Seattle Seahawks defense should dominate in Week 1


The Seattle Seahawks open the regular season on the road against the St. Louis Rams. All signs point to a dominant defensive performance for the Seahawks.

While much of the attention over the next week will be given to the St. Louis Rams defensive line vs. Seattle’s work-in-progress offensive line, the opposite might be an even bigger deal.

More from Seattle Seahawks News

The St. Louis defensive line gets a lot of (well deserved) respect for being great. Seattle’s D-line secretly might be almost as good, and is certainly deeper overall.

The Rams will be starting two rookies on the offensive line in RT Rob Havenstein and LG Jamon Brown. 2nd-year LT Greg Robinson looked awful for much of last season. RG is manned by Demetrius Rhaney, who is also in his second-year.

That is a very inexperienced offensive line. It is also one that hasn’t played well in the preseason. They struggled to protect QB Nick Foles and open holes for the running backs.

The grades at Pro Football Focus should always be taken with a grain of salt, but they have the Rams’ offensive line graded as worse than Seattle’s line through the preseason in both run and pass blocking. Given how poorly Seattle’s line played in the preseason, that the Rams’ line was graded even lower is significant.

Things become even more hairy for the Rams when you realize that both of their top running backs are injured for Week 1. First round pick Todd Gurley is still recovering from from an ACL injury suffered last year. He isn’t expected to play until Week 3 at the earliest.

Tre Mason, last year’s top runner, has an injured hamstring. He is expected to play, but will certainly be limited. That leaves Benny Cunningham as the player who will get most of the touches on offense. There’s no team in the NFL that is scared of him, especially not the Seahawks.

Lets not forget that the Seahawks have had the best defense in the NFL for each of the last three seasons. Now they’ve added Frank Clark to defensive line, and gotten back Brandon Mebane, Jordan Hill, and Cassius Marsh. Seattle now has arguably the best front seven in the NFL.

The Legion of Boom is diminished right now. Kam Chancellor is still holding out, and there are questions at nickel corner. That said, Earl Thomas will be back playing this week, and Richard Sherman is still Richard Sherman.

All of the pieces are in place for Seattle’s defense to absolutely dominate against St. Louis. Given Seattle’s troubles on offense, they’re going to need to.

Next: Seahawks in win-now mode

More from 12th Man Rising