, Witherspoon ran right up the middle completely untouched. This
scenario would repeat itself several more time over the course of the game.
Attention Seattle Offensive Line: this will be a major highlight of
the Eagles game film sessions this morning so here’s hoping that you’re able
to figure out what went wrong and fix it quickly
Seahawks second drive ended with safety after OG Rob Sims allowed Adam Carriker
to blast through the line unblocked and tackle Maurice Morris in the end zone.
the first play from scrimmage after the safety, the Seahawks linebackers got
caught in man coverage (and with Julian Peterson blitzing from the outside)
and Steven Jackson was suddenly 20 yards downfield without a Seattle defender
anywhere near him. When a defender finally did get near him, it was Brian
“Ole” Russell, who kind of waved at Jackson’s legs as the Rams running back charged past him on the way
to a 9-0 lead.
Josh Brown has suddenly come crashing down to earth, missing two of three field
goal attempts inside a climate controlled dome. Both kicks had plenty of
leg but were wide. Suddenly not offering a kicker a long-term lucrative contract
seems to make sense.
Seattle Offense managed a whopping -8 yards of total offense in the first
Seattle’s offensive possessions in
the first half: 3 and out, safety, 3 and out, 3 and out, punt, interception,
and 3 incompletions before the half.
times Julian Peterson was matched up in man coverage with Tory Holt and Issac Bruce, and not once was it a successful match up for
the Seahawks. John Marshall might want to rethink that strategy.
Offense: The Seahawks came out throwing as
advertised again, only this time their opponent seemed to relish the idea.
The Rams threw everything but the kitchen sink at Hasselbeck and for the first
half of the game, it worked extremely well. The Seahawks were unable to hit
the quick routes and didn’t call the draw/delay runs that punish opposing
teams for over blitzing. The net result was the atrocious first half detailed
above in the “Blech” section.
for the Seahawks, the second half has been very good to them in the 2007 season,
and this game would prove to be no different. Suddenly, the offense was making
the quick reads on blitzes, the draw plays were effective and Seahawks hit
a rhythm that enabled them to put up 17 unanswered points to finish out the
counterpoint to the first half, the Seahawks offensive possessions in the
second half were: Field Goal, 3 and out, Touchdown, 3 and out, Touchdown,
Missed Field Goal.
Matt Hasselbeck finished the game 21-38 for 248 yards with one touchdown and one
interception. Matt stood tough in the pocket under a withering pass rush
from the Rams and despite getting sacked 5 times he managed to remain cool
under fire and lead his team from a 12 point deficit to just their second
road win of the season.
running game was evidently not a part of the first half game plan as the team
finished with 4 rushing attempts for 6 yards by halftime. Maurice Morris
would get back on track in the second half, finishing the game with 16 attempts
for 79 yards including a fantastic 49 yard draw play that led to Seattle’s
first offensive touchdown of the game. Leonard Weaver snowplowed his way
through the Rams front seven for the go ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter
in what one hopes will become a regular occurrence.
Defense: The Seattle defense did and admirable
job against the run holding Steven Jackson to under 100 yards, which is especially
impressive considering that Jackson had a 53 yard touchdown run in the first
quarter. When the game was on the line, the Seattle run defense stopped Jackson
on 3rd and goal on the 2, a play made all the more important by
Ferrotte’s subsequent game-ending fumble.
linebacker corps rebounded after a rocky start (see: Jackson,
Steven 53 yard touchdown run) to finish the game with 19 tackles (9 of them
from All Pro Lofa Tatupu who) and a forced fumble. Leroy Hill was solid against
screen passes to the Rams running backs and tallied a sack and forced fumble
in what could very well be his first year as an All Pro.
Kerney had another monster game, racking up three sacks and picking off an
ill advised Ferrotte shovel pass in the second quarter.
It is worth noting that two of Kerney’s sacks came on third down, snuffing
out St. Louis drives.
secondary did an admirable job against the Rams receivers,
playing man to man for a majority of the snaps and allowing just one pass
of over 20 yards all game.
Special Teams: Josh Brown went 1 for 3 on field
goals and his kickoff seemed to lack the depth he’s been getting during recent
games. I hope this is just a bump in the road for Josh, as he’s a vital part
of the Seattle offense, especially
considering how the team struggled in the first half. Every point is going
to be vital down the homestretch of the season.
Ryan Plackemeier also had a bit of an off day, with two punts significantly shorter
than usual. Perhaps he was tired out by all of the work he was given by the
Nate Burleson was bottled up in the return game, and was benched on punt returns
in favor of Bobby Engram after fumbling in the second quarter. Josh Wilson
returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the Seahawks only first half points.
During the return, he got excellent blocking from the entire team.
Seahawks once again showed some vulnerability on kick coverage, although they
managed to prevent the Rams special teams from scoring so it hard to give
them poor marks for the game.
The Golden Microphone Award: Last week I heaped praise on Matt
Vasgersian and J.C. and they returned the favor
by calling a decent game, although nowhere nearly as cleanly as last week’s.
On several occasions Pearson referred to the right position but the wrong
team’s player (e.g. the Rams are doing a great job at getting pressure on
Marc Bulger) and Vasgersian made few gaffes of his
own (e.g. calling the NFL’s realignment “recent”). Still, the play calling
was accurate and the post-play breakdowns were canny and accurate. Why these
guys aren’t considered the cream of the crop on FOX is beyond me, but as long
as they’re stuck in the NFC West “ghetto” with the Seahawks, you won’t hear
me complaining. Good job, fellas.
Random Notes: Leonard Weaver got his first NFL
touchdown on Sunday on a beautiful snowplow run from five yards out. Memo
to Mike Holmgren: remember this when Shaun returns.
Seahawks have swept the series from the Rams for the last three years.
each of the last three games against the Rams, the Seahawks have returned
a kick for a touchdown.
to Marcus Pollard who threw a great block on a Matt Hasselbeck rollout that
enabled Matt to get outside the pocket. Pollard proceeded to turn his man
around and continue blocking while Hasselbeck was outside the pocket, which
bought Matt enough time to complete the pass.
last two times the Seahawks have traveled to Philadelphia,
they’ve won 38-0 and 42-0.
Summary: The Seahawks maintained their lead
in the NFC West, but needed to come from behind against a team that’s only
won two games all season to do it. Glass half-empty: the Rams may have exposed
a major weakness in the Seahawks' pass-happy offensive scheme. Glass half-full:
the Seahawks are continuing to find ways to win and are tied with the Buccaneers
and Giants for the second best record in the Conference. In the end, this
was a game that was given away by the Rams at the last second. The Seahawks
will need to play better than this if they want to make any noise come January.
Next Week: On the road again in Philadelphia.
Dylan is a die-hard Seahawks fan trapped
in Eagles Country and firmly believes that “Live At Leeds” is the single greatest
live performance since a deaf Ludwig Van debuted his final symphony in Vienna
in 1824. You can e-mail Dylan at NJSeahawksFan@gmail.com.