Seahawks vs. Rams: 8 Takeaways from Seattle's 14-9 Win over St. Louis
WHAT.A.STOP by the @Seahawks defense. Seattle moves to 7-1 holding on to defeat the Rams 14-9.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 29, 2013
A week after looking dominant against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks were anything but this week. The Rams completely shut down Seattle's offense, and Seattle's defense had no answers for the Rams' rushing attack.
The Seahawks now have a short week to figure out what went wrong. Here are eight takeaways from Seattle's win.
Slow Starts Are Still a Problem
This has been a recurring theme in 2013 for the Seahawks. This team continues to start games slowly, especially on offense.
With 4:03 remaining in the first quarter, the Rams had outgained the Seahawks in yards 51 to minus-one. They finished the first quarter with only one first down, and that came via a defensive penalty.
The Seahawks must find a way to execute better offensively early in games.
Second-Half Adjustments Don't Always Work
If the Seahawks made any adjustments after the dismal first half on offense, it was impossible to tell in the results. Other than the one 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Golden Tate, the Seahawks were unable to sustain any offense in the second half.
It was the Rams who made the better adjustments at the break. The addition of play action hurt Seattle's defense and helped the Rams get close at the end. Seattle simply had no similar answers coming from their coaching staff.
Bruce Irvin Can Play in Coverage
Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin proved he could rush the passer last season with his 9 sacks. He showed he could play against the run throughout this season since returning from his suspension.
On Monday, Irvin demonstrated that he could be successful when dropping into coverage. Irvin was a big part of Seattle's pass defense, and he even picked off a Kellen Clemens pass in the second quarter.
And now Clemens a terrible pass throws a pick to Irvin who was 25 yards downfield in coverage.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) October 29, 2013
Earl Thomas Had an Amazing Game
Great to see Earl Thomas getting national attention tonight. What you saw on MNF is what he's been doing since Day One.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 29, 2013
Safety Earl Thomas led the Seahawks with 10 tackles and did so by being all over the field. He played the run as well as he did the pass. He was a complete playmaker for the Seattle defense.
Play of the game might have been Earl Thomas' tackle on 2nd & goal. If he doesn't come from the back of the EZ to make that hit, STL scores.— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) October 29, 2013
The Run Defense Can Be a Weakness
The Rams had 16 carries for 97 yards in the first half. The Seahawks have had similar first-halves in the past but have always found a way to tighten things up and shut down the run after halftime.
They weren't able to do so this week. The Rams finished with 37 rushes for 200 yards. The Seahawks just didn't have any answers for the Rams' rushing attack.
Now Seattle has to try to figure out what went wrong and make sure that other teams can't use what the Rams did as a blueprint for beating the Seahawks.
This Offensive Line Is Horrible
In most weeks, quarterback Russell Wilson's running skills hide some of the deficiencies of the pass-blockers, but that wasn't the case in this game. Wilson was running for his life and getting hit on almost every pass play.
Rams defensive end Robert Quinn had three sacks in the first half alone. Russell Wilson was sacked seven times on the night and never looked comfortable.
Both of Seattle's offensive tackles should be embarrassed by their performance in this game.
ESPN can't even fishing showing Quinn highlights before Quinn gets another sack.— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) October 29, 2013
The Penalty Problem Is Back
The Seahawks had cleaned up the penalty problems that plagued them earlier in the season. After a few weeks with minimal penalties, the yellow flags were flying again this week.
Seattle had 10 penalties for 83 yards, including multiple personal foul penalties and a taunting penalty. The Seahawks also had three defensive offsides penalties, two of which were on defensive end Michael Bennett.
Most of those penalties were completely avoidable. The Seahawks just need to be more disciplined. All of those penalties almost cost them a win this week. Against a better team, it would have.
Golden Tate Had the Best Taunt of the Season
Taunting is bad. It's against the rules. Sometimes, though, it can be really entertaining.
Wide receiver Golden Tate taunted the Rams' secondary for the final 30 yards of his 80-yard touchdown in the third quarter. It cost the Seahawks 15 yards, but it was seriously entertaining. This game was fairly boring throughout, so a little excitement was appreciated.
Golden Tate was committed to that taunt... held it for 30 yards...— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) October 29, 2013