Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
Final Grade: B
The Seahawks are asking way to much from their powerful defense this year and today was no difference. If the Seahawks want to contend at the end of the year they must achieve more balanced output of performance.
Players of Note:
CB Richard Sherman (C): The Rams did something today that I haven't seen yet. They targeted Sherman all day long. Sherman was on the receiving end of almost every big passing play and despite his interception had a rough day at the office.
DT Brandon Mebane (A+) (5 tackles, 2 for loss): Mebane dominated in the trenches all day long and pestered Sam Bradford and the Rams running game on every snap. I haven't seen Mebane that disruptive for a sustained amount of time in a while.
MLB Bobby Wagner (A) (7 Tackles, 3 for loss): Wagner is looking like he is getting very comfortable in this defensive scheme. Today he led the team in tackles by superior diagnosis of Ram's play structure and burst to the ball. This is the type of job he was drafted to do.
QTR 4: A-
Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane had a heck of a fourth quarter, creating serious penetration on almost every play. However, the defense is got shredded a few times downfield with the pass. Seahawks secondary had some trouble handling vertical pass route concepts.
Pass troubles aside, the defense had a huge stop on a late game third down play that gave the Seahawks offense one last chance to win the game.
QTR 3: A
After the struggles in the first half the Seahawks defense limited the Rams to 9 total yards..Nine.
QTR 2: C+
Defense: (Allowed 9 first downs)
Cornerback Richard Sherman seems to be playing a little angry and it is resulting in improved-but still hot and cold-play (1 INT). Seahawks Inside pressure is starting to get to Sam Bradford and it is affecting some throws (tip pass almost intercepted). DT Alan Branch is also a having huge impact inside. Despite all of these positives though, the Rams are still moving the ball.
Bottom line: Seahawks are not making the plays they need to make to win this game.
QTR 1: C+
K.J. Wright starting strong with opening tackle. DT Brandon Mebane absolutely stones Jackson for a loss..Rams worried about speed on edge as LT Wayne Hunter jumps on long 3rd down play. Cornerback Richard Sherman burnt on long 3rd down play and again at the end of the quarter. Rams seem to be targeting Sherman a lot early..
Steven Jackson gaining chunks of yards off of wide Seahawks DE set.
KJ Wright and Alan Branch sniff out screens beautifully.
Key to the game:
By now, you probably can guess what I'm going to say here and you're right! The Seahawks need to get pressure with their front four on a consistent basis.
The Rams are a quick passing team and most likely watched the second half of the Monday Night Football game when the Packers adjusted to the rush and went to a short passing attack.
This, and some egregious holding, helped the Packers offense get back on track.
If the Seahawks can get consistent pressure, Rams fans may be heading for the exits early.