The Seahawks finished the regular season with a dominating win over a tough division opponent, led by strong defensive play. The St. Louis Rams were held to a mere 158 yards of offense and turned the ball over twice.
Seattle's defense continued its interception rampage with interceptions No. 11 and 12 over the last four weeks of the season. With a first-round playoff bye on the horizon, the Seahawks will take the time to correct an offense that has been sputtering lately and prepare to host the winner of Wild Card Weekend.
St. Louis Rams - 9
Seattle Seahawks - 27
|Position Unit||First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Rams Week 17
Final Analysis for the Seattle Seahawks
Pass Offense: Russell Wilson got the passing game going in the second half, completing seven of nine passing attempts for 95 yards and a touchdown. Golden Tate had his best game of the season with eight catches for 129 yards and a score.
The offensive line showed some improvement by holding the Rams to one more sack, but the pass rush was largely ineffectual in the second half.
Run Offense: Marshawn Lynch was pulled from action just three yards shy of what could have been his first 100-yard game in five weeks. He ends up with 97 of the team's 113 and picked up his 14th touchdown run of the year.
Wilson never found any running room, but it didn't seem to matter after a meltdown by the Rams, highlighted by five unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Lynch averaged 4.2 yards per carry for the game.
Pass Defense: Other than a late scoring drive for the Rams during garbage time, the Rams passing game was completely stifled. The Rams finished the game with just 158 yards of total offense. Kellen Clemens was sacked twice in the game and was never able to find receiving options open with any consistency.
Run Defense: As poor as the passing game was, Zac Stacy and the rushing attack were downright nonexistent. He finished with 15 yards on 15 carries, while the Rams finished with 13 rushing yards total for the game.
Seattle had five tackles for a loss and Bobby Wagner, once again, led the team in tackles with 12. The next biggest tackle total for a Seahawk was Kam Chancellor with eight.
Special Teams: Jon Ryan and the punt unit wrapped up the day with a 53-yard average, but allowed quite a bit more return yardage than usual. St. Louis averaged 11.4 yards per return. Golden Tate couldn't get anything going on punt returns, losing a yard on the day.
Steven Hauschka didn't have much to do in the second half but kick extra points and kickoffs. He made two field goals from 28 and 35 yards after a poor outing last week.
Coaching: Pete Carroll and the coaching staff did a great job of keeping his team in line when things were getting chippy midway through the third quarter. Penalty calls against the Rams set up Lynch's touchdown plunge and the complexion of the game was never the same
Something will need to be done during the bye week, however, to address the string of lackluster passing performances and sub-100 yard rushing days. If the offense doesn't pull things together and the penalty numbers continue climb, a playoff-caliber team could make the Seahawks pay for their mistakes.
First-Half Analysis for the Seattle Seahawks
Pass Offense: The offensive line has allowed quite a bit of pressure, which was to be expected against an opponent that now has 51 sacks this season. So far the Rams have three sacks in the game, with another half to play.
Wilson continues to struggle with his accuracy as he has thrown the ball high several times today. He has completed eight of 14 passes for 77 yards after a late drive, ending in a field goal. Golden Tate leads the receivers with five grabs for 52 yards.
Run Offense: Lynch is off to a solid start with 48 yards rushing on 10 carries. The team will need to continue pounding away on the ground in order to open things up in the passing game.
Wilson has not been able to find much room running the ball, scampering for eight yards on one carry. Seattle has 15 carries for 66 yards in the half; good for a 4.4 yard per carry average.
Pass Defense: Seattle came into the game with 10 interceptions in the last three games and has picked off two of Clemens' passes in the first half. Clemens has looked serviceable otherwise, completing seven of 11 passes for 58 yards. Malcolm Smith made a terrific grab and returned it 37 yards for the opening score of the game and the sole touchdown.
Michael Bennett has added a sack to his season total, giving him 8.5 on the season. Bobby Wagner went down early with an apparent shoulder injury, but he returned to action.
Run Defense: The Seahawks front seven aren't giving Stacy any room to run. He's managed just three yards on 10 carries, after piling on 134 yards in the teams' first meeting. St. Louis' collective effort to run the ball today has resulted in a loss of two yards.
The stifling run defense led by Tony McDaniel and Brandon Mebane has forced the Rams into several predictable play-calling situations and, essentially, made them one-dimensional.
Special Teams: Ryan continues to put his defense in the best possible situations, starting the day off with a 66-yard boot. He is averaging 52.8 yards per punt on four attempts and the Rams are averaging just 6.7 yards per punt return. However, the blocking in front of him has allowed a few close block opportunities that could have swayed this game.
Golden Tate had a poor return going backwards after a big hit and a loss of seven yards. Hauschka has nailed both of his field-goal attempts in the game, after an uncharacteristically bad performance against the Arizona Cardinals last week.
Coaching: The coaching staff needs to get the penalties under control, because they have nullified several major penalties that would have otherwise extended drives. One even took away a touchdown.
Darrell Bevell is going to need to open up the playbook a bit, because the offense has looked largely stagnant over the last three weeks.