Instant reaction: Seahawks beat Rams. Somehow.

October 28th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

**Shudders**

This was the most unpleasant experience of my Seahawks fandom.

Let me quantify that. Watching a hopeless or rebuilding team getting blown out isn’t unpleasant. For the most part it’s expected and not in the least bit surprising.

This game made me want to take a shower. It made me pace around the room clutching a foam football. It made me agitated at a time when, as a new parent, I’m already getting a minimal amount of sleep.

And worst of all it made me question what on earth they were thinking.

I’m happy to win ugly. Who isn’t? That old cliche says the good teams frequently win ugly.

But this was beyond ugly. It reminded me of the scene in Hostel with the eye.

In fact, it was worse than that.

Where do we start?

Oh yeah. Pass protection.

Tonight it was a national embarrassment. Yes, the Rams have a sensational pass rushing duo and a not too shabby interior rush. Their front seven is one of the best in the league. Tonight though, they had it easy.

I spent the entire game trying to work out what exactly Seattle was trying to do on offense. I mean, usually when you come up against a top pass rush you try to establish the run to slow it down, then use play action. This didn’t work against Houston, so I kind of figured why they weren’t doing that. Plus the eight man fronts made it difficult early on.

The best way to spread out a loaded box is to go empty backfield. They tried that, but then had everyone running routes and left the two backup tackles 1v1 against Chris Long and Robert Quinn. That’s fine, if you’re going snap-throw to purposely designed quick-hitting routes. They never really got this going.

They threw three screens in the game and all worked for positive yardage. Hey, you can’t keep milking the same cow but it’s the one thing that seemed to work all night and yet they never went back to it.

They didn’t really try to move the pocket or utilise Russell Wilson’s scrambling ability. I don’t recall many bootlegs. It was just a head-scratching mess.

Clearly the offensive line was over-stretched. Individuals will be criticised. And this isn’t my attempt to exonerate blame. Nobody played well on that line.

However, this is a team that would’ve struggled against Quinn and Long with Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini starting. They had to be ready to help out the tackles by playing max-protect with backs and tight ends spending nearly the whole game as extra blockers.

Paul McQuistan isn’t a left tackle. Michael Bowie is a seventh round rookie.

Help them like you’ve never helped two tackles before.

The coaching staff needs to take full responsibility (and I suspect they will). I’m guessing we’ll have a week now of people talking about how we need to draft for the offensive line. That’s fine. But if your new first round pick gets injured, or Okung goes down again, tonight can’t be repeated. This was all about a hopeless scheme and a badly prepared offense that did nothing to limit St. Louis’ greatest strength.

This isn’t just on offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell either. Tom Cable and Pete Carroll need to shoulder an equal portion of blame.

Take away an 80-yard touchdown (that arguably should’ve been picked) and you get 59 passing yards and 44 rushing yards on the night.

It didn’t need to be this way.

Elsewhere…

- For the first time, I really felt Wilson got jittery and started to worry about the protection issues. Who can blame him? He deserves no blame for that. The coaches and offensive line take full responsibility. If Wilson’s game suffers over the next few weeks as a consequence of bad pass protection, they’ll be to blame.

- Drops. Too many tonight from the receivers. On a night when big plays were at a premium and all but two drives ended in a punt, the simple plays needed to be completed. Jermaine Kearse’s key third down drop late on was a killer.

- The defense was on the field for 38 minutes and nine seconds. They looked shattered at the end and still made a brilliant goal line stand. The offense hung them out to dry tonight and they still won the game.

- The ref’s were a joke for both teams. Let the guys play for crying out loud. The NFL needs to know this kind of display is hurting their product.

- This is the first week the offense had no turnovers. There’s your positive.

- Even despite the obvious schematic shambles, it’s unacceptable that Marshawn Lynch had just eight carries tonight. How did that happen?

- As Golden Tate taunted his way into the end zone, all I could think of was Cordarrelle Patterson’s called-back touchdown for Tennessee last year. Thankfully, the NFL rules are different to college rules. I bet Golden Tate is grateful for that, too.

- This was pretty much a mini-bye after the Thursday night game last week. Is anyone else concerned how sluggish this team looks after an extended break? See tonight, and Miami last year. This season, Seattle’s bye is the week before the Saints game…

A comprehensive win is required to wash away the memory of this game. Thankfully the 0-8 Buccs are in town next week.

And yet this is without doubt the best start to a season in franchise history. And the Seahawks are still a really good 7-1 football team.

What a weird sport this is.

Time for that shower.

74 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks beat Rams. Somehow.”

  1. Colin says:

    I don’t say this very often, but you are wrong, Rob. Bevell is calling the plays, and he deserves a TON OF BLAME. No chipping of Long and Quinn. Three screens that you previously mentioned. No draw plays. A ton of playaction (that fooled NO ONE) and 5 step drops hanging Russell out to draw. BS.

    Disgusting. This is the first time I have seriously come to the belief that Carpenter and Sweezy need replaced. It’s understandable why McQuistan and Bowie are struggling. The other 3 should be better. This is unacceptable. Totally.

    The defensive line was awful. Blown off the ball repeatedly.

    Embarassing game. Embarassing.

    • Rob Staton says:

      If people want to single out one coach, they’ll be making a mistake.

      Bevell deserves blame, sure. But he’s not the only coach involved in the offensive decision making or the game plan. This team employs an offensive line ‘guru’. You don’t think Cable has a significant input? And what about Carroll, he is the one at the top.

      • Glor says:

        I agree they are all goats tonight

      • Colin says:

        He calls plays. He’s been doing this shit for the better part of 3 seasons. It’s repetitive, predictatble, and going to get our starting QB killed if things don’t shape up PRONTO.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I see you’ve opted to go with the blame it all on one guy approach.

          Sometimes it’s easier to have a goat than it is to appreciate that maybe others were responsible too.

          As I said before, Bevell takes his share of the blame. But people should not be blind to the fact Cable and Carroll also had a lot to do with this game plan too.

    • Chris A says:

      Agreed. C’mon Bevell, give the damn ball to the Beast. Play action doesn’t work if you don’t establish the run. Defense really bailed us out tonight.

      Tons of credit to St. Louis, staying aggressive on D and a smart, conservative game plan that usually isn’t enough to stay with us for 4 quarters. This team will be one to mess with soon.

      • adog says:

        Lynch is not getting the carries this year that we’re accustomed to him getting. That is fine if he gets carries from the short pass game. It’s obvious that Carroll and company are holding their card tight against their chest on the offensive side of the ball. Are they putting too much pressure on the defense? I’m not sure, 7-1 says the defense is that good. When and if they do open the playbook on offense…what can we expect? I would think 25 plus carries a game for Lynch, and the deep play action.

    • Aaron says:

      Regardless of who specifically should shoulder the blame, it’s clear to me that Jeff Fisher and the Rams’ coaching staff have gotten themselves squarely into the heads of Pete Carroll and Seattle’s coaching staff. Carroll and his crew seem to make uncharacteristic, reactionary decisions that take them out of their normally consistent game plan.

      Seattle has been consistently out-coached by this St. Louis team the past two seasons at least. They are our Kryptonite. We had to rely on every bit of our vastly superior roster to eek out this victory at the last possible moment. It’s a credit to the players, and an indictment of the coaching staff. Lucky for us we don’t have to worry about meeting this team in the playoffs anytime soon.

      • Jarhead says:

        I completely agree with the above statement. I have always felt that for some reason St. Louis has our number and they are our toughest out every season. BOTH times. I can’t put my finger on it other than the Rams play a little harder against their worst enemy or there is something the coaches put in their gatorade, but this game was the one I was fearing the most all season. An embarassment on Monday night on a national stage. Our team was poorly coached and executed poorly. We didn’t deserve to win but they don’t give points for playing harder than your heavily favored opponent. A note to Rob, we WERE facing two former top 5 pick DE’s (Quinn would hae assuredly gone in the top 5 had he not forfeited his enitire last season for being a total idiot.) How do you even try to scheme to stop that when we were so clearly dominated with the team we put on the field that night?

  2. Kyle says:

    Great take. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I guess that’s why I don’t have a blog…

    Many more games like this and I’ll have to follow Rob’s kind of futbol instead.

  3. Glor says:

    I deleted this game from the DVR the moment it was over.

    Maybe it was really just a bad dream. The worst game they have played offensively in I don’t know how many years

    • OakHarborHawk says:

      Last turd we had like this was that Brown’s game when we had Whitehurst at QB. Though I think this was far worst. Only one I know was worse was against the L.A. Rams in ’79 (I think?) when we were the only team to ever have negative yards on offense.

  4. MJ says:

    Puke…that was awful. Not even sure what can be said except I’m hoping this is a wake up call. This game not only exposed a porous OL and game planning, but I thought it was a huge indictment on our WR corps too. These guys just can’t separate and when they do, had some horrible drops.

    All that said, peaking at Week 8 wins you nothing in the big picture. It’s not excusing the play today, but a reality check good be a good thing. Not to mention, the Rams always seem to play us tough.

    • OakHarborHawk says:

      I really hope Jeff Fisher does something stupid and get’s fired because I am not looking forward to playing his Ram’s ever year.

      • Miles says:

        Haven’t we already had a ton of reality checks? Like the games against Miami and Detroit last year? Like the playoff game in Atlanta? The Houston game this year? The Titans game?

        It’s about time we stop making life difficult for ourselves on offense. Hopefully they can do that.

        I think coaching was major to blame in this game. We knew our offensive tackles were going to have a tough time and we didn’t compensate for that seemingly in any way. You gotta chip with the running back or keep two tight ends into block/bootleg away from the pressure.

        • Chad says:

          Totally agree. I don’t mind the one ugly win, but its like 3 or 4 ugly wins this year. A win is a win, however awful it was, but we need to have a better offense to go where we want to go.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I agree that the coaches should have schemed for this. We play the Rams twice a year, it isn’t a big surprise that they load the box and blitz. It isn’t a surprise that our two replacement tackles can’t handle good pass rushing defensive ends. Even worse was the unblocked rushers going after RW.

        • MJ says:

          The fact of the matter is:

          a) it was an ugly, ugly win and we need to play better, but it does count in the standings. We are not trying to appease the BCS system with style points and we weren’t playing Idaho State.

          b) Blowouts, easy wins are not the norm in the NFL.

          c) Carroll has a trend of his teams hitting their peak towards the end of the season.

          d) We are missing 2 good starters on the OL and have another playing out of place, making that 3 out of 5 spots on the line not being normal.

          I think we get skewed by this new age of “fantasy sports,” where stats mean more than outcomes and every week needs to be perfect otherwise it’s meaningless. Sure, last night was atrocious and hard to watch, but it says a lot about the team that they are able to win despite playing terribly (and on the road).

          Am I excusing a poor performance? Hell no. But the bigger picture is, these wins can define teams and I don’t want to be the team that peaks in week 8 only to suck in the first round of the playoffs. Playing at a perfect/high level for 17 weeks is not possible/reasonable, especially in such a phsyical, team game. They need to get better and will. No reason to panic at 7-1 with our best football ahead of us.

    • Seattle Frank says:

      What a nightmare game for QB Wilson, obviously the offensive line was out to lunch and the game plan, what game plan??? Its a miracle that Wilson was able to walk off the field under his own power. Every team watching MNF knows now knows how to attack the Seahawk offensive line. I’ll bet the Saints and the 49ers are drooling, we have to play them in the near future.

  5. OakHarborHawk says:

    What a shitshow of a game all around. Only positive is that the defense is showing some serious grit on the road this year. Don’t like though how they started calling the defense soft and off man on that last Ram’s drive to presumably try and get a turnover to end the game.

    Won’t mention the negatives since I presume everyone else watched this game.

    OK I lied because I’m a Seattle’s sports fan and required to complain about the officiating, and it was just awful tonight. They missed a big one on Browner at the end in my opinion and the two they did call on him were pure BS. Hit to a defenseless receiver when you’re clearly making a play on the ball? WTF?

    p.s. Apologies for my rambling but running on rage-based adrenalin right now. Ugly ass game.

  6. sdcoug says:

    Did NO ONE in the organization watch what the Rams did to us last year? All they did was blitz and stack the line and it worked. If we couldn’t see that coming again this year, I just don’t know what to think.

  7. Paul says:

    My wife: are you happy? Me: belch. yech. belch. Even the Tate TD had to be sullied by his ridiculous taunting, everything about this game was tough as a fan. Yet, as awful as it was, this is a team that we lost to on the road last year, barely beat at home, and beat and tied SF. They seem to have the division’s number. I think the game this weekend (home, 0-8 opponent) is the one to watch. If we struggle again, well, then, we have problems. If we clean it up and put up 30 or 40, well, maybe STL just has our number. It happens.

    Rob: We are talking about O-Line, but really, what’s a greater need? So much talk about the the tackles, especially RT, but should we be thinking G?

    • Glor says:

      Sam Bradford starting as QB and we would have been crushed.
      By a team that got crushed last week

      • williambryan says:

        Yeah, but that team with sam bradford was crushed by the 49ers, who have already been crushed by the hawks, so…

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think the performance of our guards will rapidly improve when they’re playing next to two actual NFL tackles.

      • Miles says:

        I’m fairly convinced it would be worth it for the Seahawks to make a trade for someone who’s actually played tackle before (and can maybe hold his own).

        • MJ says:

          And who might that be? I am not sure why everyone thinks obtaining good offensive tackles is as simple as “just pick one in the first round” or “trade for one.”

          We all want better OL play, but let’s be reasonable about a) the availability of good OL talent and b) the overall trend of OLs getting worse because the athletes are on the Defensive side of the ball.

  8. Miles says:

    A shower sounds supremely awesome right now…

    Rob, I agreed with every damn thing you said. Except, the Seahawks didn’t really have much of an opportunity to run did they? The Seahawks were facing lots of second-and-longs and third-and-longs and needed to throw to have any chance to convert.

    The biggest thing the coaching staff missed was that they needed to help the offensive tackles as much as possible. Keep Marshawn in and hit Robert Quinn, hard. That’s what they should’ve done. They didn’t do it. I don’t see why.

  9. kevin mullen says:

    Correction Rob, I saw two bootlegs that gained for sh*t, both at goaline. Not sure what was the thought process for that series of plays, luckily Tate grabbed that dime pass on 3rd down to set up our first TD.

    The play calling was horrendous tonight, though I do wanna blame just one person (Bevell), I have to agree that the entire staff shares blame all around. Eight men in the box was what we faced all night, and we couldn’t win one on one battles on the outside of the hash marks. This is great film for our opponents for the next few weeks, it shows that if you can load the front and get pressure, you can truly get us into a one dimensional game.

  10. Fletcher says:

    I was watching the game with a Rams fan and we all were complaining about the refs. They were calling every little bit of contact. Let them play football, this is the NFL, these players are here to hit. None of them are defenseless. The worst was the call against Browner when he was going for the interception, the offensive player (either Givens or Kendricks) was as much a part of that contact as Browner.

  11. Kenny Sloth says:

    Earl Thomas is playing like a maniac.

  12. Chris says:

    Good thing we’re keeping the end of the bench warm with that 2nd round pick we used last year. Surely couldn’t have used that on the O-line on someone that would’ve actually, you know … played.

    That game was embarrassing. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a Hawk o-line play that bad. They seriously looked like a college team playing against an NFL team.

    • Miles says:

      Jordan Mills + hindsight = We should have drafted Jordan Mills.

      • Rob Staton says:

        And half the league should’ve drafted Russell Wilson.

        Jordan Mills is a right tackle, 5th round pick, playing a decent season in Chicago. We shouldn’t lose any sleep there.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        I liked Mills coming out. But there is no correlation between how he’s playing in Chicago v. how he would have played in our scheme.

        Although I think there is a correlation to be made. Chicago’s O line was every bit as bad as ours is last year. They added talent there, including top shelf talent that we apparently coveted in Long. And now their O line looks very sound. Despite whiffing just as we did in 2011 spending 1st round picks on RTs. Not only that, but Chicago’s ability to compete has risen as a function of their O line improvement.

        If it’s broken, fix it. Seattle has a franchise QB. Even at full strength, the protection for Wilson is a position of need. The fact is, teams are getting depleted now. We’re not worse off than other teams. No club is full strength and the fallacy is in thinking that a team will be alright once healthy. No team is healthy by the end of the year. As a franchise, we have to invest in preventing season/career impacting injury to Wilson. What we have had (full strength or not) has been woefully insufficient. I only hope that Wilson continues to evade serious injury until we address this need.

        Our protection issues have been prevalent all season long. This game was just a perfect storm to highlight what has been our most deficient unit. While it was the OTs that were exposed, frankly the entire unit, including our guards has been wanting in multiple occasions this season. The mistake is to think this was just an outlier performance by back ups. This has been an issue even when at full strength since week 1.

        It’s one thing to just sweep the issues under the rug by saying, we played good defensive fronts etc. The reality is, when we reach the playoffs, we’re going to face those kinds of talents. And look at the division we play in. We play 6 games against better than NFL average, to even elite fronts. If your path to success first goes through your division, then we have to rise up to the divisional standard. We simply haven’t been competitive against good units. And the way this team is designed philosophically, we can’t concede the LOS to the degree we have all season long.

        I can’t continue to refuse to see what I’m seeing on a weekly basis. It’s not all on McQuistan or Bowie. This has been a hot potato issue that multiple members on this line has shared in blame game after game. Unless Bowie/Bailey make a significant leap in ability the remaining 8 games of this season, then I can’t champion the status quo. We can’t play russian roulette with Wilson’s career and risk another annual “Which QB looks good in this draft” phase of the franchise. I personally hope we don’t have to talk about tilting the field any day soon.

        We need some top shelf new talent on the OL. If Bailey and Bowie develop well, then we have an embarrassment of riches there. Which is good because we should probably assume we’re going to continue to have attrition there like we have the last 3 seasons.

  13. Charlie says:

    No mention of Bruce Irvin?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Bruce had a great game, but at 4am my time I’m not going to name check everyone.

    • Madmark says:

      Bruce Irving had a nice interception but, on a few plays he got aggressive and with the first couple of step got himself sucked in the middle of the field and washed out by Ram blockers and allowing the big runs thru his position. He’s still seems to have a hard time shedding blocks.

  14. chris says:

    rob, have you noticed how many times carpenter gets beat by stunts and delayed blitzes. the rams and cardinals both seem to have him scouted pretty good.

    they leave no one in his gap and when he goes to help Maquistan or unger they stunt or blitz his gap.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I have not noticed this, but I will say stunting pass rushers are very difficult to pick up. I think overall this year Carpenter has performed well in trying circumstances. He’s playing with McQuistan on the left side and that is far from ideal.

      • williambryan says:

        Its most likely the protection calls and not necessarily carpenters (or any ones) fault. On one play last night Bowie crashed down to the left even though Long was right on his outside shoulder and ran free at RW. Now obviously Bowie saw Long but he had to run the play as called and that play led to an easy sack. Thats football, the offense makes a call and the defense makes a call. On the play I mentioned and on those stunts the defense won. That’s okay. Thats football. In the NFL teams can’t win every play and we shouldn’t expect them too and/or be upset when it doesn’t happen. Though this game was particularly bad. I think collectively us hawk fans feel pretty good about the coaching but as Mike Sando said last night, you could say that Jeff Fisher and his staff has won the coaching battles the majority of the time AND STILL, the hawks get the win.

        • Miles says:

          Well said. I like this a lot. I remember the exact play you were talking about and I was just yelling at my TV. Like, somebody’s gotta know that if you crash down on the right side, no one is going to be there to pick up Long. Ultimately, Wilson should have called an audible or a timeout. Not only the playcalling and blocking personnel were issues in this game but so, it seemed, were Russell’s checks at the LOS.

          Overall this game was ugly but it’s got to be pretty comforting, for us, that we were still able to get the win despite our worst performance since 2011.

  15. Miles says:

    Does anyone have any update on Giacomini or are we just waiting still…?

    Hopefully Okung is back as soon as he can be (Week 11 vs. Vikings).

  16. Cysco says:

    49rs have to be salivating for the rematch.

    What was on display last night was undoubtedly the worst offensive line play in the league. I imagine we would have been better off with the Jaguars offensive line last night. We get it. the O-line is injured and we’re rolling with back-ups. Well scheme for that then. You’re NFL coaches. Figure it out. You had over a week to prepare for this game. It didn’t dawn on you that you needed an answer in case they bull rushed 8 on every play?

    This team has a cockiness to them that frankly they just haven’t earned. They walked in there last night unprepared. The fact they escaped with a win and an uninjured QB is a miracle. I hope that doesn’t reinforce the bad behavior.

  17. Sam Jaffe says:

    Wow, what a lot of gloom and doom. Yes, pass pro is awful. Yes, the offense has some fundamental problems that will eventually show up in the Loss column. But the most important thing in my opinion about this game is that it vindicates Pete Carroll’s football philosophy. Make the other team one-dimensional: check. Play extremely physical football: check. Avoid turnovers: check. Then get more explosive plays than the opponent: check. The Miami and Detroit games last year were negative proof points about Carroll’s overarching philosophy. This one was a positive. It shows that even when the team gets outplayed on yardage, yard-per-play and running yardage, it can still win. That’s a huge positive for the remainder of the season.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I’m not sure we watched the same game. We should have won by two touchdowns or more. Instead we were one yard away from losing.

      • Sam Jaffe says:

        Why do you think we should have won by two touchdowns? Because the Rams are “bad” and the Seahawks are “good”. The NFL doesn’t function that way. Sometimes a team clicks together and plays great and then lays an egg the next week. Nobody ever plays 16 great games and then goes on and plays two perfect playoff games and then wins the Super Bowl. It’s just impossible. The differerence between home field advantage and an early exit from the playoffs will be stealing a few wins here and there. And that’s what the Seahawks did last night. If anyone “should have won” last night, it was the Rams. Their defense played better (except for one very important play) and so did their offense. Thank goodness for luck, because that’s needed too sometimes.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          We have won ugly several times this season. As for why we should be winning by a large margin, the play calling was inadequate, and it didn’t change after halftime. Not only was our offensive line outmatched, but our play calling didn’t help. Look up any game where we had 2 for 12 third down conversions. Yes thank goodness for luck!

  18. bballpapa says:

    Yes that was as ugly as it gets, but let’s take a deep breath people…No NFL team has ever played 5 road games in a row and it is extremely rare to play 4 of 5 on the road like we just did. Only two teams in the NFL have had to play 5 road games so far and the Giants are 1-4. Seahawk teams of old haven’t played well on the road no matter the opponent. This Seahawks team is 4-1 on the road! In two straight Division road games we are 2-0! Special seasons are made of these! No matter how ugly, our Seahawks of the past don’t win these games. Let’s take a deep breath and celebrate what is shaping up to be a special season! Our coaching staff now has the opportunity to show us their championship make up to correct our issues. But let’s not lose sight of what we have just accomplished! No other team in the NFL this season has faced this adversity – not even close! So take the 7-1 and shout from the roof top 12th man!

    • bballpapa says:

      Continued – By comparison with the other “Top” teams. Denver and KC have both played 5 home games and the Saints have played only 3 road games (with a 2-1 record) and have already had a bye week! I would argue that those “Top” teams have not come close to the adversity that the Seahawks have faced – period!

  19. Mylegacy says:

    I thought the worse for the O-line was over…at the worse we had Okung, Unger, Giacomini and Miller out. We’ve Unger and Miller back and last night we played worse than we ever have.

    SO – can we play: MRob, Lynch, Miller and Willson to protect Wee Russell? That would mean those four and the five O-line and Russell – 10 guys – giving us ONE receiver who would be triple teamed. Ya, good idea – NOT!

    Our O-line is not competitive. Period. That we are 7 – 1 is beyond comprehension. If championships are won in the trenches (plural) then we are in deep trouble – we’ve only one trench (and that one wasn’t so hot last night either).

    IF – we get an O-line – before Russell gets broken like a Pinata at a six year old’s birthday party – we are going to be a seriously strong team. At this point we’re NOT a championship team – we’ve a fatal and tragic weakness. I suspect the only way that will change this year is IF both Okung and Breno not only return BUT return at near their peaks – unlikely – me thinks. Pity.

    • KyleT says:

      I agree and finally someone makes the point about all the dumb calls from fans about max protect. Yeah we cannot win 1on1′s but I’m sure we can just beat triple coverage if we give Wilson an extra second

    • robert5934 says:

      Or, how about 2 WR’s and 2 TE’s with Lynch in the backfield. TE’s on either side to help our cruddy tackles. Then they release. This will burn the LB’s and soften up cramming 8 in the box to clog running lanes for Beast. It will also stop LB’s from dogging RW. Lynch could also chip and release. The Rams are not THAT great. Neither is our OL that bad. But our scheme and lack of adjustment to the previously often used 2 x TE scheme is baffling and frightening.

      I hope we draft a great RT with a 1st or 2nd round pick. Bowie will never have the quick feet to be a starting tackle. He is a backup tackle or maybe a starting guard. Bailey would be pass protecting much better than McQ with less current ability in run blocking IMO…

  20. Aaron says:

    My initial reaction was the same as yours Rob (and probably thousands of other football fans); That was the ugliest, most painful-to-watch football game I’ve ever had the misfortune of witnessing. Obviously Seattle’s inability to get anything going was the major factor, but the officiating was horrendous. I’m always a little wary of criticizing the officiating, because I am self-aware enough to know that I’m just like most other NFL fans everywhere – fundamentally biased toward my team on this subject. But this was one of those games where toward the end, I was cursing the officials for the flags they were throwing in our favor.

    It seemed to me like this officiating crew may have come in wanting to make a bit of a statement about Seattle’s physical style of defense – particularly in the secondary. I’ve seen that in past games this season, and I suppose that’s an inevitability when you play defense the way Seattle does – clean but physical to the extreme. Ok, now I’ve gotten that biased bit off my chest.

    The larger point to me is that football has been fundamentally changed because of the concussion issue and other safety concerns. Last night’s game, among many other things, was an illustration that in the new NFL, fans are going to have to consistently deal with bad, overly-cautious calls that the NFL is basically using as a tool to achieve the overall change to the game that they rightly see as a necessity. (See Chancellor’s hit on Vernon Davis last season.)

    I’ve long said that a new rule should be implemented giving each team one single additional challenge that could only be used on pass interference calls. That’s because it’s such a difficult call for the refs to make, and they so often get them wrong. I’m now firmly of the belief that each team should also have one single additional challenge for an unnecessary roughness call. These can be game changing calls, and they simply happen too fast for the officials to be able to make the correct call a high enough percentage of the time. I truly believe this would be an improvement to the game that would help the NFL’s safety efforts, and I think fans would embrace it.

    Btw, I’m not trying to say last night’s game was all about the officials. It’s just what I chose to comment about in this particular post.

    • Aaron says:

      (If you want to be more conservative, maybe you make it one single “penalty challenge” that can only be used on PI or Roughing.)

  21. Darik says:

    The defense definitely bailed us out and we would have lost had they not made that goal line stand exhausted, but they had more than their share of struggles last night that was more confusing to me than anything on offense. It was to be expected that pass pro would not be good based on the matchup(though it was still much worse than it should have been), the rams have a legitimately good defense that’s been underperforming more than anything to this point. But today was the first time this year the defensive line got consistently blown off the ball against the run, and not just at the end when tired but the entire game. Our coverage didn’t look anything like they should aside from a few erratic throws from Clemons we would have lost. Earl Thomas was the savior of the game tonight by being everywhere and Bruce is playing really well, but I just don’t get how a defensive line that’s been killing it this year especially against the run got pushed around on the majority of their plays. Though I do believe that we came in cocky and flat, and the Rams pretty much always play their top game against us. Though Pete Carroll said after the game that pretty much everybody plays us tough(I’d say except the 49ers) and it’s going to be really hard going forward to win in games if we play this below our level because we’re such an easy team to get hyped up to play against.

  22. Colin says:

    Per Terry Blount, Seahawks ESPN.com reporter:

    “Lynch unhappy: Marshawn Lynch had only eight carries Monday night for 23 yards, and it was clear on the sideline near the end of the game that he wasn’t very happy about it. Neither was coach Pete Carroll. “He’s a competitor and he wants the ball,” Carroll said of Lynch. “He didn’t have a chance tonight because we didn’t get him the football enough. He was frustrated and I was, too.” Everything revolves around the power running game for the Seattle offense, so it’s miraculous that the team won when it had only 44 yards rushing on 15 carries. It was a bit of a surprise that returning fullback Michael Robinson didn’t have more of an impact.”

    Take from that what you will.

  23. jeff says:

    I think this does show a need to focus on OL in the draft next year, not saying it would solve all the problems but depth on the OL is terrible. 2-3 guys in the first 5 rounds seems like a smart play…WR and TE are the only other spots I see huge draft needs (DT and some S depth too but not as urgent IMO) so its seems viable.

  24. Madmark says:

    I really hope this was the double digit point spread curse game. I never overlook games in our Division especially with Jeff Fisher who’s players seem to step it up in these games. Too be quite honest I just don’t see the Seahawks that everyone is talking about on ESPN. To beat this team you play up on the receivers, stack the box against the run and blitz. Seattle has yet to get how to block or burn the blitz. I’m going to lay this game at the feet of the offense and there coaches because I never saw any adjustment after halftime. There are a 135 reasons this team should have lost this game and if we was playing a better team we would have.

    • Miles says:

      You’re definitely right. But we escaped with the win with hopes we won’t have a performance like this again. Not this season; in an ideal world, never.

      If you take a step back and really look at it standings-wise, this is a huge win. Huge. It makes us 3-0 in our division having completed two of those on the road, setting us up extremely well should there be a tiebreaker situation with San Francisco. Ideally, we should be able to take care of Arizona and St. Louis at home as we have done with all other teams recently.

      • Miles says:

        That puts us in a situation where we’re likely looking to go 6-0 as a divisional record, and 5-1 possible worst-case scenario barring the game in SF. 5-1 is the best record San Francisco can get, at this point. Tiebreaking advantage is definitely in our favor and, pending we play well, we control our destiny the rest of the year.

        • KyleT says:

          Tie breaking is not in our favor if 49ers win out. If we only lose the SF game and they win out we get the 5th seed. Both of us have “easy” schedules to finish the season.

  25. Cade says:

    I don’t really blame the Seahawks from going away from the run that much. This zone run scheme is awesome usually.. but against crazy penetration by two great run stopping DE + 8 man box to complement it there just are no opportunities for cutback lanes.

    The run was putting us in less manageable downs and distances. It was clear that we were not going to be able to methodically work the ball for first downs by running. As a result they opted for a variety of different passing strategies. None really worked except the one explosive play to Tate and a handful of screen passes (which by the way are usually good vs the blitz.. we were getting beat by 8 man rush so screen is a pick six waiting to happen if you get predictable)