Last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks easily defeated the St. Louis Rams 28-0. Although the Seahawks will have to face tougher competition before they disprove skeptics, they took care of business and proved they were the better team on the field.
Prior to the game, I listed three keys to victory for the Seattle Seahawks. Here is how the team fared:
Contain Steven Jackson.
The Seahawks did an excellent job containing Jackson, the focal point of the Rams’ offensive attack. Jackson seemed frustrated all day, and never made a big play or scored any touchdowns.
At one point, Steven Jackson’s frustrations resulted in a personal foul penalty against St. Louis. Seattle’s defense performed admirably in the regular season opener, and completely took Jackson out of his game.
The defense limited Jackson’s touches, allowing him only 16 rushing attempts for 67 yards. Take away his long run of 22 yards and Jackson would’ve averaged only 3 yards per carry.
Find a running game.
Seattle’s running attack was the focus of many critics over the offseason; a makeshift offensive line combined with unproductive veterans doesn’t intrigue even the most loyal supporter.
Pessimists claimed Julius Jones was a washout, Edgerrin James was over the hill, and Justin Forsett was still unproven. In addition, the offensive line was missing two key starters, starting a rookie at right guard, and hadn’t performed very well through the preseason.
The Seahawks, however, were able to run the football on Sunday. Although it was against the Rams, establishing a ground attack helped to control the clock and keep the defense guessing.
Seattle’s running backs combined for 167 yards on 34 carries, good for an average of 4.9 yards per attempt. Julius Jones, the target of much skepticism entering the regular season, finished with 117 yards on the ground, including a 62-yard touchdown run in the second half.
Establish an early lead.
The Seahawks shut down the Rams 28-0, but the beginning of the game wasn’t as attractive as the final result. The Seahawks started out great, recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff.
But Seattle continually turned the ball over, allowing St. Louis to remain in the football game. Fortunately, the defense stayed in the game all four quarters, shutting down the opposing team until the Seahawks could get things rolling on offense.
After Josh Brown missed a 37-yard field goal attempt, the Seahawks responded with a touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to John Carlson. Then after a blocked field goal was overturned due to twelve men on the field, the Seahawks again put six points on the board.
The Seahawks didn’t put away St. Louis early, but were fortunate enough that the Rams were too inept to take advantage of Seattle’s mistakes. The Seahawks can’t continue to commit early turnovers; other teams around the league won’t be as incompetent.
Rams 17, Seahawks 34
Rams 0, Seahawks 28
I know the St. Louis Rams aren’t a very good football team, but I thought they would at least be able to score against Seattle (especially in a game between division rivals). And the Rams and Seahawks have historically combined for extremely close games.
The Seahawks scored close to what I predicted, but I didn’t foresee the defense completely dominating St. Louis. If the defense can continue to perform well against even tougher competition, the Seattle Seahawks will be a difficult team to defeat this season.